First Look At Daniel Day-Lewis As Abraham Lincoln

If you’ve been looking forward to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, a biopic starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th President of the United States, a few leaked official photos of Day-Lewis as one of history’s most famous and beloved presidents may hold you over until the film’s far away release date.

Entertainment Weekly has the first official picture of Oscar-winner Day-Lewis as a slightly more convincing Lincoln that Benjamin Walker’s vampire slaying emancipator. While there have been leaked photos before, EW gives us our first quality look at what appears to be a full-immersed (as always) Day-Lewis as Lincoln, down to the posture and marbled sourpuss.

Director Steven Spielberg has lauded Day-Lewis’s performance as the 16th president, saying that the Gangs of New York and There Will Be Blood star captures not only Lincoln’s likeness, but also his emotional nuances throughout his performance. “Lincoln had a very, very complicated – and at the same time, extremely clear — inner life,” the director says. “He thought things out. He talked things out. He argued both sides of every issue. And he was very careful in making any decision. As a matter of fact, his opponents and his enemies criticized him often for being impossibly slow to a decision.”

Day-Lewis is notorious for an eccentrically severe brand of method acting. It was reported that on the set of Gangs, he never changed out of period clothing and had everyone call him by his character’s name at all times. I can’t imagine what he was like on the set of Blood (and I’m not alone there). Spielberg attempted to pull down some of the “actor mythos” surrounding Day-Lewis’s process, saying, “Daniel was always conscious of his contemporary surroundings,” adding, “Daniel never went into a fugue state. He did not channel Lincoln. All that stuff is just more about gossip than it is about technique.”

He did call Day-Lewis “Mr. President”on set – but only to maintain authenticity. “I was calling [all] the actors by their character names,” he revealed. “That was something I felt was important to establish a little authenticity, maybe even more for me than for them.”

Lincoln stars Day-Lewis and an all-star cast including Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field. It hits theaters November 9.

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