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Spielberg Chased Daniel Day-Lewis For 9 Years, Wanted Him Before Liam Neeson To Play ‘Lincoln' & More About The Film

Photo of Rodrigo Perez By Rodrigo Perez | The Playlist November 7, 2012 at 1:03PM

Now that President Obama is back for a second term, some Oscar pundits are claiming Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the titular leader, is a shoo-in lock for a Best Picture win at the Oscars. We wouldn’t go that far, but the political drama, which hit theaters this weekend, is certainly going to be up for a handful of Oscar nominations at the very least.
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Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln (skip crop)
5. Spielberg didn’t keep the film out of the release before the election intentionally
“Well, no, it -- what it was very simply is because there’s a lot of confusion about the political ideologies of both parties have switched 180 degrees in 150 years,” the filmmaker said at the “Lincoln” press conference in October. “It just too confusing. Lincoln as their own. And everybody should claim Lincoln as their own, because he represents all of us, and what he did basically provided the opportunities that, that all of us are enjoying today."

He added, “I just wanted people to talk about the film, not talk about the election cycle. So, I thought it was safer to let people talk about film during the election cycle in this run-up with ads on TV and posters going up and all that, but the actual debut of the film should happen after the election’s been decided. That was my feeling.”

6. Daniel Day-Lewis thinks Liam Neeson would have also made a great Lincoln
“I can say unequivocally that I know for a fact that Liam’s Lincoln would've been something I would've wished to see,” Day-Lewis said at the press conference. “You know, these things are haphazard. Timing. It worked out the other way, and I think Liam would've been quite wonderful. It just worked out this way.”

7. Daniel Day-Lewis revealed his process a little bit and it essentially boils down to delusional commitment.
“I’m woefully one-track-minded,” he said, while noting that after he left the role he felt a great sadness. “Without sounding unhinged, I know I’m not Abraham Lincoln. I’m aware of that. But the truth is the entire game is about creating an illusion, and for whatever reason, and mad as it may sound, some part of me can allow myself to believe for a period for time without questioning, and that’s the trick. Maybe it’s a terrible revelation about myself that one does feel able to do that.”

"I never thought it possible to love a man I've never met before," he told the San Francisco Gate of his admiration for the character he embodied. "I've had reverence for historical figures, and I've had heroes - Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space; Horatio Nelson - but Lincoln was a man I grew to love. That was a unique experience in my life to have felt that way."

Meanwhile, how much did this Louis C.K. digital skit on “Saturday Night Live” rule? Too bad about the rest of the show. “Lincoln” opens in limited release this weekend, and expands wide on November 16th.

Here’s Spielberg on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe

Finally, here’s that "60 Minutes" interview with Spielberg in case you missed it.
 

This article is related to: Interviews, Lincoln, Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis


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