Daniel Day-Lewis thought it was impossible to bring Abraham Lincoln back to life.

The 55-year-old actor portrays the pioneering US president - who abolished slavery and led the country through the American Civil War - in Steven Spielberg's biopic 'Lincoln' and although the film has already won him Best Actor at the Golden Globe Awards, Daniel admits he originally doubted Spielberg's idea.

He confessed: ''It was like grandmother's footsteps. Because of the monuments, the hard part is to discover the man. That's why I resisted [the role].

''I thought: Perhaps it's not possible or right to bring this man back to life.''

Daniel has noticed he finds himself more ''intrigued'' by roles which he struggles to relate to and has admitted he prefers to portray people who bear little similarities to him - describing the preparation as a journey of ''discovery''.

When asked whether he thrives on exploring lives far from his own, Daniel said: ''I think, honestly, yes. That is invariably the thing that appeals to me. The less I know about someone and the less connected I feel to them on a personal level, the more intrigued I am in the process of discovery.

''Which isn't to say that one isn't always looking for points of communion. They're vital.''