Daniel Day Lewis (Almost) Convinced Himself he was Lincoln, to Play 'Lincoln'
Daniel Day Lewis has been widely reported to be one of the most dedicated method actors in the business. According to the New York Times, while filming for Gangs of New York, he didn't break from character during breaks, instead stood glaring at Leonardo DiCaprio, his character's enemy within the film. In My Left Foot, while playing a paraplegic man with cerebral palsy, he never got out of his wheel chair while on set and insisted on the crew feeding him, as his character wouldn't have been able to feed himself.
While working on Lincoln, Lewis employed the same techniques - never breaking out of the role. He adopted an entirely different voice, higher pitched than his own, to voice Lincoln. On finding the right voice, he said "That to me was a genuine breakthrough". Steven Spielberg, who directed the film, has spoken about Lewis's dedication to the role. "You didn't go up to him and say, 'Hey, did you see the Pirates game last night?'" He said, "It was important for him to retain the attitude, if you like, and the dialect he had created. So we would sit there and joke, for example, about the Vicksburg campaign."
"Without sounding unhinged, I know I'm not Abraham Lincoln. I'm aware of that." He said, but "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." Undoubtedly this kind of dedication to any role can't fail to make it great. With 2 Academy Awards under his belt, and countless other accolades, there is no doubt that Lincoln is going to be a great film. The Lincoln biopic is out on November 16th 2012.