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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

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October 25, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Lincoln texts: A conversation with Daniel Day-Lewis

While we’re on the subject of “Lincoln,” Time magazine has an excellent profile of Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays the title role in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming historical drama. Sally Field reports that prior to filming . . . well, I’ll let her tell it:

“I’d hear that twinkle-twinkle on my phone, and [Day-Lewis] would have sent me some ridiculous limerick,” says Field, who plays the 16th President’s wife Mary Todd in the new film Lincoln. “He’d sign it, ‘Yours, A.’ I would text back as Mary, criticizing him for the waste of his time when he might have been pursuing something more productive.”

This anecdote is absolutely the best thing I have read today, or maybe all year, and now I’m sitting here wonding what texts from other historical figures might be like; say, Gertrude Stein’s. But the rest of the story’s good too. Here’s one more bit:

He already looked the part, according to Lincoln screenwriter Tony Kushner, author of the Pulitzer-winning play Angels in America. Before Day-Lewis accepted the role, Spielberg and Kushner–who based his script in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals–visited the British-born actor at his home at the foot of the Wicklow Mountains outside Dublin, where he lives with his family. “On the first day, we went to a little pub,” Kushner recalls. “Daniel and I were talking by a window, and Steven, I think surreptitiously, snapped Daniel’s photo with his iPhone and e-mailed it to me. Steven said that his earliest memory of Lincoln was a cardboard cutout of his silhouette for Presidents’ Day. This silhouette of Daniel against the window–you would absolutely think you were looking at young Abe Lincoln.”

If you’re interested, read the whole story here.



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