Daniel Day-Lewis called ‘Mr. President’ on Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ set

Meriah Doty
Movie TalkAugust 7, 2012

Known to immerse himself in his roles, two-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis was referred to as "Mr. President" on the set of Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."

Cast members -- including Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tommy Lee Jones -- and Spielberg himself addressed Day-Lewis as his character during the making of the film, which is based on the final four months of President Abraham Lincoln's life.

"I was calling [all] the actors by their character names... That was something I felt was important to establish a little authenticity, maybe even more for me than for them," Spielberg said [via EW.com].

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In the above photo of Day-Lewis in character, it appears he is sitting in a theater -- more than likely depicting the 16th U.S. president's final moments before he was assassinated. In yet another truly impressive transformation by the 55-year-old actor, the resemblance he bears to Lincoln is uncanny.

Contrary to rumor, it appears Day-Lewis didn't employ the full tilt of his method acting prowess for his latest role. (During the filming of 1989's "My Left Foot" -- for which he won an Oscar -- Day-Lewis famously refused to break his character as a severely disabled person on set.) "Daniel was always conscious of his contemporary surroundings... 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," Spielberg said, refuting rumors that the actor was living as though in the 1860s, shutting out all indications of 21st century living.

The film, due in theaters November 9, is based on the 2005 book "Team of Rivals" by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. It focuses on Lincoln's marked gains toward the abolition of slavery and victory in the Civil War -- and how it required his sophisticated people skills to unite a contentious cabinet.

Daniel Day Lewis in 'There Will Be Blood'

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