Thank God Double D lent his John Hancock to “Lincoln”!
Hey, as disappointing as it was that after umpteen years attached to play the part Liam Neeson ultimately had to nix Spielberg’s “Lincoln” project (Neeson, of course, fronted Spielbuster’s “Schindler’s List”), you can’t bring out the whine card when it comes to the choice of his replacement – Daniel Day Lewis. Forget about replacement, the man’s just as good an actor as you’ll find. Full stop. In any film. Maybe even on the credit roll of “E-Street”. Even “Son of Mask 2″ would probably be worth a watch if Day Lewis was in it. Which he isn’t.
All jokes aside, Day Lewis is going to do magic with such Lincoln bites as “Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose – and you allow him to make war at pleasure”, no!?
The “My Left Foot” and “There Will Be Blood” showpony has gone all out for the role of the assassinated prez in Spielberg’s long-gestating biopic. In addition to growing a gnarly Lincoln beard (seen in the pic below), he’s also said to have been “in character” since the first half-of-the-year – meaning he’ll only answer to Mr Lincoln (on the call sheet, you’ll find no sign of Day Lewis’s name, only Lincoln’s) and, like most actors do after a while, is probably starting to believe he actually is the president of the United States. Heck, don’t be surprised to hear Day Lewis is sharing a doona with Sally Field (playing Mary Todd in the film) each night; research being research and all.
Sounds nutty, but we’ll be the ones rewarded when we see just how far Day Lewis hits it out of the park in a year or so when we catch his sure-to-be-stunning performance. Roll out the red carpet…
I’ve been impressed by quite a few other actor’s takes on Lincoln over the years – namely John Carradine in “Of Human Hearts” (1939), Jason Robards in “The Perfect Tribute” (1991), Hal Halbrook in “North and South” (1985), and who can forget Robert V.Barron’s take in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1991)? – but I’m betting Day Lewis will flatten the competition. He nails it every time. Even in his lesser efforts, like “Nine” and “Eversmile, New Jersey”, he’s great (and I know many would consider Day Lewis’s participation in Martin Scorsese’s “Age of Innocence” to be a career blunder, but I actually think that’s a terrific film, highly underrated, and yes, Day Lewis is stupendous in it).
Michael Phillips Tweeted this first-look pic of Day Lewis with newly-gained Lincoln chin-fluff this morning – - and yep, my eyes popped out of my head too!
No, he’s not in the full Lincoln get-up… but you get the gist…
Here’s a look at a few other Lincoln’s of the big screen from over the years :
Here’s Hal Holbrook in “North & South” (remember the mini-series with Patrick Swayze?!)
And here’s “Aliens” alum Lance Henriksen in “The Day Lincoln Was Shot”
And the late, great Henry Fonda in “The Young Mr Lincoln”
And who can forget the banana sucker playing Abraham in “Planet of the Apes”!!?
“Lincoln”, currently lensing in the windy city, also stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“The Dark Knight Rises”) as Robert Todd Lincoln, Tommy Lee Jones (“Men in Black 3″) as Thaddeus Stevens, James Spader (“Boston Legal”) as WN Bilbo, Lee Pace (“Pushing Daisies”) as Fernardo Wood, Jackie Earle Haley (“All The King’s Men”) as Alexander Stephens, John Hawkes (“Winter’s Bone”) as Robert Latham, David Strathairn (“Goodnight and Good Luck”) as Secretary of State William Seward, Tim Blake Nelson (“The Incredible Hulk”) as Richard Schell, Walter Goggins (“Justified”) as Wells A.Hutchins, and Bruce McGill (“Cinderella Man”) as Edwin Stanton. If I recall correctly, even ex-Lincoln Hal Holbrook has a part in the film.