The Lincoln Cast and Crew Talk About Filming the Historical Biography, Written by: Karen Benardello
With the recent presidential election, America is still contending with arguments and disagreements between the political parties on how to run the country. The same was true nearly 150 years ago, when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, giving slaves their freedom. The new historical biography film ‘Lincoln,’ which is now playing in select theaters and expands wide on Friday, shows the personal and professional struggles the famed president faced during his time in the White House. Filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who directed ‘Lincoln,’ was joined by actors Daniel Day-Lewis, who played the title character, Sally Field and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as well as screenwriter Tony Kushner, recently to discuss the movie, which is already generating Oscar buzz.
‘Lincoln’ follows the title character, the 16th president of the United States (played by Day-Lewis) as he pushes for the passage of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. As the Civil War rages on, the president must also contend with the continued carnage on the battlefield, and the fights he even experiences with members in his own cabinet over the decision to emancipate the slaves. The anti-abolitionist Democrats will be tested against Lincoln’s moderates and the more zealous anti-slavery radicals of the young Republican Party.
Lincoln must also deal with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln (portrayed by Field), as she struggles with the deaths of several of their sons, and the estrangement he faces with his college-age son Robert (played by Gordon-Levitt), who returns home from Harvard to join the Union army.
Day-Lewis first met with Spielberg in Ireland eight years ago to discuss accepting the title role. After Kushner convinced the director that he had to helm the biography, the filmmaker began contemplating which actor would best personify the esteemed president. As Spielberg began talking with the Oscar-winning actor, he realized he couldn’t make the film without Day-Lewis in the title role.
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