A Few Facts About Steven Spielberg's Lincoln

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

Okay, I know many of you haven't seen the new Steven Spielberg film Lincoln yet. I saw it myself last week, and yes, it really is a great film. Steven Spielberg directing Lincoln -isn't that the very definition of a "must see" picture? Well, here are a handful of facts you may not have known about the movie Lincoln, with no spoilers. That's right, go ahead and read, because this list contains no spoilers.

* Steven directed the entire three-and-a-half month production in a suit and tie. "I think I wanted to get into the role more than anything else," he said. "Because we were creating a part of history, and I didn't want to be the shlubby baseball-cap-wearing 21st century guy. I wanted to be like the cast."

* Steven addressed everyone in the cast by their character name. At all times during the shoot, Daniel Day-Lewis was addressed as "Mr. President" by the director. Sally Field was addressed as either "Mrs. Lincoln" or "Molly." Every other cast member was addressed as his or her character.

* On the daily call sheet, the part of Abraham Lincoln was listed as being played by "Abraham Lincoln." Daniel Day-Lewis' name was never mentioned.

* Describing playing Lincoln, Daniel said, "I never, ever felt the depth of like for another human being that I never met, and that's, I think, probably the effect Lincoln had on most people that take the time to discover him. I wish he had stayed [with me] forever."

* The original choice to play Abraham Lincoln was Daniel Day-Lewis, "8 or nine years ago." He turned the role down. Then Steven considered Liam Neeson. Neeson agreed and waited a few years for the script to be developed, but by the time it had come together, he turned the role down, thinking he was "too old." Then it came back to the original choice of Daniel Day-Lewis, who finally agreed.

* Once Daniel decided on the voice he wanted to use while playing Lincoln, he sent an audiotape of it to Steven with a skull and crossbones on it so no one but Spielberg would hear it.

* Abraham Lincoln's executive mansion was recreated to the letter for the film. Lincoln's office was duplicated, including the same wallpaper and books Lincoln used. The ticking of Lincoln's watch in the film is the sound of Lincoln's real watch, which was recorded in its home at Lincoln's presidential library.

* Hal Holbrook, who plays Francis Preston Blair, won an Emmy award for playing Abraham Lincoln himself, in the 1974 miniseries Lincoln. He also played Lincoln in the North and South miniseries and on The Ed Sullivan Show.

* Sally Field desperately wanted the role of Mary Todd Lincoln, but Steven thought she was too old (she is ten years older than Day-Lewis and twenty years older than Mrs. Lincoln at the time the film took place). It wasn't until Daniel Day-Lewis personally agreed to screen test with her (he flew out for the test from his home in Ireland as a favor) that Steven saw the film and agreed to give her the role.

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Great movie. DDL nailed it and the supporting cast was outstanding. I thought Spielberg made a strange choice in his portrayal of the assassination. Does anyone disagree?
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Great "Behind The Scenes" article. I have been looking forward to seeing the film and now even more. Leave it to Spielberg to make it as real as possible with the watch and calling everyone by their character's names. Thanks.
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I haven't seen the movie "Lincoln" yet, but it looks like the kind of movie the country needs to see right now.

It's claimed that the younger generations may be smarter than we were at their age, but I really have my doubts...

I don't think kids today have a clue as to what our nations history en-capsules. Sure, they know that Abe Lincoln was one of the Presidents and maybe they have heard along the way that he "freed the slaves", but If it's not a movie, video game, DVD or on the Internet, the younger generation is not exposed to it or anything else they should really know.

It's sad that lessons have to be taught using means of ‘entertainment' today, and so many people change real history in the name of "Entertainment" I'm glad to hear Eddie report that this is a good movie and not just some piece of fluff.

Thanks Mr. Deezen, I will make sure that it's one of the movies I catch this season!
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