The golden ring of publicity scores is the ’60 Minutes’ interview. What beats it? Maybe a Time cover. Sunday night’s Lesley Stahl profile of Steven Spielberg includes the first clips from his upcoming “Lincoln” (November 16) as well as an interview with Spielberg’s parents about his childhood. “Lincoln” is less interesting to the news show than Spielberg’s childhood trauma. Spielberg and Stahl track the evolution of his feelings toward his workaholic father, who admits that he didn’t give his son enough attention, through Spielberg’s films, from anger to reconciliation.
Spielberg also talks about the ten-year gestation of “Lincoln,” which focuses on the intense last four months in the life of America’s 16th president (Daniel Day-Lewis) when he is fighting to get Congress to pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery in order to end the Civl War. He tells Stahl that the film is unlike no other he has ever done:
“I’ve always wanted to tell a story about Lincoln. I saw a paternal father figure, someone who was completely, stubbornly committed to his ideals, his vision. I think the film is very relevant for today. It’s about leadership…I knew I could do the action in my sleep at this point in my career. In my life, the action doesn’t …attract me anymore.”
In this film, Spielberg explores the behind-the-scenes life of Lincoln and wife Mary Todd (Sally Field) and their two surviving sons:
“I think there’s a sense of darkness…with him. He was living with two agendas, both of which had to do with healing…first, to abolish slavery, end the war. But he also had his personal life and I think there’s darkness in there.”
Check out Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis’s satellite interview here.