Uncanny is the word NPR uses to describe Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of the 16th president in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” In this All Things Considered interview, Day-Lewis describes how he found a high register for Honest Abe’s distinctive voice that carried across many well-remembered speeches, and reveals his favorites. The actor wanted to show the lighter side of Lincoln, who used humor to battle back the darkness.
Here’s Day-Lewis on Lincoln as an entertainer:
“There was humor, really, it was in the forefront of his spirit, I think, humor. I think he probably used it often to buoy his spirits at times when the alternative was just too bleak to contemplate…
There are so many contemporary accounts, very vivid ones, of his storytelling and his anecdotes. Somebody said to him, you know, accused him of being two-faced, and he said, ‘Well, look, if I had another face, do you think I’d be wearing this one?'”
For more on Day-Lewis’ process and the human side of Lincoln’s story here. “Lincoln” premieres in limited release November 9 and wider release November 16.