Abe Lincoln As You Have Nerver Heard Him: Daniel Day-Lewis On Playing Abraham Lincoln, Charles McGrath, New York Times, October 31, 2012.
A Portion of the Text from the New York Times Interview With Daniel Day-Lewis
" Mr. Day-Lewis prepared for the part not by splitting rails or doing sums on the back of a shovel but mostly by reading. He started with Ms. Goodwin’s book, pored over Lincoln’s own writing and finished up with the Carl Sandburg biography. He also spent a lot of time studying the photographs taken toward the end of Lincoln’s life by Alexander Gardner. “I looked at them the way you sometimes look at your own reflection in a mirror and wonder who that person is looking back at you,” he said.
“Everyone’s jaw was on the floor,” he said. “It was one of the great things I’ve ever seen. To do that, you have to be there, in that moment. It’s not psychosis; it’s sustained concentration. Is all that necessary, the staying in character? It makes sense to me.” He added: “I’ve never seen a great actor do a major role that didn’t cost a lot. They’re sacrificial animals of a sort.”
Mr. Day-Lewis said that he felt a “great sadness” when the movie was done and that he still feels connected to it. “I’m woefully one-track-minded,” he said. “Without sounding unhinged, I know I’m not Abraham Lincoln. I’m aware of that. But the truth is the entire game is about creating an illusion, and for whatever reason, and mad as it may sound, some part of me can allow myself to believe for a period for time without questioning, and that’s the trick.” He laughed. “Maybe it’s a terrible revelation about myself that one does feel able to do that.” "Text Source, Image Source and Full Text Link: New York Times, October 31, 2012