“Now he belongs to the ages.”
Secretary of War Edwin Stanton was credited with that death-bed epitaph hours after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in 1865, and with Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln arriving on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow, his words resonate — albeit in a less hallowed sense. Ever since Daniel Day-Lewis agreed to portray Lincoln — a role that must’ve felt as daunting as Hamlet mixed with Jesus Christ — cinephiles and academics alike awaited the finished result, to see if the British actor who’d magically infused himself into the souls of characters like Christy Brown and Daniel Plainview could resurrect and reintroduce our 16th president to the 21st century.
The result, we can say now, was truly historic. Day-Lewis won the Oscar — his third for Best Actor — and we learned all the tales of his total commitment to the role, which entailed him being in-character for as much as possible while on the set. “I never ever felt that depth of love for another human being that I never met,” Day-Lewis told 60 Minutes about playing Lincoln, and in countless interviews promoting the film, he expressed how sad it made him to say goodbye to the character.
In an exclusive feature from the new Blu-ray, Spielberg talks about the day their film work was finally done, when Day-Lewis, who’d been Lincoln for months, finally lowered the veil to his director. READ FULL STORY