With Oscar buzz already kicking in for Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, ET spoke to the film’s stars at their AFI Fest premiere in Hollywood Thursday night to hear what it’s like working with one of the most respected actors in the business.
“Daniel Day-Lewis is phenomenal,” his co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt says, clearly in awe. “He’s unique amongst living actors in my opinion. What he’s done in this movie is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.”
Tommy Lee Jones, who plays Congressman Thaddeus Stevens in the film, echoes his praises.
“He’s a very fine actor — one of the very finest actors of the century, maybe in the medium. He’s very well prepared, he knows what he’s doing. It’s a pleasure to work with Daniel.”
“It must of been the nose,” Spielberg jokes about why he felt Day-Lewis was perfect to play Lincoln. “And I think the hair and the beard came along at a bargain too. Here’s somebody I’ve wanted to work with ever since I saw [My Beautiful] Laundrette (1985) and since I saw My Left Foot (1989) …”
As for the very selective Day-Lewis, he felt the film was important due to its relevance today.
“Well I suppose it’s not difficult to trace the direct lineage between that great achievement of amending the constitution and that moment,” he says about what makes the film so watchable today. “It’s hard to imagine that our current president would be where he is today– and thank goodness he is — had it not taken place when it did.”
Check out the video to hear Day-Lewis describe what it was like working with Spielberg.
Lincoln hits theaters November 16.