Yesterday’s town hall-style Q & A between Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 in New York City framed several issues about Lincoln (opening exclusively Nov. 9 and wide Nov. 16).
Journo Mark Harris moderated the discussion, which first addressed Spielberg’s take on Lincoln: “We needed to show everybody what it was like to live and to work on something extremely important. And in this case, we focused it down to the last four months of his life where he had to make a monumental decision to finish the war and then attempt to abolish slavery through a constitutional amendment — the 13th Amendment — or whether he needed to get enough votes to get this amendment through the House of Representatives before the war ended. And that became the main conundrum of all this pondering and anguishing interspersed with his personal life as a husband and father.”
For his part, Day-Lewis, who was first approached by Spielberg nine years ago before screenwriter Tony Kushner’s involvement and “fled,” he eventually “felt the tug of that orbit” after reading the new incarnation. “I can’t account for that moment why it appeared inevitable to me, but I think it has in common all the moments in my life when I’ve taken on any piece of work, I have to feel in some sense that there’s no choice…”