Daniel Day-Lewis Texted in Character During ‘Lincoln,’ Just as Our Forefathers Did
Crazy method actors are crazy, especially Daniel Day-Lewis, who has the distinction of being one of the better method actors in that his methods actually, you know, work.
Lewis continually gives amazing performances, going to great lengths to do so, even texting co-star Sally Field in character as Abraham Lincoln for his role in the already buzz-worthy ‘Lincoln‘. (Not to be confused with the “only buzz-worthy because it was so hilariously bad” ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter‘.)
A bit of background: To star in ‘The Boxer,’ Lewis trained with a boxing champion for three years. For ‘The Crucible,’ he built his own character’s home using 17th century techniques. And for ‘Lincoln,’ he texted everyone in character.
We also like to imagine he wore a stove-top hat 24/7 and walked around yelling “four score and seven years ago, bitches!” to random strangers.
Anyway, according to Field (who played Mary Todd Lincoln in the film), she never met Daniel Day-Lewis, but she did meet Mr. Lincoln.
“He met me as his Molly, as he called her. And that’s how we knew each other,” she said.
“After I got the role, there were seven months before we began to shoot and he would text me all the time, in character. I would have to then answer back in the language of the time, which was really hard to figure out, but great fun.”
If he really wanted to stay in character, he would’ve ignored modern conveniences altogether. He should’ve been writing Field long letters with his ink and quill because Lincoln didn’t have texting capabilities. But imagine if he did.
“BRB, Gettysburg Address.”
But Lewis’ crazy method-acting didn’t stop there. Just to keep the part after Liam Neeson bowed out as Lincoln, Field had to go through “some weird hour-long improv” as Mary before she was called and officially offered the role of the famous first lady.
We just hope her contract included an unlimited texting plan.