Entertainment Weekly has obtained the first photos of Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, and the resemblance, as you can tell, is beyond uncanny. The above photo was reportedly taken by a member of the paparazzi on the set of Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s upcoming historical drama about the 16th US president. Day-Lewis, of course, stars as the title character, along with Tommy Lee Jones, who plays Thaddeus Stevens, and Sally Field (Mary Todd Lincoln).
Long known for his immersive approach to method acting, Day-Lewis had reportedly taken things even further to play Lincoln. But according to Spielberg, that wasn’t quite the case. EW explains:
There are numerous reports about Day-Lewis attempting to fully immerse himself in the mindset of someone who lived during the mid-1860s by avoiding the trappings of 21st — not to mention 20th — century life during the shoot, but Spielberg says his star never delved so deeply into character that he refused to acknowledge the modern world. “Daniel was always conscious of his contemporary surroundings,” Spielberg says. “Daniel never went into a fugue state. He did not channel Lincoln. All that stuff is just more about gossip than it is about technique.”
People on set did refer to the actor as “Mr. President,” including Spielberg, but the director says that was just part of the effort to maintain atmosphere. “I was calling [all] the actors by their character names,” he says. “That was something I felt was important to establish a little authenticity, maybe even more for me than for them.”
Lincoln will be released in theaters on November 9th.