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Daniel Day-Lewis Texted His Castmates in Character While Filming ‘Lincoln’

Daniel Day Lewis Lincoln
DreamWorks Pictures

Lincoln‘ star Daniel Day-Lewis is intense as an actor, we know that. He likes to get in character and stay in character. The rumor was that he stayed in character as Abraham Lincoln for a full year prior to the start of production. And this latest story proves he stayed in character all the way through filming. Even when texting his fellow actors.

In the latest issue of Time magazine there is an article titled ‘How the Greatest Living Actor Became Lincoln’ about Daniel Day-Lewis’ process. It’s a fascinating article, perhaps nothing more fascinating than this: he would text his co-stars as Abraham Lincoln. Says Sally Field (who plays his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln):

I’d hear that twinkle-twinkle on my phone, and he would have sent me some ridiculous limerick. He’d sign it, ‘Yours, A.’ I would text back as Mary, criticizing him for the waste of his time when he might have been pursuing something more productive.

LOL, TTYL Abe! It seem foreign and even kind of ridiculous to think that an actor is signing his texts as the character he’s playing in a movie but this is why Daniel Day-Lewis is the best. This is why his performance as Daniel Plainview in ‘There Will Be Blood’ is one of the best acting performances of the last 10-15 years. This is just what he does.

Other notes from the ‘Lincoln’ set:

- Actors with English accents were asked to keep their American accent even when they weren’t shooting for fear it would distract the Irish-born Day-Lewis.
- “There’s no small talk,” says co-star Jared Harris. “You don’t say to him, ‘Hey, did you see the referees blow that call during the Packers game?’”

The article is full of other infamous stories from Daniel Day-Lewis’ acting career including the time he reportedly ran off set during a performance of ‘Hamlet’ because he felt – like the titular Dane – that he actually saw his father’s ghost.

‘Lincoln’ hits select theaters on November 9th and opens nationwide on November 16th.

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