Director Steven Spielberg, joined by star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, participated in the first ever Google+ Hangout of its kind, giving specially picked fans the chance to participate, and the rest of us to watch, as the two discussed and debuted the first full-length trailer for Lincoln, which stars Oscar® winner Daniel Day-Lewis as the former president.
“Daniel does incredible preparation when he tackles any role,” says Spielberg. ”He really honored Lincoln by reading so much about him. Even more than I ever did. And he really came up with his interpretation of Lincoln based on everything he read and everything he experienced just within his own process. And he just delivers Lincoln as I imagine, as we all imagine, Lincoln perhaps was to very many, many people in his life and in his administration.”
The film will center on the final four months of Lincoln’s life, and “treat him like a man, not a monument,” according to Spielberg.
“It was important to me to get a very, very penetrating and thorough look at Lincoln as a man, as a working president,” adds the director. ”We all know Lincoln from sculpture, from statues, from parodies during President’s Day from all these Lincoln commercials. And in a sense, I’ve taken Lincoln very seriously my entire life. And when I read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s amazing and very detailed book, “Team of Rivals,” that was the gauntlet that she threw down that made us all want to equip her research and her enormous admiration for Abraham Lincoln.”
Those four months of Lincoln’s presidency that we’ll experience in the film are when he focused on two historic moments – ending the Civil War, and passing the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery.
“To see him working on a specific action really gives you an idea of what it must have been like to be Abraham Lincoln,” says Spielberg. ”And not just to be him, but to be a member of his family; to be Robert Lincoln, to be Tad Lincoln, to be Mary Todd Lincoln.”
Mary Todd Lincoln, his wife, is played by Academy Award® winner Sally Field in the film, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robert, the oldest son who struggled to find his own place as the only surviving son.
“In the movie, during these four months that the story takes place, Robert very much wants to enlist in the Army,” reveals Gordon-Levitt. ”Because everybody, every single young man his age is fighting for the Union Army or for the Confederate Army, if they were in the South. And his parents don’t want him to enlist. They’ve already lost two sons, and are sort of giving him special treatment to keep him out of the Army, which makes him feel like an outsider, and alienated, and ashamed of himself.”
Gordon-Levitt, a fan of Daniel Day-Lewis, calling him “one of the greatest actors of all time,” says the two-time Oscar® winner personally recruited him for the role via modern day communication.
“He sent me a few text messages particularly saying that he wanted me to play his son, which was quite a moment,” says Gordon-Leviit. ”How could I say no?”
You can check out the first full-length trailer for Lincoln, debuted by Spielberg and Gordon-Levitt, below.
Lincoln is in theaters November 9th, 2012 (Limited) and Nationwide November 16th, 2012.