The Straits Times
Published on Feb 19, 2013

Steven Spielberg: Working with Daniel Day-Lewis is life-changing experience


No Daniel Day-Lewis, no Lincoln, says director Steven Spielberg.

The casting of the titular role in the movie about the American president, Abraham Lincoln, was one of two crucial first steps he took to bring the film to life. Says the 66-year-old film-maker: "The first was to get a great, great screenplay based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book and the second step was to find an actor to play Abraham Lincoln. For me, it was always Daniel Day-Lewis."

Without the actor's participation, Spielberg adds, he would not have made the film, which opens in Singapore on Thursday. "I would probably have turned the script over to HBO and done a miniseries and I would have just produced."

He says of Day-Lewis, 55: "I have worked with many fine, wonderful actors who all bring different values to their characters. Everybody has a different technique and I don't care how anybody gets to where he needs to go.