If people would only read. On Nov. 9, 2012, The Telegraph reported that Daniel-Day Lewis is being criticized for the high-pitched voice he is giving Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s movie “Lincoln”.
In their criticism of Daniel Day-Lewis’ depiction of Abraham Lincoln’s voice, some American audiences question Daniel Day-Lewis’ “weedy voice”.
“Americans have complained that the Oscar-winning actor has given the 16th president a high-pitched, wavering tone that has been likened to both a 14-year-old boy and Mr Burns, the doddery cartoon character from The Simpsons.”
According to The Telegraph’s article Daniel Day-Lewis faces criticism for giving a voice to Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis said in his defense that he researched the role for a year and that he remained in character throughout the movie.
Anyone who is slightly familiar with Steven Spielberg’s superb work as a film director should know that Steven Spielberg’s creation of Abraham Lincoln for his movie “Lincoln” is based on facts, not fiction.
In the case of the movie ”Lincoln”, Steven Spielberg has worked for a decade in close cooperation with Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, the author of the 2005 book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.
During a Charlie Rose interview with Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Charlie Rose discussed the topic of Daniel-Day Lewis’ walk and high-pitched voice in Steven Spielberg’s movie “Lincoln” when Doris Kearns Goodwin emphasizes how much “He talks like him, walks like him.”
“It’s just astonishing to watch Daniel Day-Lewis. He incorporated Lincoln’s walk … Daniel walked like him, like a laborer, talked like him in a high-pitched voice that could carry over the crowd of ten thousand people and they authenticated that.”
Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin (born Jan. 4, 1943) has not only written the biography of Abraham Lincoln but also other United States Presidents. Her books include Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream (1977), The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga (1987), No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Homefront During World War II (1995), and Every Four Years: Presidential Campaign Coverage (2000).
As a Pulitzer Prize-winning American biographer, historian, and political commentator, she spent years planning and researching materials for her 2005 book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Steven Spielberg who knew Doris Kearns Goodwin, had wanted to make a movie about Abraham Lincoln, and in 2001, DreamWorks bought the filming rights to the biography. (Variety)
Working on a movie for 10 years does not leave anything to chance; especially not if Steven Spielberg is the director.
Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin who worked as a consultant on the film “Lincoln” told Charlie Rose,
“I went to the filming in Richmond and they had created a white house set. And they took me, they opened the door. And here was the White House… I was blown away. I’ve imagined it for 10 years in my life and suddenly the wall paper is as it was. The maps on the wall are the ones that were there. The books he was reading are first edition books. The carpet had been recreated. It’s just amazing … And to see this character, here is my Lincoln, he’s back again.”
According to The Telegraph’s article on Nov. 9, much of the criticism of Daniel Day-Lewis’ depiction of Abraham Lincoln’s voice is based on the audience’s expectations and imagination of what Abraham Lincoln should have sounded like. “I’ve always imagined Lincoln’s voice as deep and resonant to match his place in history”.
Fortunately, a president’s place in history is not determined by his walk or voice but by his accomplishments and legacy. At least Daniel Day-Lewis, Steven Spielberg, and Doris Kearns Goodwin know that. And certainly Abraham Lincoln knew; he was a fervent reader.
‘Team of Rivals’: Lincoln, Doris Goodwin, Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis
The power, legacy of Steven Spielberg’s dyslexia in 60 Minutes: ‘I own my fear’
George Lucas’ near-death experience: One moment in heaven, a lifetime on earth
Philosopher Paul Kurtz’s death at 86: What does it mean to be human?
Princess Diana: Her childhood, legacy, love for Prince Harry, William, the world
The nature of dyslexia: Tom Cruise, Anthony Hopkins, Keira Knightley, Joe Wright