“Lincoln” had its premiere during AFI Fest 2012 presented by Audi at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on November 8, 2012 in Hollywood, California. “Lincoln” was directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and David Strathairn.
Academy Award winning actress Sally Field (“Norma Rae” and “Places in the Heart”) has returned to the big screen in Steven Spielberg’s newest film “Lincoln.” Field has taken on the role of Lincoln’s wife Mary Todd Lincoln – a role that features the complicated woman behind one of the country’s most beloved presidents. Todd lost two sons and her husband. Bereft in loss, she became a spend thrift and was known to visit mediums in search of contacting her lost family. She was given a bad rap in history books, until just recently.
Field dove into intensive research about Mary, hoping to get beyond the rumors and half-truths. She read numerous books, toured Mary’s homes and met with historians and memorabilia collectors. “Everywhere I went, I tried to find pieces of who she was,” said Field.
Field was especially intrigued to have the chance to create the essence of a long and intense marriage, with all its mixed emotions, on screen with Daniel Day-Lewis. Early on, the pair started engaging with one another in a most unusual way: texting back-and-forth in character. “He would send me things like little limericks or notes out of the blue, and we began to build a thread of intimacy,” comments Field.
They met only once before filming began, in Richmond, and in lieu of taking him on a carriage ride as Mary often did with Abe, Field and Day-Lewis went for a stroll, to find that ineffable bond as husband and wife. Though they never formally rehearsed, Field says that from day one on the set, “as far as I was concerned, this was the man that I had been married to for a very long time and was basically driving me crazy.”
Sally Field is a two-time Academy Award winner for performance in Robert Benton’s “Places in the Heart,” and for which she also received a Golden Globe, and Martin Ritt’s “Norma Rae,” for which she received a Golden Globe, along with the New York Film Critics Circle prize, the National Board of Review Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, the National Society of Film Critics honor and Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival. Field has also received Golden Globe nominations for work in “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Absence of Malice,” “Kiss Me Goodbye,” “Steel Magnolias” and “Forrest Gump.” Here many film credits include “Eye for an Eye,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Soapdish,” “Not Without My Daughter,” “The End,” “Hooper,” “Stay Hungry” (her first major film role), as well as “Punchline” and “Murphy’s Romance,” both of which were produced by her production company, Fogwood Films.
Born in Pasadena, California and raised in a show-business family, Field began her career in 1964, in the television series “Gidget.” She went on to star in the “The Flying Nun” in 1967. She starred in three television series by the age of 25. She received Emmy Awards for her title role in the landmark miniseries “Sybil” and for her performance on “ER.” She also received Emmy nominations for her role in Showtime’s “A Cooler Climate” and the NBC miniseries “A Woman of Independent Means,” which she co-produced and for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. Field co-starred in the ABC drama “Brothers & Sisters,” from 2006 to 2011, and for her role as Nora Walker, she received a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Emmy Award as well as two Golden Globe nominations.
Field made her directorial debut in 1996, with the ABC TV movie “The Christmas Tree,” which she co-wrote and which starred Julie Harris. She directed an episode of the HBO miniseries the
Earth to the Moon” and in 2000, made her feature film directorial debut with “Beautiful,” starring Minnie Driver.
In 2002, Field mad her Broadway debut in Edward Albee’s “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?” and in 2004, received rave reviews for her role As Amanda in Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” at The Kennedy Center.
Most recently, Field appeared as Aunt May in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which opened in July of this year.
Field has served on the Board of Directors of Vital Voices since 2002. She has served as Mistress of Ceremony at the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards galas held at The Kennedy Center from 2002 through 2011. She also served on the Board of Directors of The Sundance Institute from 1995 to 2010.
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Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cell phones & no texting, please don’t talk during the film and remove your children if they become a distraction to other audience members. Don’t forget that laughing, crying and cheering are always approved behavior and even encouraged.
-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at SilentHollywood.com