It was just over a year ago that it was announced that Daniel Day-Lewis would be the star of Steven Spielberg's Abraham Lincoln film. There's no question that the two-time Oscar-winner is an astonishingly gifted actor, but when you're playing a revered American president there will always be questions about whether you can do justice to a mythic figure in U.S. history -- especially when some people refuse to accept Day-Lewis in the role since he's English. But we think most folks will be willing to look past such minor issues after checking out this first photo of Day-Lewis sporting his beard for "Lincoln." You have to admit, the resemblance is pretty striking -- and rather presidential.
The photo (the first we've seen of the actor as Lincoln) was snapped by Michael Phillips (via Badass Digest), who took the picture presumably while Day-Lewis was enjoying a lunch break during the filming of "Lincoln" in Virginia. While a lot of unofficial on-set photos capture stars at their most unflattering, this casual shot actually gives Day-Lewis a regal, dignified air that's synonymous with most people's impressions of our 16th president. Even in repose, the guy just exudes rugged authenticity.
"Lincoln," which is based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," is said to follow Lincoln during the final months of his life when the Civil War was coming to a close. The film won't open until December 2012, but it already has to be considered an Oscar front-runner simply because of the pedigree of the material, the director and the star -- and that it's not even mentioning the rest of the cast, which includes Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Strathairn and Hal Holbrook. Spielberg has two movies coming next month -- "The Adventures of Tintin" and "War Horse" -- but after seeing this Day-Lewis photo it's hard not to focus on what the director has coming our way next year. We always knew Day-Lewis could play the part. Today, we learned he definitely looks the part, too.
Daniel Day Lewis Rocking The Lincoln Beard [Badass Digest]