Amid Oscar buzz for his ‘Lincoln’ role, Tommy Lee Jones sheds light on Thaddeus Stevens
Tommy Lee Jones (Photo: Vera Anderson/WireImage/Getty)
Unlike other actors, Jones' presence is felt yards away. It's both surreal and daunting -- especially since the 66-year-old, six-foot-tall Oscar winner has a reputation for being less than forthcoming with the press. (Read "An illustration of the tight-lipped Mr. Jones.") This day is no different.
Jones makes no qualms, curtly avoiding questions he doesn't want to answer with short "No"s and dismissals. Still, he opens up about his character in "Lincoln" -- radical Republican House leader Thaddeus Stevens, saying, "We have to realize that he's looking at the world from the eyes of a person who's been physically impaired since birth." (Stevens was born with a club foot.) Jones also speaks freely about working with Sally Field (again) and Daniel Day-Lewis, calling both of them "fine actors."
Like Day-Lewis and Field, Jones is getting Oscar buzz for his "Lincoln" role. But when asked what he thinks about the early scuttlebutt, Jones simply says, "I don't have any thoughts on that subject."
[Related: Abraham Lincoln's surprising strength]
Jones as Thaddeus Stevens in 'Lincoln' (Photo: DreamWorks Pictures)
Growing up destitute and fatherless (Stevens' father vanished when he was a young boy), Thaddeus Stevens overcame the odds by getting into Dartmouth and eventually becoming a successful lawyer, and then a congressman. "I was impressed with his mother because she exposed him very early on to books and made that his life, and he responded very well and developed a very keen mind," Jones points out. "And when he went west to Pennsylvania, he was an immediate success as a lawyer and a businessman. So that impressed me."