Great interview with Steven Spielberg and the process of directing Lincoln, collaborating with Daniel Day-Lewis and focusing on the 13th Amendment in the narrative.


RICK STENGEL: Abraham Lincoln is in many ways the most compelling figure in U.S. history, yet the popular culture around him in terms of movies has been pretty minimal. Why is that?
STEVEN SPIELBERG: It’s one of the big mysteries. They float so many trial balloons with Lincoln’s face every year in the form of advertising, spoofs, parodies, Saturday Night Live sketches, Presidents’ Day commercials. Lincoln has kind of become a caricature. One of the last movies, which I haven’t seen in 15 or 20 years, that was about Abraham Lincoln was in the ’30s, with Henry Fonda—Young Mr. Lincoln. I don’t understand why it’s taken so long for anybody, let alone our group, to bring Lincoln to a movie theater.

You use a fascinating framing device for the movie: the passage of the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery.
The 13th Amendment was critical to Lincoln, because he knew that…

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