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“You need to see us together”: Daniel Day-Lewis Saved His Co-Star From Getting Fired By Steven Spielberg In $275M Movie Because Of Liam Neeson

Daniel Day-Lewis Saved His Co-Star From Getting Fired By Steven Spielberg In $275M Movie Because Of Liam Neeson

Daniel Day-Lewis has been one of the most remarkable presences both on the big as well as small screens. And his best roles of all time include his exceptional performance in Steven Spielberg’s $275 million movie, Lincoln.

Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis

While the movie was a masterpiece thanks to the coupled efforts of both Day-Lewis and his brilliant co-star Sally Field, the perfect casting for the film almost didn’t happen had it not been for the Abraham Lincoln portrayer as he saved Field from getting fired by Spielberg because of Liam Neeson.

Also Read: “I Think I Can Do This”: Tom Hanks Beat Daniel Day-Lewis At His Own Game at the Oscars by Winning Best Actor for $206M Movie That Was Rejected by Acting Legend

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Steven Spielberg Didn’t See Sally Field With Daniel Day-Lewis In Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis, Steven Spielberg, and Sally Field
Daniel Day-Lewis, Steven Spielberg, and Sally Field

Also Read: Daniel Day-Lewis Took Method Acting to Insane Levels, Trapped and Skinned Animals for $75.5 M Film That’s Still Michael Mann’s Only Oscar-Winning Movie

Initially, Steven Spielberg had his mind around having Sally Field play Mary if he directed the Lincoln movie in the future. But when the movie was confirmed to be produced and the casting was underway, the director just couldn’t see the actress opposite the male lead. Revealing how Liam Neeson was the reason why, The Amazing Spider-Man star said,

“There was another actor involved, Liam Neeson. He dropped out. And Daniel Day-Lewis came on board, and I went I knew it would be a battle for many reasons. Steven said, ‘I really saw you with Liam, I don’t see you with Daniel, I just don’t.’”

But Field wasn’t one to give up so easily. Despite knowing that the age difference between her and Daniel Day-Lewis would show, she still wanted to try her best and only backed down when it was confirmed that they wouldn’t look good together.

“I said, ‘Steven, I know all your concerns. I’m 10 years older than Daniel. Lincoln was 10 years older than Mary. But I won’t look it. And Daniel will look old and worn and thin and I will look old and worn and fat, and that’s what they were. I don’t care what I look like; I only care that I will be Mary. It is me, Steven. I won’t let you walk away. You have to test me.’”

And so he did. Spielberg was generous enough to test her, however, when he didn’t see everything play out the way he wanted it to, he had no choice but to call Sally Field how it just wasn’t going to work.

Also Read: “Of course I’d like to work with him”: Now Retired, Daniel Day-Lewis’ Dreamed of Working With Leonardo DiCaprio’s Favorite Director – How Many Movies Did They Make Together?

So How Did Sally Field End Up Scoring Mary’s Role In Lincoln?

Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field in a still from Lincoln (2012)
Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field in a still from Lincoln (2012)

After getting Steven Spielberg‘s call, Field tried her best to let go of the role of Mary and somehow managed to make it through the rest of the day. But little did she know that that wasn’t the end of it all.

“He [Steven Spielberg] called me the next day and said he couldn’t get it out of his mind,” Field recalled. “And he’d spoken to Daniel. And Daniel was generous enough to say to Steven, ‘You need to see us together.’” 

Thus, Daniel Day-Lewis flew from Ireland to Los Angeles, and both Field and him went in for the test. Sharing their first meeting, The Amazing Spider-Man actress said,

“We went off to rooms and he became his early incarnation of this brilliant Mr. Lincoln and I went to a room by myself and became Mrs. Lincoln, and we met the first time as that. We came out of our rooms, and I curtsied and he kissed my hand and I said, ‘Mr. Lincoln,’ and he said, ‘Mother.’ That’s what they called each other.”

First meeting her co-star as Mr. LincolnField wasn’t even surprised or nervous. Instead, they met on such good terms with Day-Lewis walking in to greet her in such a graceful manner that everyone who saw them couldn’t help but be awestruck at their remarkable meeting.

“We went down into the screening room or whatever the hell it was, wherever we were. We did like some weird hour-long improv. I then thanked everyone for allowing me the opportunity and went home, and when I got there the phone was ringing and it was both Daniel and Steven on the phone saying, ‘Will you be Mary?’”

Just like that, thanks to Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field finally bagged the role of Mary and starred opposite the My Left Foot star to give an incredible performance that would be much remembered in the years following.

You can watch Lincoln on Vudu.

Source: Backstage

Written by Mahin Sultan

An enthusiastic and eager learner looking for opportunities to expand her horizons and learning, Mahin Sultan is a hardworking and creative individual with multiplicity of skills and interests. She is fluent in English with a 4.5 months experience as a Content Writing Intern. She is a rather introverted and dorky kinda person at first meetings, but if you get on her good side, don't be surprised when you find her talking animatedly to you, even if it's in the middle of the road. A foodie, she loves to write, and spends her free time either with her nose buried in a good book or binge-watching K-dramas, new movies and TV serials (the awesome ones, obviously).