Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln, see One to Watch (Lincoln).
Stuff reports, “A towering figure such as Abraham Lincoln, who stood 1.95 metres and was one of history’s master orators, must have had a booming voice to match, right? Not in Daniel Day-Lewis’ interpretation.” I agree. Lincoln had a soft voice and was not noted as an especially good speaker. His famous Gettsyburg Address was rubbished at the time and actually missed by many there.
“Day-Lewis, who plays the 16th president in Steven Spielberg’s epic film biography Lincoln, which goes into wide release this weekend, settled on a higher, softer voice, saying it’s more true to descriptions of how the man actually spoke…There are numerous accounts, contemporary accounts, of his speaking voice. They tend to imply that it was fairly high, in a high register, which I believe allowed him to reach greater numbers of people when he was speaking publicly,” Day-Lewis said in an interview. “Because the higher registers tend to reach farther than the lower tones, so that would have been useful to him.”
Lincoln doesn’t open in New Zealand until on 31 January. (Weeping sound).
Looking at photographs of Lincoln at the time, one can see the tremendous stress and strain of the Civil War that aged him terribly. He also suffered from a thyroid disorder, cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 2B that is perhaps responsible for his height, protruding ears and other extremities that gave him such an odd physical appearance. He was said to have a very idosyncratic walk (John Cleese?).
Here is a list of Lincoln’s maladies:
- Lincoln’s body shape, i.e. his height, long limbs, big feet, leanness, high voice, flat feet, sunken chest.
- Lincoln’s sagging face, that witnesses mistakenly thought was sadness or depression.
- Lincoln’s bumpy lips and big lower lip.
- The large bump on Lincoln’s right cheek.
- Lincoln’s fatigue, headaches, fainting, and cold hands & feet in his last months.
- Lincoln’s intermittently drooping eyelids.
- Lincoln’s constipation.
- Lincoln’s high voice.
- Lincoln’s propensity to lie on the floor when reading, and rest his feet on a table when sitting.
- Lincoln’s asymmetric face and homeliness.
- Lincoln’s loose-jointedness.
- The death of three of Lincoln’s sons before age 20, and, probably, his mother’s death at 34.