As Gordon-Levitt explains, “When I arrived [on set], he actually was studying Abraham Lincoln’s handwriting. I received a handwritten note from him that was sort of half from him and half from the president. Just the warmest, sweetest thing.” He continues, “I didn’t call him ‘Daniel,’ and he didn’t call me ‘Joe,’ I called him ‘sir,’ and he called me ‘Robert.’”
That doesn’t mean there were any rules about that on set, though. “I had absolutely no trouble believing this was Abraham Lincoln and that that’s who I was talking to. And I should mention he’s not overzealous about it. He’s just really committed. It’s not that we couldn’t talk in between takes and stuff, but you wouldn’t talk about the Lakers. You would talk about, say, ‘Oh, look at this painting on the wall.’ Something within the world. And by the way, these aren’t rules that anybody established or anything. It’s just kind of a feel that you got. I loved it.”
After production on the film had concluded, Gordon-Levitt says, “[I] got to hang out with him and with Steven [Spielberg] and some folks [that] night. That was the first time I ever heard his [real] voice, and when I heard Steven call him ‘Daniel.’”
See the results for yourself when “Lincoln” opens in limited release today and nationwide Nov. 16.