Since it was released last Friday, critics have been losing their damn minds over Steven Spielberg's Abraham Lincoln biopic, Linkin'. In particular, notorious method actor Daniel Day-Lewis has earned raves for his turn as the President.
Indeed, if the complex portrait that emerges from this timely New York Magazine profile of Sally Field (who plays Lincoln's wife Mary Todd in the film), is any indication—a book "with a modest cover" and "beautifully tortured engravings inside" serves as an extended metaphor for the actress—it seems the only actor gifted enough to portray Sally Field is notorious method actor Daniel Day-Lewis.
Here's what we have learned:
1. The absolute, no question last thing Steven Spielberg wanted in this movie was Sally Field. She eventually landed the part probably just so Steven Spielberg would stop receiving midnight phone calls from "Mary Todd teeheehee."
Spielberg called and told her he couldn't give her the part. "He said, ‘We're not wearing prosthetics. The lighting will be harsh.'
Spielberg agreed to a screen test, then rejected her anyway.
2. There is a chance that Sally Field believes Daniel Day-Lewis literally is Abraham Lincoln. It was previously reported that Day-Lewis sent Field text messages in character as Abraham Lincoln. ("What is this infernal calculation device. How do I do a question mark/.") Now we've learned that very first thing he and Field did upon meeting was improvise as Lincoln and Mary Todd for an hour, in front of a room of people.
When the day arrived, she was led to a seat in the studio lobby. "I heard commotion," she remembers, "and looked up, and across the lobby came my darling Mr. Lincoln. He smirked at me, and I smirked right back. I gave him my hand, I looked up and said ‘Mr. Lincoln,' and he said ‘Mother.' That's what they said to each other. I felt this audible hush in the room." For the next hour or so, they improvised as the First Couple.
Can you imagine talking to someone for an hour as yourself, let alone as Mary Todd or Abraham Lincoln?
"Hello. I am your husband. Do you recognize me?"
"Hello. Yes. How are the slaves?"
"I am crazy; our son is dead."
"I am very tall; it is the olden days."
3. In order to become Mary Todd, Sally Field stared at portraits of Mary Todd, and then Sally Field was Mary Todd.
Following that first Method mind-meld, Field not only read the letters and stared at the portraits...
4. Sally Field only weighs one hundred pounds. Sally Field weighs less than an adult male bullmastiff. A stack of nine 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops weighs half as much as Sally Field. Sally Field could ride safely in this child's carseat.
At five-foot-two and 100 pounds, she was too cute to be sexy-"sweet but unremarkable," per one profile-and tainted by TV.
5. After gaining 25 pounds—ONE QUARTER OF HER WEIGHT—for the role of Mary Todd, Sally Field's teeny tiny body could not handle the added load.
...she gained 25 pounds, a quarter of her weight, gulping ProGain twice daily until her waistline matched Mary's and her knees required surgery.
Imagine an ant carrying a Ritz cracker on its back. That is Sally Field carrying a little belly pudge in Lincoln.
6. Sally Field worries that notorious flibbertigibbet Hillary Clinton hasn't given any thought to what she will do after she has grown too old for her party girl lifestyle.
"I worry about how hard she's working. I want her to look at where she's going next."
7. One time Hillary Clinton wore army pants and flip-flops, so Sally Field bought army pants and flip-flops.
While paying for her Argosy purchases, Field asks the woman at the counter about a framed vintage poster propped up beside her...It turns out that Clinton herself bought one exactly like it when she visited the store. It costs $100. Field decides to buy it.
8. Writers are clamoring for Sally Field to die, so that they can write funny obituaries for her.
For the actress whose obituary may well start with her second Oscar acceptance speech...
9. Sally Field is the chatty aunt who gets into a real cutesy story-time swing with salesclerks. This is what happens when she goes hunting for a portrait of Mary Todd:
"They paid so much attention to him," Field stage-whispers. "Didn't they realize that his real worth was standing right beside him, just much shorter? Mary's what I want, for God's sake!"
Mary isn't listed separately. "It would have to be ‘Family,' " suggests the saleswoman. "Family's good," says Field. "We like family."
10. The average person's favorite Sally Field movie is a Robin Williams movie that Sally Field happened to be in.
On the antique elevator leading us there, the operator is the only store employee to recognize Field. He asks bashfully for her autograph, and she gladly obliges. Which role does he like her in? "It's got to be Mrs. Doubtfire," he says of her role as the cross-dresser's wife.
She seems like sunshine, though. What a nice lady.
[New York // Image via Getty]