Sally Field was offered the role of Mary Todd Lincoln in 2005, but a major development during the project's evolution almost jeopardized her part in the Steven Spielberg film "Lincoln."
replaced Liam Neeson as Abraham Lincoln, and Spielberg questioned how
well the couple would match up on screen. Mary Lincoln was nine years
younger than her husband; Field, at 66, is 10 years older than
"I always knew I'd have to stand up for myself when
it came down to it," Field said. After Day-Lewis had been signed — about
a year before filming began — she urged Spielberg to test her for the
part. "He generously agreed." Spielberg then decided he needed to see
the two actors together on screen; according to Field, this second test
would afford him "his first real exploration into who and what Mary
was." But there was one problem: Field was in Los Angeles, and Day-Lewis
was in Ireland.
Day-Lewis, a two-time Oscar winner for his
portrayals of Christy Brown in "My Left Foot" and Daniel Plainview in
"There Will Be Blood," "graciously and wonderfully" traveled from
Ireland to Los Angeles to do the test with her, she said.
Field said she used "every bit of life that I know" to bring Mary to the screen.
the time she returned home from the studio, her phone was ringing;
Spielberg and Day-Lewis were on the line, together, telling her that she
was indeed their Mary.
In production notes for the film,
producer Kathleen Kennedy says that, in many respects, Field "had one of
the most difficult parts in the movie. A lot has been written about
Mary's distress not only over her lost children (only one of her four
sons reached adulthood) but also at the incredible sadness of the war.
Sally could have done something very predictable with that. Instead, she
found an illuminating restraint and complexity. You understand that
what she was going through was overwhelming, but also you see how hard
she worked to pull herself up by the bootstraps to support her husband
and be the nation's first lady."
"I read five biographies of
Mary," she said in a telephone interview from her home in New York. One
of them, Catherine Clinton's "Mrs. Lincoln: A Life," she calls her
bible. Field also read Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals: The
Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," from which the movie was adapted.
books about the era, and Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women," completed
Field's syllabus. "I was trying to get a sense of where women were at
the time — their mores and behavior. I was looking particularly for
women's voices," she said.
"Mary Todd Lincoln was a feisty
little thing. She was intelligent and ambitious when women were not
allowed to have any voice, anywhere. She was a product of her time and
also ahead of her time. She had a sense of her own importance — that she
had a contribution to make. And she would not go away and shut up,"
Field has played another feisty real-life character:
union organizer Crystal Lee Jordan in the movie "Norma Rae." That role
earned Field her first best actress Oscar. Other feisty characters she
has played: Edna Spalding in "Places in the Heart,Posts with indoor tracking
system on TRX Systems develops systems that locate and track personnel
indoors." for which she earned her second Oscar; M'Lynn Eatonton in
"Steel Magnolias"; and Mrs. Gump in "Forrest Gump."
each character's voice is unique, with varying degrees of "feisty," they
all share with Mrs. Lincoln a gumption and resilience deeply rooted in
the American experience.The stone mosaic
comes in shiny polished and matte. Field's research showed that the
16th president's first lady was far more than an extravagant shopper or
sufferer of nervous maladies.
"No one really knows whether Mary
(Lincoln) had any type of nervous disorder that, had she lived in a
different era, might have been diagnosed. No one knows whether Mr.
Lincoln was depressive.A specialized manufacturer and supplier of dry cabinet, There seems to be evidence that he had massive depressive episodes, as did Mary.Find a great buy mosaic
Art deals on eBay! Clearly, they had an emotionality that linked them;
she understood his darkness in a way that perhaps no one else did. She
had such undying faith in his brilliance."
The cast and crew
were in Richmond and Petersburg last fall filming the Spielberg
movie,Find detailed product information for Sinotruk howo truck. which focuses on the last four months of Lincoln's life.
with Spielberg was fabulous, Field said. "He's an amazing artist, an
extraordinary master. I will never have another experience like this;
I'll never feel as nurtured and respected as I did on this film — by
both Daniel and Steven … and with all the actors. It will never happen
again. I think we all feel lucky to have been in the right place at the
right time in our careers to be included in this group."
said she loved Richmond and explored quite a bit in her downtime. "I
really got to know the markets," she said. "I had a rental car with no
GPS, and drove out to the fabulous Whole Foods. When I came out, there
was a rainstorm. … I didn't have an iPhone then, just a BlackBerry
without GPS. I had to call my son in New York and say, 'Sam, I'm so
lost. It's raining so hard, and I can't see where I'm going.'"
determining her location, the good son guided his mother from Short
Pump back to her room at The Jefferson Hotel downtown. Although Field's
research helped her understand Mary Todd Lincoln, and Joanna Johnston's
costumes helped transform her into the first lady, Field had to gain 25
pounds for the role.