Finding The Character’s Voice

Dave Calhoun interviewed Daniel Day Lewis about his role as Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.
There’s been a lot of talk about the voice he gives Lincoln, a soft, slightly high, conversational lilt that draws people in rather than declaims to them.
Daniel Day Lewis:
“The one thing I absolutely don’t do is dismember the life into its component parts, like a mechanic, and then try and bolt it all together and hope that it functions.  I try to approach it all more or less at the same time.
The voice is such a deep personal reflection of character that I wouldn’t even attempt to find it for a considerable period of time.  If I’m lucky, I begin to hear a voice.  That has always been part of my experience – listening for that sound of the voice in my inner ear.  If that pleases me, and I live  with that for a while and the internal monologue feels right, then I go about the work of reproducing it.  Lincoln always spoke out aloud when he read, so that was a lovely clue.  I read a lot, I talked to myself a lot.”

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