Daniel Day-Lewis has a reputation for a certain shyness before the press, but he was downright loquacious backstage after winning the award for actor in a drama, for his role in "Lincoln." Asked about his inspiration for playing the Civil War-era president, Day-Lewis said it was fear of failure that motivated him. "The last thing I wanted to do was go down in flames having desecrated the memory of the greatest president in the history of this country," said the actor. "Fear was certainly something I was aware of." He turned philosophical as a reporter asked him what he'd say to Lincoln if he met him. "I'd probably end up not saying a word," then after a pause. "The thing I'd have been more fascinated by, what we don't know, is what he would have done during the period after the war to bring about Reconstruction." As for the question on everyone's mind: Did the actor or others at his table know Bill Clinton was coming on stage? Day-Lewis flashed a sly smile. "A couple of us. I didn't know when, though." The actor, who won a Globe five years ago for his portrayal of an oil speculator in "There Will Be Blood," said that he felt it was more than just star power that made Clinton's presence at the Globes unique. "I haven't had the chance to find a corner somewhere and reflect on that moment when he spoke about our film," he said. "But what an incredible privilege for a Lincolnian scholar in his own right to speak about our film in that way."
Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times