Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is slowly, but surely, coming together.
DreamWorks announced today in an official press release that Sally Field has been cast as Mary Todd Lincoln.
It might be more accurate to say that she’s been recast, since Field has been associated with the film since 2007. But as we saw with Liam Neeson, just because you’ve hung on for years doesn’t mean you can fit with the new shooting schedule.
Spielberg hinted at this with his lovely quote about Field: “I’m excited to be working with Sally for the first time. I’ve admired her films and she has always been my first choice to portray all the fragility and complexity that was Mary Todd Lincoln.”
Field is equally excited, which bodes well for just how much passion will be infused into this long delayed project. “To have the opportunity to work with Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis and to play one of the most complicated and colorful women in American history is simply as good as it gets.”
Field is a great pick for the part. I’m very curious to see how Lincoln portrays Mary Todd Lincoln who is arguably one of the most loathed figures in American history. Few historians give her a fair shake, and either portray her as a nagging and social climbing bitch, or a madwoman who Lincoln was forced to care for. (She was later committed, indicating she did have problems, or may have just finally snapped after losing several children, living through a war, and seeing her husband assassinated.) She was complicated. So was her husband. Field is a savvy actress, so I don’t think she’ll let her Mary Todd Lincoln be shoved into one category or the other. I imagine Daniel Day-Lewis will have her back in that, since I doubt his Lincoln will be the usual honest and folksy portrayal.