Jackie Earle Haley is definitely making the rounds with the great filmmakers since his Academy Award nomination-bolstered comeback, and is now rounding the bases from Scorsese on around to Spielberg. Joining the ever-growing Lincoln cast, Haley has taken the role of Alexander Stephens, the confederate vice president who vehemently opposed Lincoln’s emancipatory policies. There’s no word on how large the role is, but Stephens as a figure could definitely inspire a meaty role.
Haley’s… unique look will certainly work for a politician who was incessantly described as sickly, with a shrill voice. The man struggled with health problems that limited his weight and made him a small, thin figure despite his great power. He was also a man of great contradiction, as he grew up from tragedy to become a successful lawyer that often volunteered to take on cases others wouldn’t, including ones that kept slaves from being put to death. He had a philanthropy streak that pretty much bankrupted him, but educated 100 children of all races and housed homeless people. He’s also the man who made one of the most flat-out fucked up statements ever uttered in American political discourse:
“Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.”
Definitely a complicated role for an actor to tackle.
As I am for the other wirey, odd-looking actor cast in the film, I’m excited for Jackie to be continually moving up with his career. Acting against Daniel Day Lewis in one of the most anticipated biopics made in recent history will be a real achievement.
I can’t wait to start seeing all these guys in costume.
source | Deadline
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