Learning Lincoln

How did Daniel Day Lewis transform himself into an American icon?
3:00 | 11/11/12

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Transcript for Learning Lincoln
playing an american icon, abe lincoln. Daunting, even for daniel day lewis, but taken on these kinds of roles before. So, what does he do between taktake s? How does he communicate with his fellow actors? Here's abc's david wright. Slavery, sir? It's done. Reporter: He's a british actor embodying an american icon. I like our chances now. Reporter: According to the experts, daniel day lewis nailed it. Blood's been spilled to afford us this moment. Now, now, now. I've seen a lot of performances and I've never seen anyone delve as deeply into lincoln's soul. Reporter: Daniel day lewis famously immerses himself in his roles. While filming, "my levft foot," in which he plays a character with cerebral palsy, he remaineded in a wheelchair between takes. While playing hawkeye in "last of the mohicans," he reportedly lived in the wilderness, killing and skinning his own dinner. Stay alive, no matter what occurs. Reporter: As the actor recently told "time" magazine, he got just as deeply into the 16th president. I had a feeling for him in a way I've never been able to feel for a man that I never met. Reporter: On set, steven spielberg addressed him as mr. President. Day lewis did send text messages to other cast members, but signed them "a" for abe lincoln. I try not to dismember a character, a life, into its component parts and work on one area and then another. Reporter: Spielberg purposely waited until after the election to release this movie. Recognizing that lincoln is still politically relevant. ♪ Lincoln ♪ ♪ lincoln ♪ ♪ lincoln ♪ Reporter: From lincoln ck on "snl" to this "daily show" punch line election night. Good news for mitt romney. He's won tonight, we can announce this right now, most of the confederacy. Reporter: Our house is divided, still. Red and blue is still better than blue and gray. Shall we stop this bleeding? Reporter: David wright, abc news, los angeles. "Lincoln," distributed

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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