The Irish actor is famous for his fixed method acting and he remained in character throughout the shoot, even asking the cast and crew on Steven Spielberg's period movie to address him as Mr. President on set.
Gordon-Levitt landed the role as Lincoln's son Robert after Day-Lewis personally asked for The Inception star to be cast, and he received a special note from the veteran once the deal was signed and sealed.
Gordon-Levitt says, "He gave me a letter, a handwritten letter written in old-fashioned fountain pen on old-fashioned stationery. And from what I understand, he actually studied Abraham Lincoln's penmanship and he wrote it sort of as himself, sort of as Lincoln and he signed it A/D, so Abraham and Daniel.
"It was amazing. He was just welcoming me to the job and I think he wanted to extend a warm welcome because then when I met him personally... it was, 'Hello Robert', and not very warm because their (Lincoln and his son's) relationship is not very warm, and I said, 'Hello, sir'."
Gordon-Levitt wasn't the only castmember to receive communications from Day-Lewis as the President - Sally Field, who portrays his onscreen wife Mary Todd, exchanged text messages with her co-star as the historical couple for months before cameras began rolling.
The MTV Movie Awards this year showed us a lot of, well, stuff. It wasn't all bad, and it wasn't all good; but watching the awards show was an experience. Some people got awards, and a few of those awards were actually ones that they didn't make up on the spot. But we're here to bring you the best and worst moments from this year's big dance. In case you missed it, or didn't!
Best Red Carpet Moment:
Perks of Being a Wallflower Trailer Debut. The long-awaited film from the book with the same name is sure to be a hit among the MTV-and-older set. The book was nearly universally loved, so to see the trailer released (finally!) after years of waiting for the film is pretty exciting.
Get More: Nina Dobrev, Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, 2012 Movie Awards, New Movies
Worst Moment of Attempted Charlie Sheen Relevancy:
Every reference that MTV made to the man. Seriously, that's enough.
Best High-Fashion Blood-Splatter Dress:
Next: Pork pie hats and dog buttsBest Unsolicited Anger Moment:
Mark Wahlberg, getting angry at the random, inaudible person in the audience. I hope he said hi to his mother for Mark.
Onscreen Dirtbag. Because was that really the only name they could think of for this?
Best Audition for a Buster Keaton bio-pic:
Josh Hutcherson's hat
Best Impression of an '80s-Era Aerosmith Microphone:
Wiz Khalifa's microphone stand.
Next: Elvira wigs and Johnny DeppWorst Intro to a Category:
Best Kiss. Dog butthole jokes. America. COME ON.
Kristen Stewart's. Homegirl's dress was FIRE, y'all.
Best Middle-Aged Woman:
Joe Perry and his Elvira wig. (Steven Tyler's bellbottoms are really jealous, so let's not talk about it too much.)
Best Award Moment:
gfjhfduibhfdiuhfsiugdfh. I mean, Johnny Depp. Sorry, I type his name and have a reaction. Every time. That Johnny Depp; man, what a career, eh? He's like, some super talented fella, apparently! The whole intro reel was just radical and reminds the world that Johnny Depp is still totally the man. And to follow up with Johnny performing with The Black Keys? Be still my heart. That was one of those old school-style MTV moments that reminds you of the networks' heyday.
Get More: The Black Keys - Gold on the Ceiling featuring Johnny Depp (Live), Music, More Music Videos
Next: Fassbender is FassBETTER!Worst Use of a Joel McHale:
Joel McHale as Lester Boonshaft. If you have a Joel McHale, and you have an archer's uniform, why is there not more flitting about in tights and perhaps a remake of Robin Hood: Men in Tights?
Best Michael Fassbender:
Michael Fassbender. Just for being Fassbendery. Also I had no idea that Fassbender could get FassBETTER and then I saw him with a beard. And I won't make a d**k joke, I promise... even though I've seen Shame and know it is a glorious member of society.
Best Award Acceptance:
Elizabeth Banks for Best Transformation, featuring the boys from Magic Mike. It was stiff competition, but Joe Manganiello's shaft dance was truly a revelation.
Get More: MTV Shows
Next: Dark Knights and Ginger LadiesBest Earnest Moment:
Emma Stone. Golly gosh, girl. Not only are you sassy, adorable, hilarious, and a fellow ginger, but you also name-dropped another one of my Head Queen Goddess Boss Ladies, Gilda Radner. I think it's safe to say you deserve the honor of being a fellow Head Queen Goddess Boss Lady (even though this Trailblazer Award seems a bit of an odd choice)... Welcome, girl! You're America's Girl Crush.
The Dark Knight Rises. I JUST WANT TO SEE THE S**T OUT OF THIS MOVIE, YOU GUYS. And oh, hi, hello to you, too, attractive human specimen Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Get More: 2012 Movie Awards, New Movies
So that was the 2012 MTV Movie Awards. Are we a better or worse nation for it? Only time will tell.
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
[All images via MTV]
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1. This Weekend's Box Office Determines Our Future.
The stakes could not be higher: the future of our country. Okay, that may be overstating it. But here's how I see the various scenarios playing out:
If The Expendables Finishes First
Biggest Winner: Jason Statham, who still has twenty years left on his action career.
Biggest Loser: The guys who thought this would be a good date night.
Future Impact: The Expendables 2, featuring Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme as the bad guys. Cameos from Vin Diesel and The Rock.
If Eat Pray Love Finishes First
Biggest Winner: Tourism. Who else is up for a year off?
Biggest Loser: Oprah and the women who thought this would be a good date night.
Future Impact: An Eat Pray Love sequel in 3-D! The food and lovin' come right out at ya!
If Scott Pilgrim Finishes First
Biggest Winner: We, the people.
Biggest Loser: Fans of movies without CGI flourishes.
Future Impact: It's not going to happen. But if it did it could possibly send a message to the studios about innovation and creativity having merit. So yeah, don't hold your breath.
2. Put Mesrine: Killer Instinct On Your Radar.
There's a French film headed your way in the form of a limited release next weekend, it's the dramatic rendering of Jacques Mesrine, a hardened criminal from the '60s and '70s that terrorized France, Canada, and the United States. I hadn't heard of Monsier Mesrine before I headed into the theater, but yowsers, he's on my radar now. The film starts a bit slow, and there are parts that are formulaic, but it ends in a flurry, and it's only part one of two. This guy did so much damage he requires over four hours of narrative! To be clear, he was a monster. But the story is fascinating, especially if you go in cold. Between this and Un Prophète French cinema is on a violent roll.
3. Was Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore The Worst Idea of the Year?
It's been a banner year for terrible ideas. Consider:
Still, you have to hand it to Warner Bros., they waited nine years to bring the sequel to the big screen. Think of the implications of that, the kids who saw it when they were nine years old are now eighteen. Do you think they rushed out to catch this one on summer break after graduating from high school? It's as if they completely missed what gives a sequel an advantage: familiarity. When you wait nine years you’re clearly hoping for a whole new crop of youngsters to see your movie. But then why make a sequel? See? It’s a riddle wrapped inside an enigma stuffed inside a bad idea. Could this have been a money laundering scheme? Where did the $85 million go? How did they spend that much? I have so many questions about Cats & Dogs 2 but I know it will never be heard from again. Could we get the people behind Who Killed The Electric Car? or An Inconvenient Truth to do some investigative reporting on this one? I could see a documentary on this weighty topic sweeping though Sundance. My ideas for potential titles on said documentary include Setting Money on Fire and The Sequel That Wasn’t.
4. Rian Johnson's Looper Will Be Just Like if Jumper Was a Good Movie!
I've found much to love in Rian's first two films, Brick and Brothers Bloom. These are clever films, though painfully underrated; I highly recommend renting either of them. Brick shows off early (vintage) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it's noir meets the drama of high school. Brothers Bloom is all about the con game -- Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, and Mark Ruffalo provide both laughs and poignancy. You can't put a price on poignant, can you?
Now where was I? Ah, yes, the promise of Looper. The plot looks like this:Set in a near future where time-travel allows a group of hired guns (called Loopers) to eliminate the targets of their crime-lord employers from the future, will begin shooting in January.
My one worry would be that Bruce Willis' assassin character will be too close to his work in Lucky Number Slevin and the time travel aspect definitely brings up images of Twelve Monkeys. But I'm willing to take that chance because Rian Johnson is going to win one of those Best Director statues one day, and I want to get in on the ground floor of his fandom. Plus, the concept of time travel assassins remains compelling, no matter how much Hayden Christensen and company booted the last attempt.
On that note, I hope you all have a great weekend, full of very little time travel! Check out last week's Movie Musings here
Laremy is the lead critic and senior producer for a website named Film.com. He's also available on Twitter.