Daniel Day-Lewis looks like a million bucks. That is, he looks like 200,000 five-dollar bills. The two-time Oscar-winning actor has to be the early favorite for another statue after a photographer tweeted a picture of the actor looking like the Great Emancipator at a restaurant in Virginia, where’s he’s currently filming Lincoln for Steven Spielberg. It’s not just his Amish-like beard that evokes our sixteenth president, but even Day-Lewis’ eyebrows seem especially Lincolnian. Day-Lewis has been known to crawl deep inside his characters’ skin – even when he’s off screen – so it’s comforting, I think, that he’s made an exception for blue jeans and black sneakers. (As we all know, Honest Abe was a Dockers man.)
Day-Lewis’ Lincoln look is only his latest fun with facial hair. For The Age of Innocence, he boasted impeccable sideburns. In The Crucible, his John Proctor had the Jesus look down. Bill the Butcher had a snidely handlebar mustache, and Daniel Plainview’s milkshake strainer was pure evil incarnate, positioned strategically to conceal his sharp teeth.
But is this his best groomed role to date? For me, Bill the Butcher is tough to beat, but playing someone as iconic as Lincoln might overshadow all his previous fun-with-facial-hair roles. Where does his Lincoln beard rank among his previous face fuzz?