Almost Got the Part

Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson admitted that he turned down the role of President Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln, a role that won Daniel Day-Lewis an Oscar. "[My wife] Natasha [Richardson] died in March, and then -- I want to think it was toward the end of April, Steven [Spielberg] got together a reading, and we all sat: Sally Field, John Lithgow. Oh, just great actors. And Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Steven, of course," he recalled to GQ magazine. "We started reading this, and there was an intro, and then I see 'Lincoln:' where I have to start speaking, and I just--a thunderbolt moment. I thought, 'I'm not supposed to be here. This is gone. I've passed my sell-by date. I don't want to play this Lincoln. I can't be him.'"

As for Day-Lewis' portrayal of the late president, "I was thrilled that Daniel played him, and when I saw the film, I was like, 'He's f**kin' Abraham Lincoln. This is perfect. Perfect.'"

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