Preparing for the role of a fictional character is relatively easy. You might be able to read the book a film is based on, or you can dive into the script. But at the end of the day, the character is still built out of the actor's imagination. Things are a little more difficult when an actor has to represent a real historical figure.
Some actors will rely heavily on hair and makeup, while others will spend hours watching old films and listening to recordings to perfect the character's tone and mannerisms. One actor actually spent a year living exactly like the hard-rock musician he starred as in The Doors. These actors transformed into historical figures for their films, and the resemblance is creepy.
It Wasn't Just Daniel Day-Lewis' Looks That Freaked People Out
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Day-Lewis is known to be a method actor, but hair and makeup can only go so far. Anyone who has seen Lincoln knows that the strangest part of Day-Lewis' portrayal of former President Abraham Lincoln is the high-pitched voice.
But apparently, Day-Lewis did his homework. There are no recordings, but historians say that others had described Lincoln's voice as "shrill."