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OTRC: Daniel Day-Lewis talks 'Lincoln,' president's life and legacy (Video)

Daniel Day-Lewis appears as President Abraham Lincoln in a scene from Steven Speilberg's 2012 film 'Lincoln,' from Dreamworks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox and Participant Media. Walt Disney Pictures is the distributor. / Daniel Day-Lewis talks to OTRC.com at the premiere of 'Lincoln' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre during AFI Fest in Hollywood on Nov. 8, 2012. (Dreamworks Pictures / Walt Disney Studios / OTRC)

British Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis hopes his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in the new film "Lincoln" will allow viewers to better understand the life of the iconic U.S. president.

The film, which was directed by Steven Spielberg, hit theaters on Friday, November 9. It stars Sally Field as First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and Joseph Gordon as her and the president's son, Robert. "Lincoln" focuses on the U.S. leader's final months in office, during which he pushes to end the Civil War, unite the people - including the politicians who oppose him - and pass legislation that would abolish slavery.

"As somebody who grew towards an understanding of that man's life, and this will remain one of the great privileges of my life that I was invited to do that, I would hope that people in this country would allow themselves to re-imagine that man's life and the significance it had in the history of this country," Day-Lewis told OTRC.com at the film's recent premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

"It's been a remarkably beautiful experience for me to discover that as an outsider and I suppose because he has been mythologized almost to the point of dehumanization, I would love it if people felt that they would understand his life a little bit, through this film," he added.

Day-Lewis recently showed his enthusiasm about another U.S. President - Barack Obama, the nation's first black president, who was re-elected on Tuesday and also currently faces the challenge of united a deeply divided America. The actor channeled fellow Oscar winner Clint Eastwood at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles' Britannia Awards on Wednesday - he addressed an empty chair as the American leader.

The actor earned cheers for his stunt, which he made on stage while accepting the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film.

"No, please, don't get up," he joked, looking at the "Obama" chair. "I know as an Englishman that it's absolutely none of my business but I'm just so very grateful that it was you."

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