Director Steven Spielberg and actor Joseph-Gordon Levitt joined a Google Hangout Thursday to premiere the trailer for their upcoming film — the biopic Lincoln — and chat with fans. You can watch the full trailer here.
During the chat, Spielberg and Gordon-Levitt, who plays the 16th president’s son Robert Todd Lincoln, put a lot of emphasis on the movie’s portrayal of Abraham Lincoln as a man — just “a normal guy,” Gordon-Levitt said — instead of as the perfect deity of a leader that he’s often depicted to be.
The film takes place during the final four months of Lincoln’s life, when the president was focused on ending the Civil War and passing the 13th Amendment. Spielberg said that viewers will “have to bring a little bit of context” and know their history going into the movie. “There aren’t huge action scenes of the Civil War.” The director hopes the film sheds light on the “weight Lincoln has to bear when the entire Constitution is in jeopardy.”
Gordon-Levitt spoke highly of his costar Daniel Day-Lewis who plays the title role: “All I had to do was pay attention to him, and I was sucked right into this world,” he said. Gordon-Levitt also revealed that “he’s quite a texter, that Mr. Daniel Day-Lewis.” Via text the actor told Gordon-Levitt that he wanted him to play his son.
Among the chat participants was a high school history teacher, who thanked Spielberg for making movies that make her job easier. Gordon-Levitt responded by giving credit for his interest in history to his high school A.P. U.S. History teacher.
This isn’t the first time the entertainment business has tried out Google Hangout for promotion — this latest session follows Taylor Swift’s announcements about her new album via the video chat tool last month.
Lincoln begins rolling out in theaters on Nov. 9.