DIRECTOR Steven Spielberg decided Daniel Day-Lewis was perfect for the role of Abraham Lincoln after meeting him in his local pub, it has been revealed.
Screenwriter Tony Kushner (56) has told of how he and Spielberg met the Oscar-winning actor at a pub at the foot of the Wicklow mountains, close to Day-Lewis' home.
And when both men met him, they saw an uncanny likeness to the US president.
After meeting with the Irish-based actor, award winning director Spielberg took a photo of the actor and emailed it to Kushner.
"This silhouette of Daniel against the window -- you would absolutely think you were looking at a young Abe Lincoln", said Kushner, author of the Pulitzer-winner play Angels in America.
Day-Lewis, who arrived in a wheelchair to the set of My Left Foot in the character of Christy Brown, is famed for his ability to really engage with the character he is playing.
Yet Day-Lewis, who won his first Oscar in 1989 for 'My Left Foot' and again in 2007 for 'There Will Be Blood', described his initial hesitation at taking on the role.
"The idea of desecrating the memory of the most-beloved president the country has ever known was just kind of a fearful thing to me," said Day-Lewis.
However, Day-Lewis was soon enthralled by Lincoln who has been described as "the man who everyone and no one knows at once".
"It didn't occur to me that it was possible to breath life into Abraham Lincoln", said Lewis on playing the 16th President of the United States.
"The minute you begin to approach him ... he feels immediately and surprisingly accessible."
English-born but with an Irish father, Day-Lewis was taken to Connemara in the West of Ireland each summer before locating his own family on these shores, describing it as "a secret garden where anything seemed possible -- time out of time."
Spielberg's Lincoln focuses on the former president's chaotic final months in office during the US civil war.
Lincoln is set to be released in Ireland on January 25 2013.