Weather Updates

Sally Field plays Mary Todd Lincoln, an ‘underappreciated’ first lady

Daniel Craig;Javier Bardem

Daniel Craig;Javier Bardem

storyidforme: 39943593
tmspicid: 14743475
fileheaderid: 6726997

box office

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters (in millions):

1. Skyfall $87.8

2. Wreck-It Ralph $33.1

3. Flight $15.1

4. Argo $6.7

5. Taken 2 $4

6. Here Comes the Boom $2.6

7. Cloud Atlas $2.53

8. Pitch Perfect $2.5

9. Man With the Iron Fists $2.49

10. Hotel Transylvania $2.4

Updated: December 13, 2012 10:38AM

While Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” was packing in crowds over the weekend, one person stayed away from the theaters telling the story of Honest Abe.

That would be his Mrs.

Sally Field, who plays Mary Todd Lincoln, says she really doesn’t like watching herself on the big screen. “Now that I’ve reached a certain age,” she says with a laugh, “it’s harder to look. I wasn’t ever good with seeing myself on a TV screen.”

But studying the president’s wife was a great joy for Field. “She’s one of the most under-examined and underappreciated women in American history,” she says. “I learned that if there hadn’t been a Mary Todd, there wouldn’t have been an Abraham Lincoln. She contributed so much to what Abraham Lincoln ultimately was.”

Field and Daniel Day-Lewis, who played Lincoln, built their relationship by getting to know each other not as actors but as the historical couple.

“I had to create a marrage with this man where you are intimate on every single level of your being,” she says. “So we texted each other totally in character to build that level. It was very difficult to do because you had to figure out how to say what you wanted to say as someone else. We did this over seven months. But there were many times I wanted to call him up and say, ‘How would I say this?’ ”

Released in just 11 theaters, including Chicago’s AMC River East, “Lincoln” took in $900,000 over the weekend — a whopping average of $81,818 a cinema. But the big winner was Daniel Craig’s “Skyfall,” hauling in $87.8 million in U.S. theaters for a record James Bond opening.

Cindy Pearlman,
Big Picture News Inc.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.