'Lincoln' First Look: Daniel Day-Lewis Becomes Honest Abe

First official photo of Day-Lewis in Steven Spielberg's Abraham Lincoln biopic shows the actor's uncanny resemblance to the 16th president.

Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the 16th President of the United States — Daniel Day-Lewis!

After drawing with his left foot, butchering New Yorkers in the 1800s and selling oil and drinking milkshakes, the two-time Academy Award winner has set his sights on the presidency for his next role. Day-Lewis is the star of Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," and Entertainment Weekly has an all-new photo of the actor in character as Honest Abe — our first official look at Day-Lewis as Lincoln following paparazzi shots unveiled last December.

Accompanying the photo is an interview between Spielberg and EW in which the Oscar-winning director reveals that "Lincoln" takes place during the last four months of the president's life, prior to his assassination by John Wilkes Booth.

"Our movie is really about a working leader who must make tough decisions and get things done in the face of overwhelming opposition," said the filmmaker. "[The film begins with] Lincoln's realization that the Emancipation Proclamation, the thing he is most known for, was simply a war powers act that would easily be struck down by any number of lawyers after the cessation of hostilities after the Civil War ... He needed to abolish slavery by constitutional measure -- and that's where we start."

Despite Day-Lewis' reputation for fully immersing himself in his characters — a terrifying thought for anyone who encountered his Daniel Plainview on the "There Will Be Blood" set, one imagines — Spielberg insists that the actor "never went into a fugue state. He did not channel Lincoln. All that stuff is just more about gossip than it is about technique."

Spielberg did, however, refer to Day-Lewis as "Mr. President," but only in an effort to maintain authenticity on the set. "I was calling [all] the actors by their character names," he revealed. "That was something I felt was important to establish a little authenticity, maybe even more for me than for them."

"Lincoln," starring Day-Lewis and an all-star cast including Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field, hits theaters November 9.