Perhaps more so than in any other kind of movie, casting is essential in biopics. Which is why historians and cinephiles alike immediately rejoiced when it was first announced that Daniel Day-Lewis had signed on to star in Steven Spielberg's long-discussed period drama Lincoln, about our nation's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. First off, Day-Lewis—a two-time Academy Award winner for My Left Foot (1989) and There Will be Blood (2007)—is one of the best actors of all time, and with that reputation comes instant film fan satisfaction whenever his name gets attached to a new project.
But there's also the fact that both Day-Lewis and old Honest Abe have similar body types: tall, lanky frames with narrow facial structures. Even if the reclusive English actor's performance in Lincoln somehow disappointed (and, having seen the film, we can attest that it most certainly doesn't), there would be zero complaints targeted at Spielberg's choice in actor and the effectiveness of the makeup team in turning Day-Lewis into Abraham Lincoln. Just take a look at the image above—the likeness shared between the two men is striking.
Without ever seeing Lincoln, anyone with half a brain can surmise that, based on casting alone, it's infinitely better than unfortunate past examples of horrible biopic casting like 1956's The Conqueror, in which John Wayne played Genghis Khan. Or the ridiculous upcoming Lifetime movie Liz & Dick, with Lindsay Lohan wrongly portraying Elizabeth Taylor. Casting directors need to ignore those screw-ups and study The 10 Most Uncanny Physical Resemblances in Biopic Movies.