Robin E. Lee
As Seen In: Lincoln (2012)
Other Significant Work: Civil War reenactment performer specializing in Southern generals and soldiers
Place of Birth: Richmond, VA
That look of shame on Robin E. Lee's face above? That's what happens when, hoping to honor your family's rich Confederate heritage, you audition for a role in Steven Spielberg's prestigious, Civil War-themed biopic Lincoln and land the worst possible job: playing a nobody extra who follows Honest Abe around while wearing the blue gear of the North.
For any other unknown thespian, working with heavyweights like Spielberg and Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis would be a dream come true—for poor Robin, it turned into a historical nightmare. Over the last 10 years, he's been hustling below the Mason Dixon Line as a Civil War reenactment specialist, a career move that honors his great-great-great grandfather, Confederate Army commander Robert E. Lee. Hell, his first name is a nod to the man who's considered to be one of the greatest war minds of all time.
In Lincoln, Lee can be spotted three times, his first scene coming at the film's beginning, when Day-Lewis' Lincoln speaks to two black soldiers—Lee is standing off in the background, looking as if someone stepped on his Dixie flag.
If you happen to see him walking around Hollywood these days (he now lives there, having caught the big-screen bug hardcore), though, you'll notice a sharp change in his disposition. And why's that? Because in his next film, Steve McQueen's forthcoming Twelve Years a Slave, Lee plays a plantation owner's nameless underling. It'll be all smiles, for sure. —MB