Minnesota native moved by work with Day-Lewis on 'Lincoln'

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Alexandria native and "Lincoln" star John Hawkes says he was mesmerized by the actor he'll likely be competing with for a Best Actor Oscar.

Hawkes -- who's earned Oscar buzz for his role as man almost completely debilitated by polio in "The Sessions" -- told me in a post-production interview that he was riveted by Daniel-Day Lewis in the short time they worked together on "Lincoln."

"I had one day of filming with Daniel, and it wasn't a scene that required him to be emotional or chew scenery -- but it was a phenomenal thing to see," Hawkes said. "He embodied the character unlike I've seen any actor embody a character. It was a moving thing to be around that day."

Day-Lewis, of course, plays the 16th president of the United States in Steven Spielberg's historical epic. Hawkes, along with James Spader and Tim Blake Nelson play at trio of political operatives (forerunners of lobbyists) who are trying to secure the swing votes for Lincoln to pass the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery.

Spader told me during a recent interview that he's thrilled that Hawkes -- who earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for 2010's "Winter's Bone" -- is finally getting the visibility he deserves after more than 25 years in the business.

"He's certainly not under the radar anymore," Spader said. "The last few years John has been a huge presence in films and television. He was an absolute delight to work with -- both he and Tim, who I shared half of my scenes with. Both are funny and wonderful gentlemen away from the set as well."

Hawkes was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award Monday for Best Male Lead for "The Sessions." Hawkes previously won a Best Supporting Male Spirit Award for "Winter's Bone," and was nominated last year for Best Supporting Male for "Martha Marcy May Marlene."

Bring Me The News news curator Tim Lammers is also a nationally-syndicated movie journalist whose work appears on more than 50 TV affiliate web sites in the U.S. Tim has interviewed more than 1,000 major actors and filmmakers throughout his career, and locally, he reviews films on "KARE 11 Today" and WCCO Radio. Tim's work is also featured on his website, StrictlyCinema.com.

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