David Strathairn joins Daniel Day-Lewis in Spielberg's 'Lincoln'

6:11 PM PST 06/27/2011 by Sarah Ewald

The actor will play Secretary of State William Seward in the Dreamworks Studio picture.

David Strathairn has been cast in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.

Strathairn will play William Seward, who served as Lincoln’s Secretary of State from 1861 to 1869. Seward was a passionate abolitionist and fiercely loyal to Lincoln as he served in his cabinet during the Civil War.

Strathairn joins the previously-cast Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field on the DreamWorks Studios picture. Day-Lewis will play the titular character, and Field his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.

“Throughout his career, David Strathairn has consistently delivered performances of strength and character. That's why I am so pleased that he will portray the Secretary of State, who became such a dominant figure in Lincoln's ‘team of rivals’ cabinet," director Spielberg said.

Playwright Tony Kushner wrote the screenplay, based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s best-selling book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. The book focuses on how Lincoln worked with his former rivals during his presidency.

Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy are producing. Filming is expected to begin this fall in Virginia. Disney’s Touchstone Pictures distribution label is eyeing a fourth-quarter release date in 2012.

Strathairn won an Emmy for his work in HBO’s Temple Grandin, and was nominated for an Oscar for 2005’s Good Night and Good Luck. Upcoming projects include The Whistleblower with Rachel Weisz.

He is repped by ICM and Madeleine Ryan of Ryan Entertainment.

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