December 10, 2012 | « back

CHICAGOTRIBUNE.COM – Singer James Taylor suggested for lead role in “Lincoln”

Reporting by: Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by: Jill Serjeant and Lisa Shumaker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Singer-songwriter James Taylor says he doesn’t see the resemblance, but he was pitched — without success — to play the role of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in the new film.

Taylor told a packed audience at the National Press Club on Friday that Oscar-winning musician John Williams — who composed the soundtrack for “Lincoln” — had pushed for Taylor to play the lead role in Steven Spielberg’s new film.

The role of Lincoln in the historical drama ultimately went to Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis.

“John wanted me to play that part. He actually stood up for me there and suggested me at one point,” said Taylor, 64, adding, “It was never going to happen.”

The “Fire and Rain” singer, who has no professional acting experience, said he was flattered that some people thought Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Lincoln reminded them of him. But he did not see much resemblance aside from the fact that they were “tall and somewhat skinny.”

“He doesn’t look like me to me, but I live in here, so I’m apt to notice the difference,” Taylor said.

British-born actor Day-Lewis, who already has two Oscars, is seen as a front runner to take home another golden statuette at the Academy Awards in February.

Taylor said he had no ambitions to go into acting after what he called “an interesting ride” of a performance career in which he essentially played himself.

“This is fine. I’ve spent my life being myself for a living,” said Taylor, a five-time Grammy Award winner.

“There are performers who develop and assume a character that they then play for the public. But I don’t know anyone who is as much themselves publicly for a living as I am,” he said.

Taylor and his third wife, Kim Taylor, campaigned actively for then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. The singer performed in Washington on Thursday evening at the 90th annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree, presided over this year by President Obama and his family.