When you've got a big, sprawling historical epic like Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," all the attention tends to swirl around the lead, particularly when you've got such a magnetic one in the form of multiple Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis playing the man behind the beard.
But who are the men behind the man behind the beard?
"Lincoln" boasts one of the most impressive supporting casts in recent memory, and, since many of them are going untrumpeted in the trailers and media attention surrounding the film, we've got them front and center so you can keep an eye out for 'em as Day-Lewis chews the scenery.
Levitt has followed in some mighty big footsteps this year, playing the heir to the Batman legacy in "The Dark Knight Rises," a young Bruce Willis in "Looper" and now Robert Todd Lincoln, the great man's only surviving son. FUN FACT: Sometime in the year prior to his father's death, Robert Todd fell from a train platform and, with a car moving towards him, he was heroically pulled up and away from certain death by none other than Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes Booth! (It also should be noted that JGL is the only person on this list — which includes several former Oscar nominees! — featured in a photo released from the movie).
This character actor par excellence got an Oscar nod in 2010 for "Winter's Bone," and looks set for another one with his turn in Sundance favorite "The Sessions." In "Lincoln," he plays Robert Latham, a Union Colonel who later went on to help found Lincoln College in 1965. We'll always love him best as Danny McBride's straight arrow brother on "Eastbound and Down," though.
Jackie Earle Haley
Following an Oscar nomination in 2007 for "Little Children" — one of our favorite comeback stories of recent years — this former child star has been racking up a ton of A-list directors recently, from Martin Scorsese ("Shutter Island") to Zack Snyder ("Watchmen") to Tim Burton ("Dark Shadows"). For his turn for Spielberg, he plays Alexander H. Stephens, a wealthy slaveowner from Georgia who became a congressman and later Vice President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Rorschach would not approve, though Freddy Kruger probably would.
Tim Blake Nelson
This classically trained graduate of both Brown University and Juilliard first gained notice, ironically enough, as the dim-witted Delmar in The Coen Brothers' 2000 hit "O Brother Where Art Thou?" For "Lincoln," he plays New York representative Richard Schell from the House of Representatives, although he'd worked with Spielberg before with a small-but-memorable role as a wheelchair-bound jailer in "Minority Report."
It's been a good long while since the "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" star has made much of a showing on the big screen, having devoted most of the last decade to his legal career, a.k.a. "The Practice" and "Boston Legal." He'll be using some of that legal expertise as W.N. Bilbo, a Democratic political operative. Sorry, Tolkien fans, he's not playing Bilbo in "The Hobbit."
Though he made a rather dramatic exit on this past season of "Mad Men," Harris is now one of the President's men, winning the Civil War for Lincoln as Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant (later President Grant). Harris already got a little box office glory with last fall's "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," and next year will try to tap into the "Twilight" audience with a role in YA phenomenon "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones."
For "Lincoln," Pace strays from his usual likability to portray an impassioned Fernando Wood, former Mayor of New York City who became a Copperhead Democratic Congressman sympathetic to the Confederacy. Pace was excellent in the brilliant-but-little-seen 2008 masterpiece "The Fall," and has a role as Elven king Thranduil in the second and third parts of Peter Jackson's nerd Christmas present "The Hobbit," as well as a vampiric gig later this month in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2."
Since his breakout lead performance for The Coen Brothers in 2009's genius black comedy "A Serious Man," Stuhlbarg has yet to find another knockout lead fitting of his talents. He has been making several high profile supporting turns in the likes of "Hugo" and "Men in Black 3." In "Lincoln," you'll spot him as George Yeahman, a Unionist congressman from Kentucky who served during the peak years of the Civil War from 1862 to 1865. We think Stuhlbarg would make a fantastic John Belushi should Todd Phillips' biopic actually come to fruition in the next few years.
Best known for his TV roles on "The Shield" and "Justified," Goggins brings his trademark intensity to "Lincoln" as Ohio's Democratic Congressman Wells A. Hutchins, whose party-bucking vote proved intrinsic in the passing of Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which ultimately abolished slavery. Goggins will also play his part in freeing one particularly trigger-happy slave in this fall's "Django Unchained."
Oyelowo is one actor whose star is definitely on the rise, particularly after his charismatic lead role in George Lucas' World War II Tuskegee Airmen tribute "Red Tails." For "Lincoln," he plays a Union cavalryman named Ira Clark, whose voice is the first heard in the trailer. Always lead with your strengths, that's our motto. This English thesp will next be seen opposite Tom Cruise in "Jack Reacher."
This young buck made a splashy turn as a superpowered psycho in the sleeper hit "Chronicle," and he's already upping his game working with the biggest director in the business, Mr. Spielberg. Even if that happens to be in the not-so-glamorous role of "White Soldier #2" it's still something, and DeHaan has flashier roles in upcoming indie darlings like "The Place Beyond the Pines" and "Devil's Knot."
With his huge build and shy manner, Driver is one of the more interesting up-and-comers in Hollywood today. He is a standout on the current HBO smash "Girls," playing the boyfriend of star Lena Dunham. Besides his role as Samuel Beckwith in "Lincoln," he also has supporting parts in "Frances Ha" for Noah Baumbach and "Inside Llewyn Davis" for The Coen Brothers.
Oh, no! Not President Logan! The former "24" star managed to nab a small role as Judge John A. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of War under Confederate president Jefferson Davis. Jailed for six months after the end of the Civil War, Campbell continued to obstruct Reconstruction in the south long afterwards. Although Itzin is a 30-year vet of the business, we still remember him fondly as the overzealous manager of the Mint Hotel in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." "Let's have lunch!"