Daniel Day-Lewis took a year to prepare for 'Lincoln'.

The British actor requested 12 months to get into character for his role as the pioneering US president Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's biopic and revealed rather than picking the president apart like a ''mechanic'', he studied everything about him all in one go.

Daniel explained: ''I asked for a year [to prepare for 'Lincoln']. I could still be reading now and for 15 years and not make a dent in the literature about that man.

''One thing I absolutely don't do is dismember the life into its component parts, like a mechanic, and then try and bolt it all together and hope that it functions. I try to approach it all more or less at the same time.''

Daniel, 55, also did a lot of training to get Lincoln's voice spot on as he felt it was a ''personal reflection'' of the historic figure - who was known to speak aloud when he read.

He added to Time Out magazine: ''The voice is such a deep personal reflection of character that I wouldn't even attempt to find it for a considerable period of time. If I'm lucky, I begin to hear a voice.

''That has always been a part of my experience - listening for the sound of the voice in my inner ear. And if that pleases me, and I live with that for a while and the internal monologue feels right, then I go about the work of reproducing it.

''Lincoln always spoke aloud when he read, so that was a lovely clue. I read a lot, I talked to myself a lot.''