"We started reading this, and there was an intro, and then I see 'Lincoln:', where I have to start speaking, and I just (had) a thunderbolt moment. I thought, 'I'm not supposed to be here. This is gone. I've passed my sell-by date. I don't want to play this Lincoln. I can't be him'... I said, 'Steven, you have to recast this now... this is not for me. I can't explain it. It's gone'." Liam Neeson on why he turned down the chance to play Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's hit movie. The role eventually went to Daniel Day-Lewis and his performance earned him his third Oscar.