Actually, there are fewer than three degrees between Meryl Streep and Abraham Lincoln.
Streep’s son-in-law to be, Benjamin Walker, signing on to play “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” The Broadway star of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” is engaged to marry Streep’s daughter, Mamie Gummer. Gummer is currently in the cast of ABC’s “Off the Map,” which shoots on the “Lost” set in Hawaii.
Walker and I ran into each other on Golden Globe night. At the time, he’d tested for the part of Abe Lincoln, who ages from 20 to 55. He asked me to keep it quiet — which I did– lest he jinx getting the role. It was an 8 month process.
It didn’t seem like much of a stretch for him to play the 16th president of the United States. Walker had just spent two years off and on Broadway playing crazy Indian killer prez Andrew Jackson. He is a versatile actor who will now emerge quite quickly as a star of his generation.
You may recall that I’d reported exclusively last year that Walker was all set for “X Men: First Class.” He dropped out when he decided to take “Andrew Jackson” to Broadway. It worked out well: now he stars in his own movie and isn’t part of an ensemble. Good choice. Walker first met with the producers of “Vampire” when they’d seen his “X Men” test and thought he was a star. “Vampire” starts shooting in March.
By the way, at the Critics Choice Awards, Steven Spielberg got quite a laugh about “Vampire Hunter.” He’s making the real “Lincoln,” starring Daniel Day Lewis. But he wished this production well. “It sounds like great fun,” he said.