Thaddeus Stevens on Screen

Thaddeus Stevens is one of those names of which I know a fair bit, but whose image is always a surprise to me. I wouldn’t be able to pick him out of a lineup, but his onscreen portrayer, Tommy Lee Jones’ wig anecdote might help in future.

“All I knew of Thaddeus Stevens was what an attentive student of American history would have learned in high school or college,” he said. “He was a radical Republican abolitionist with a very severe outlook on Reconstruction,” arguing that the postwar South should be punished like conquered provinces where constitutional restraints would not apply.

What Jones didn’t know was that Stevens had a club foot, lost all his hair and wore a wig cut the same way all around so he wouldn’t have to waste time locating the front. Jones called wearing his impressive toupee just “one of the vicissitudes of acting.”

via In ‘Lincoln,’ Jones found full package.

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