A good scolding landed Sarah Wylie a cast credit in Steven Spielberg’s new historical epic, “Lincoln.”
Wylie, 23, delivered the scolding on set. Its target? Actor Tommy Lee Jones.
Watch carefully in a scene wherein Jones, playing Thaddeus Stevens, a powerful Pennsylvania congressman who often clashed with the 16th president, attempts a risky political maneuver on the floor of the House of Representatives, and you might spot the abolitionist Wylie portrays, her voice raised in angry protest.
As the Christiansburg actress described it, she and four other female extras were on the movie set in a Richmond courthouse, which the crew of the film had refurbished to look like the inside of the Capitol in the time of the Civil War.
Their characters, all abolitionists, were instructed to yell “For shame, Mr. Stevens, for shame!” at Jones. Spielberg became so impressed with the shaming of Stevens that he ordered close-ups of the women and gave them each specific things to say.
Spielberg instructed them to call him “Stevie,” Wylie said.
As they repeated their lines, Jones would jokingly taunt them off camera. “He opened his shirt and waggled at us,” she said. “He was a ham.”
The close-ups and dialogue elevated Wylie to principal status and a listing in the credits of “Lincoln,” which opens Friday in theaters nationwide. On the Internet Movie Database, imdb.com, she’s billed as “Woman Shouter.”