SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Leaving nothing to chance, two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis’ preparations to play Abraham Lincoln on film included secretly spending time on the former president’s turf.

Day-Lewis, along with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and producer Kathleen Kennedy, came to Springfield in November 2010 to tour Lincoln sites, at times standing in the Old State Capitol’s chamber and asking to be left alone for 10 minutes, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Day-Lewis, the star of Steven Spielberg’s recently released film “Lincoln,” noted the room’s intimacy as he tried to feel the towering 16th president’s lingering presence.

“He was very studious and reverential,” said Dave Blanchette, deputy director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, where Day-Lewis asked to touch the letters Lincoln wrote to his generals.

“Lincoln” is just the fifth film in the past 15 years for Day-Lewis, who won Oscars for his performances in “My Left Foot” and “There Will Be Blood.” He is deliberate in choosing roles, as he insists on understanding characters intimately enough to feel he’s living out their experiences.

“Lincoln” details the months leading up to the president’s assassination in April 1865, as he maneuvers to pass the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery and ending the Civil War.

Day-Lewis had hoped to go unnoticed in Springfield, wearing sunglasses and a fedora at the museum that, in 2011, had more than 293,000 visitors.

“It was intended to be an under-the-radar visit,” Blanchette said, noting that Goodwin – not 55-year-old Day-Lewis – often was recognized by onlookers.

As the secret tour pressed forward, the group stopped at a coffee shop, where the actor accidentally blew his cover.

“His phone rang and he said, ‘Hello, this is Daniel Day-Lewis,’?” Blanchette recalled. “Then the secret was out,” evidenced by the flood of picture-taking and tweeting by onlookers.

Day-Lewis indulged the fans and was a good sport, he said.

Big Ben posts Little Ben photo

PITTSBURGH – Big Ben Roethlisberger is introducing his fans to Little Ben.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback posted a picture of his newborn son on his website Saturday.

The caption reads, “Ben’s favorite photo so far … and dad’s new screen saver for his phone!”

Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger Jr. was born Wednesday night. The website describes the boy as “definitely a chip off the old block” and links to photos of Ben Sr. as a baby.

It’s the first child for the athlete and his wife, Ashley.

Bjork: Laser surgery for polyp rocks

LONDON – Icelandic singer Bjork says she has had successful surgery to remove a vocal cord polyp.

The eccentric 47-year-old singer said on her official website that she had been trying to tackle the problem with exercises and diets since doctors first discovered the polyp, a benign growth on either one or both of the vocal cords, several years ago.

Bjork said that she decided to undergo laser surgery and it has worked, though she had to stay quiet for three weeks.

She wrote: “Surgery rocks! … It’s been very satisfying to sing all them clear notes again.”

The singer apologized for cancelling various shows earlier this year, and that she looked forward to singing for her fans next year.

Last year Adele had minor surgery to remove a benign polyp.

– From news service reports