Nancy Glass Interview: CNN’s Lincoln: Divided We Stand

Nancy Glass talks approximately discovering the vulnerable, fDivided Divided ormative humanity on the center of the splendid American legend of President Abraham Lincoln.

The United States is bitterly divided. Television pundits Divided and ancient pupils argue it could be the most turbulent time in the united states because the Civil War. That bitter and bloody bankruptcy of American history may were the cease of the American experiment save for the leadership of one guy, President Abraham Lincoln. He is remembered as The Great Emancipator, the individual that ended slavery and preserved the Union at the same time as the rise of the Confederate States of America tore the united states aside. Lincoln’s story is so epic, it’s clean to forget about that below Divided 2 hundred years of fantasy and legend, Abraham Lincoln changed into just a guy, like anyone else.

The new CNN documentary series, Lincoln: Divided We Stand, examines the ancient importance of Abraham Lincoln through evaluating his super achievements and struggles together with his humble upbringing and early adversities, seeking to find out how a working elegance boy from a log cabin in Kentucky grew up to come to be one of the maximum important figures inside the records of America. To understand this vision, the series features interviews with severa ancient students, vast reenactments of pivotal moments from Lincoln’s existence, and a eager eye towards connecting disregarded info from Lincoln’s teenagers to his mythical presidential feats. The whole journey is tied collectively through narration from This Is Us famous person Sterling K. Brown.

Lincoln: Divided We Stand is produced via the Glass Entertainment Group, led via CEO Nancy Glass. While selling the launch of the series, Glass spoke to Screen Rant approximately her paintings at the collection and her passion for the name of the game records of certainly one of America’s most essential figures. She displays at the belief of seeing Presidents as large-than-existence icons and the way treasured it’s far to discover the inclined humanity below, considering that is what informs the importance of their greater high-profile accomplishments. She also talks about operating with CNN and the way vital it become to take precautions to make the production as secure as possible in the course of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

Lincoln: Divided We Stand debuts Sunday, February 14 on CNN.

I watched the primary episode of the series. I love interviewing movie stars and administrators and all that, but my dream interview would be someone like Jon Meacham. I love the concept of seeing American records in the context of the President.

You realize, by the manner, Jon Meacham is so humorous. I went to hear him talk. I’m a massive fan, I study everything he writes. I’m with Divided you on that.

I’ve been to the Lincoln Memorial once, and I was moved. I noticed the statue of George Washington, that Greek-fashion component with the muscle tissue and the ripped abs on the Smithsonian. It’s a piece ridiculous, however it nevertheless inspired me like nothing else, you recognize what I mean?

I do, sure I do.

Do we need a window of time where we can deify sure Presidents?

I suppose what Lincoln does, this docuseries, is give you the human aspect of Lincoln. We cover all the stuff we’ve already heard, but we get into the real details at the back of them. You find out things like, he wasn’t an abolitionist. It’s special. You discover about all of the tragedies in his life. His kids death, being abandoned, being beaten up by using his father due to the fact he desired to get an education… By the way, did you want the primary episode?

Oh yeah. I idea it became extremely good. When you get to a positive factor in time, there is a diploma of interpretation. There’s no witnesses. There’s no video tape. There’s no candid images. It’s exciting to peer exceptional historians contradict one another at the same time as digging in the Divided direction of the fact. There’s a lot fable, and there may be a man someplace below there.

Yes, without a doubt. We Divided had 22 Lincoln pupils. Some of the nation’s most authoritative Lincoln experts. We had Pulitzer Prize authors, political commentators, professors, civil rights leaders… It turned into interesting to get their enter, to get their takes, to assist us construct this biography.

The coolest president in my lifetime become Obama. He was cool, he had a hip image. But whilst you ask approximately his document on, say, homosexual rights, and how he needed to “evolve” on that issue, it’s type of one of those things in which you do not always need to renowned how backwards that appears now. We might ought to wait until he is been useless for twenty years earlier than we can actually criticize him for taking goodbye to fully endorse homosexual marriage.

But you realize what? I assume the fact that you may evolve makes you cooler. It’s smooth to stay with what you’ve Divided got usually believed. It’s lots more difficult to say, “You realize what? I’m going to reconsider this.” I appreciate any individual a good deal extra, who is willing to rethink. I in reality suppose that’s what made Lincoln a wonderful man; his ability to observe something and move, “Maybe I were given this incorrect.”

Yeah, that is a excellent manner to peer it. There’s an mind-set of, “Never make an apology, in no way compromise.” Then how are you going to grow? Were you already fully formed and perfect, you by no means needed to research anything to your whole lifestyles?

That’s right, it really is right. You see? It’s thrilling. Obviously, you are a completely thoughtful man or woman…


So you’ve got idea this through. I wish that people looking it’ll think it via, additionally. By admitting what we do not know, via looking for solutions, we can come to better conclusions than those we have mechanically assigned to situations. I’m certain you have discovered that as a journalist. You pass into an interview, you suspect one issue, and by means of the stop, you understand, “Oh my God, that is what’s taking place!”

Sure. I usually have notes and questions written down, but I’ll most effective use a fragment of them, due to the fact the conversation is going to go in which it will pass.

That’s so funny, I do the identical aspect. And that’s what we sort of implemented to Lincoln. We had a very exciting system. Everybody at the body of workers of the display, all of us picked a group of books to examine. We all read distinct books, after which got here collectively and debated out what the crucial points were in his life, and how we had been going to get there. We debated out the timeline, what had been the essential matters to cover. Everybody got here at it from a exceptional region, because all of us had special literary and ancient references.

Something I’ve constantly been curious about is whether or not a President has to shape records, or if they must well known the records round them and manual their united states of america through that. My question for you is, should every person have been Lincoln? Or did Lincoln enact records in a way that might have handiest been achieved by means of him?

Wow, what an amazing query. Hmm… No. I assume it had to be Lincoln. Look, in case you examine the whole thing that is going on inside the global, there are people who turn out to be heroes, as stars, and as villains. And I guess you need to have their precise makeup to become one of these matters. But once more, there are components of it, because of his ancient importance, because of the changes he made, things he enacted, there are stories we do not inform. One of the interesting parts of the entire tale is Mary.

Yeah, she had a hard cross of it.

I usually ask human beings, “Did you think Mary changed into loopy?” And they will say, “Oh, sure.” But I don’t think she became. If you study the whole lot about what took place to her in her existence, she became a difficult cookie. When her husband died, her united states became on her. And her youngsters died, and the u . s . a . kept turning on her. One of the stories that we told in our first meeting with CNN when we were pitching this changed into, I requested what they thought of Mary, and loads of humans thought she might be crazy. Here’s the story: She’s in her lodge room, and there may be a knock at the door. At this factor in her life, her husband is useless and 3 of her 4 sons are useless. The man at the door is a person she knows thoroughly, and he says, “Mary, I’m right here to arrest you. You are being arrested and charged with insanity. Get dressed, because you’re going to trial right now.” She’s in shock. She walks throughout the street to her trial, and an entire jury is seated, composed of a number of the maximum distinguished humans in Chicago. People who realize they may be there to convict her. She knows the judge because of her husband’s regulation exercise. She’s been appointed a attorney she knows. Then she sees the prosecutor, and the person sitting next to him is her son, Robert Lincoln.

The handiest one left.



He was embarrassed by way of his mother. He became embarrassed via his mom’s steady insistence on having money. She became not supported by way of the government the way she wanted to. She was a shopaholic. She changed into an obsessive compulsive. And she became sort of a loudmouth. So he wanted her put away, and he despatched her to a sanitarium. But she become so clever, she found a manner to get to the primary, as they called her, “Lady Lawyer” inside the United States, who labored on and ultimately succeeded in getting her released. There’s all forms of superb stories. One of the other memories I additionally cherished was the story of Lincoln and his sister being left alone for an entire iciness while his father goes out to find a spouse. And lo and behold, the female who comes home together with his father is a woman who believes in studying and books. And you noticed, his father hit him while we would examine. His father failed to need him to study. That’s not what you would anticipate to be within the history of someone who had a lot person and become a outstanding and forgiving guy.

He had such a huge legacy, such macro issues, that there were other things, greater private things, the matters that records would now not always keep in mind, would unavoidably fall through the wayside as soon as his tale receives too huge for a small stage.

And these were the matters that shaped his life. I think, via giving you that context, it makes him even greater thrilling. Even the things surrounding him. In the collection, we talk about the Battle of Bull Run, which changed into a picnic. People idea that first battle changed into going to final approximately an hour, so they confirmed up for lunch to observe the warfare. Then, it came about, and squaddies have been slaughtered. The human beings sitting there, having a picnic, got up and ran. There’s plenty of interesting information.

That’s a specifically critical anecdote, because we’ve got seen play-acting of civil conflict inside the headlines. I imply, no longer to get too political or something. Ahem.


Dissent and secession and treason is a few type of a laugh drama to observe with popcorn… And then it honestly takes place, and people are killed, and arrested and sent to jail and something we are going to see show up in the future, only then does it emerge as “real.”

It’s interesting, too, because when he was elected the second time, they referred to as him the Ape from Illinois. Washington turned into within the South, and southerners just hated him! He walked into Confederate territory after a battle, together with his son, and they regarded round. That’s no longer something you could do nowadays, obviously. I found out a lot setting this together. It became genuinely joyous.

Yeah. The manner I see it, history is continually going inside the course it is going. You cannot prevent it. Sometimes you can sluggish it down, however all of us have a choice to rail towards it or lead human beings toward it, in the direction of the future. Progressiveness is this kind of grimy word in some circles, and Lincoln needed to type of trick human beings into accepting a brand new age.

Obviously, you suspect very deeply. I desire that humans watch it’ll assume as deeply as you do, despite the fact that I suspect your deep questioning is natural. Well, as a creator, I bet you need to be! It become an exciting undertaking, it is fun to do all of the research. I know lots of human beings do not think research is fun, however it truely is. You find out those interesting nuggets. And also, it became a herculean shoot.

Oh right, we failed to even touch on all the reenactments and stuff!

We had to shoot it through all the Covid-19 quarantines. A bulk of the filming changed into in August, and we had 150 humans at the set. Nobody got sick, thank God. We social distanced, we tested like crazy. It made it very difficult.

I hear it is extraordinarily high priced to shoot something. I know a number of smaller productions are just postponed indefinitely because they don’t want to double or triple their budgets while not having any of that money performing on the display, so to speak.

That’s actual, however CNN is extraordinary. CNN had been like, “Be secure, do what you may. Let us realize what it prices.” They clearly care about what occurs, and they actually care about humans. I suppose it’s unusual for a news business enterprise, but they absolutely care about humans. And they had been very worried that we do not do some thing to hazard all people. We were fortunate. We took all of the precautions, but you could by no means be too safe.

Nancy, it’s been this kind of deal with to speak to you. I cannot wait to peer the relaxation of the display, and I wish I get to trap you on the subsequent one!

I wish it starts conversations, that is what I clearly wish. I desire it starts offevolved conversations, and receives human beings fascinated, and I hope it keeps visitors engaged!

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About The Author

Zak Wojnar(955 Articles Published)

Zak Wojnar is a author from New York City. He’s blanketed the whole thing from video games and movies to maple syrup and deli commercial enterprise. Thanks to Screen Rant, he is found his newest passion, interviewing artists. He takes amazing joy in letting movie and gaming legends tell their personal tale and share their passion for their artwork.

Zak’s first reminiscence is going with his dad to Tower Records and Divided buying the VHS boxed set of the original Star Wars trilogy. Over the following decade or so, the ones tapes would be completely worn out thru overuse. When he’s now not making ready for the following huge interview, he can commonly be found sitting too close to the TV, either re-watching Miami Vice or The X-Files, or getting misplaced in a online game.

Zak has bylines at Game Informer, Muscle & Fitness, PopCultureGalaxy, Men’s Fitness, Cheese Connoisseur, and Deli Business (see, that wasn’t a comic story earlier than!), among others.

Follow and interact with him on Twitter @ZakWojnar.

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