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

Nancy Glass talks about coming across the inclined, formative humanity on the middle Divided of the wonderful American legend of President Abraham Lincoln.

The United States is bitterly divided. Television pundits and historic pupils argue it may be the most turbulent time within the united states of america because the Civil War. That sour and bloody chapter of American history may additionally were the give up of the American test save for the management of one guy, President Abraham Lincoln. He is remembered as The Great Emancipator, the individual that ended slavery and preserved the Union while the upward push of the Confederate States of America tore the united states apart. Lincoln’s story is so epic, it’s clean to forget about that beneath 200 years of delusion and legend, Abraham Lincoln turned into just a guy, like anyone else.

The new CNN documentary collection, Lincoln: Divided We Stand, examines the ancient significance of Abraham Lincoln via comparing his brilliant achievements and struggles together with his humble upbringing and early adversities, seeking to discover how a operating class boy from a log cabin in Kentucky grew as much as come to be one of the most vital figures in the history of America. To comprehend this imaginative and prescient, the collection features interviews with severa ancient students, massive reenactments of pivotal moments from Lincoln’s lifestyles, and a keen eye closer to connecting overlooked information from Lincoln’s Divided youth to his legendary presidential feats. The complete adventure is tied collectively through narration from This Is Us famous person Sterling K. Brown.

Lincoln: Divided We Stand is produced by the Glass Entertainment Group, led by way of CEO Nancy Glass. While selling the launch of the collection, Glass spoke to Screen Rant approximately her work on the series and her passion for the name of the game history of one in all America’s most essential figures. She reflects on the belief of seeing Presidents as large-than-existence icons and how treasured it’s miles to discover the vulnerable humanity below, seeing that that is what informs the importance of their greater high-profile accomplishments. She also talks approximately running with CNN and how crucial it become to take precautions to make the production as secure as feasible throughout 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 directors and all that, but my dream interview might be a person like Jon Meacham. I love the concept of seeing American records within the context of the President.

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

I’ve been to the Lincoln Memorial as soon as, and I was moved. I noticed the statue of George Washington, that Greek-style element with the muscular tissues and the ripped abs on the Smithsonian. It’s a bit ridiculous, however it nevertheless stimulated me like nothing else, you realize what I imply?

I do, sure I do.

Do we want a window of time where we can deify positive Presidents?

I assume what Lincoln does, this docuseries, is give you the human aspect of Lincoln. We cowl all the stuff we’ve got already heard, but we get into the actual details behind them. You discover things like, he wasn’t an abolitionist. It’s exclusive. You discover approximately all the tragedies in his lifestyles. His kids loss of life, being deserted, being overwhelmed up by using his father because he wanted to get an schooling… By the manner, did you want the primary episode?

Oh yeah. I notion it was high-quality. When you get to a sure factor in time, there’s a diploma of interpretation. There’s no witnesses. There’s no video tape. There’s no candid photos. It’s interesting to peer one-of-a-kind historians contradict one another at the same time as digging toward the truth. There’s so much myth, and there may be a man somewhere underneath there.

Yes, honestly. We had 22 Lincoln scholars. Some of the country’s most authoritative Lincoln experts. We had Pulitzer Prize authors, political commentators, professors, civil rights leaders… It changed into exciting to get their enter, to get their takes, to assist us construct this biography.

The coolest president in my lifetime became Obama. He turned into cool, he had a hip photograph. But whilst you ask approximately his document on, say, gay rights, and how he had to “evolve” on that problem, it’s type of one of those matters in which you do not always want to renowned how backwards that appears now. We would possibly should wait till he’s been lifeless for 20 years before we can truely criticize him for taking so long to completely advocate homosexual marriage.

But you already know what? I think the fact that you can evolve makes you cooler. It’s easy to stick with what you have got always believed. It’s loads tougher to mention, “You recognise what? I’m going to reconsider this.” I appreciate anyone tons extra, who’s willing to reconsider. I honestly assume that is what made Lincoln a fantastic guy; his capability to look at something and go, “Maybe I got this incorrect.”

Yeah, it’s a exquisite manner to peer it. There’s an mindset of, “Never express regret, in no way compromise.” Then how are you going to develop? Were you already completely fashioned and perfect, you in no way needed to analyze whatever on your entire life?

That’s right, it really is right. You see? It’s thrilling. Obviously, you are a very thoughtful person…

Aww!

So you’ve got idea this via. I wish that people looking it’s going to assume it via, also. By admitting what we do not know, by using searching for solutions, we will come to Divided better conclusions than the ones we’ve got automatically assigned to conditions. I’m sure you’ve got discovered that as a journalist. You move into an interview, you watched one element, and by the cease, you recognize, “Oh my God, that is what’s taking place!”

Sure. I always have notes and questions written down, however I’ll most effective use a fragment of them, due to the fact the communique goes to go wherein it’s going to pass.

That’s so humorous, I do the identical issue. And that’s what we type of applied to Lincoln. We had a totally thrilling process. Everybody at the workforce of the display, we all picked a group of books to read. We all examine specific books, and then came collectively and debated out what the essential factors have been in his lifestyles, and the way we had been going to get there. We debated out the timeline, what were the crucial things to cowl. Everybody got here at it from a one-of-a-kind area, due to the fact all of us had special literary and historic references.

Something I’ve always been curious about is whether or not a President has to form history, or if they must renowned the history around them and guide their united states thru that. My question for you is, could all of us were Lincoln? Or did Lincoln enact records in a manner that would have handiest been accomplished by him?

Wow, what a terrific query. Hmm… No. I suppose it had to be Lincoln. Look, in case you take a look at the entirety that goes on in the world, there are those who come to be heroes, as stars, and as villains. And I wager you have to have their specific make-up to become one of these things. But again, there are parts of it, because of his historic significance, due to the changes he made, things he enacted, there are testimonies we do not tell. One of the exciting parts of the entire story is Mary.

Yeah, she had a rough go of it.

I usually ask humans, “Did you suspect Mary was loopy?” And they will say, “Oh, yes.” But I don’t assume she turned into. If you read the entirety about what passed off to her in her existence, she become a difficult cookie. When her husband died, her united states grew to become on her. And her children died, and the usa kept turning on her. One of the stories that we instructed in our first assembly with CNN whilst we had been pitching this changed into, I asked what they notion of Mary, and a lot of people thought she is probably loopy. Here’s the tale: She’s in her inn room, and there is a knock on the door. At this factor in her lifestyles, her husband is lifeless and 3 of her 4 sons are lifeless. The guy on the door is a person she knows thoroughly, and he says, “Mary, I’m here to arrest you. You are being arrested and charged with madness. Get dressed, because you will trial proper now.” She’s in surprise. She walks across the street to her trial, and a whole jury is seated, composed of some of the maximum outstanding people in Chicago. People who understand they are there to convict her. She is aware of the judge due to her husband’s regulation exercise. She’s been appointed a lawyer she is aware of. Then she sees the prosecutor, and the person sitting subsequent to him is her son, Robert Lincoln.

The best one left.

Yes.

Geez!

He became embarrassed by using his mother. He become embarrassed via his mom’s consistent insistence on having money. She was now not supported via the authorities the way she wanted to. She was a shopaholic. She become an obsessive compulsive. And she was form of a loudmouth. So he desired her placed away, and he sent her to a sanitarium. But she became so clever, she determined a way to get to the primary, as they referred to as her, “Lady Lawyer” within the United States, who labored on and eventually succeeded in getting her launched. There’s all types of fantastic memories. One of the opposite tales I additionally loved became the tale of Lincoln and his sister being left on my own for a whole winter whilst his father goes out to discover a spouse. And lo and behold, the female who comes domestic along with his father is a girl who believes in learning and books. And you saw, his father hit him when we’d examine. His father did not want him to examine. That’s not what you’ll assume to be within the background of a person who had a lot man or woman and changed into a notable and forgiving guy.

He had this kind of massive legacy, such macro worries, that there had been different things, more private things, the matters that records might no longer always take into account, could necessarily fall by the wayside as soon as his tale gets too big for a small level.

And those were the matters that formed his life. I think, by providing you with that context, it makes him even more interesting. Even the matters surrounding him. In the collection, we talk approximately the Battle of Bull Run, which become a picnic. People notion that first battle become going to last about an hour, so that they showed up for lunch to watch the conflict. Then, it passed off, and infantrymen were slaughtered. The humans sitting there, having a picnic, got up and ran. There’s a whole lot of interesting records.

That’s a in particular vital anecdote, because we have visible play-performing of civil warfare in the headlines. I mean, now not to get too political or whatever. Ahem.

Yeah.

Dissent and secession and treason is some sort of amusing drama to look at with popcorn… And then it virtually happens, and people are killed, and arrested and sent to jail and anything we’re going to see manifest in the future, handiest then does it emerge as “real.”

It’s exciting, too, because whilst he changed into elected the second one time, they referred to as him the Ape from Illinois. Washington changed into within the South, and southerners just hated him! He walked into Confederate territory after a warfare, along with his son, and they seemed around. That’s not some thing you may do today, obviously. I learned so much placing this together. It became truly joyous.

Yeah. The manner I see it, history is usually going in the course it’s going. You can’t prevent it. Sometimes you could gradual it down, however we all have a desire to rail in opposition to it or lead human beings in the direction of it, closer to the future. Progressiveness is such a dirty word in a few circles, and Lincoln had to sort of trick human beings into accepting a brand new age.

Obviously, you watched very deeply. I wish that humans watch it’s going to think as deeply as you do, although I suspect your deep wondering is natural. Well, as a writer, I guess you need to be! It was an thrilling undertaking, it’s fun to do all of the studies. I know a number of human beings don’t suppose research is a laugh, however it definitely is. You find out these exciting nuggets. And additionally, it became a herculean shoot.

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

We had to shoot it thru all of the Covid-19 quarantines. A bulk of the filming turned into in August, and we had 150 human beings at the set. Nobody were given sick, thank God. We social distanced, we tested like crazy. It made it very hard.

I pay attention it’s extraordinarily expensive to shoot whatever. I know a variety of smaller productions are just postponed indefinitely because they don’t want to double or triple their budgets while not having any of that cash performing on the display screen, so to speak.

That’s genuine, but CNN is specific. CNN had been like, “Be secure, do what you could. Let us recognize what it expenses.” They truly care approximately what takes place, and they really care approximately humans. I assume it really is uncommon for a news enterprise, however they simply care about humans. And they had been very involved that we do not do anything to endanger absolutely everyone. We were lucky. We took all the precautions, but you can in no way be too secure.

Nancy, it has been the sort of deal with to speak to you. I can not wait to peer the relaxation of the show, and I desire I get to seize you on the following one!

I desire it begins conversations, that is what I surely hope. I hope it begins conversations, and receives humans interested, and I hope it continues visitors engaged!

Next: The Best Documentaries Of 2020

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About The Author

Zak Wojnar(955 Articles Published)

Zak Wojnar is a author from New York City. He’s covered everything from video video games and films to maple syrup and deli business. Thanks to Screen Rant, he is observed his newest passion, interviewing artists. He takes first-rate pleasure in letting movie and gaming Divided legends tell their very own tale and share their ardour for his or her artwork.

Zak’s first reminiscence is going along with his dad to Tower Records and buying the Divided VHS boxed set of the unique Star Wars trilogy. Over the next decade or so, those tapes would be completely worn out thru overuse. When he is now not getting ready for the following large interview, he can generally be discovered sitting too near the TV, both re-looking Miami Vice or The X-Files, or getting lost in a video game.

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

Follow and have interaction with him on Twitter @ZakWojnar.

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