For our 2013 Great Performances portfolio, TIME spoke with Sally Field, nominated for an Oscar as Best Support Actress for her role as Mary Todd Lincoln in Lincoln.
Performance: Mary Todd Lincoln in Lincoln (Oscar nomination, Best Supporting Actress)
“Had there not been a Mary Todd, there wouldn’t have been an Abraham Lincoln,” Field says of the mercurial First Lady. “She was complicated and brilliant, and she had a keen sense of where she would be placed in history — she would not be looked at fondly.”
The Performers Speak: