Spielberg, Day-Lewis at Capitol for screening of 'Lincoln' for senators

Actor Daniel Day-Lewis and director Steven Spielberg brought the Senate to a halt on Wednesday afternoon when they arrived for a bipartisan viewing of their hit movie "Lincoln."

The two stars met beforehand with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who was the force behind the screening.

Reid called the occasion an "opportunity for bipartisanship."

He was joined by the two men, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and screenwriter Tony Kushner for a short photo op outside the Senate chamber.

Spielberg, in a dark suit and tie, looked overwhelmed by the number of cameras and reporters. He spoke briefly, saying he was "very proud" to be there.

Day-Lewis, in a pin-stripped suit and light-blue tie, observed the proceedings in a Lincolnesqe-manner, standing silently with his tall frame towering over the others. His graying hair made him look even more presidential.

He didn't address the throng of reporters and staffers snapping pics with their smart phones.

Their route to the screening led them through the Capital Rotunda, where currently stands the catafalque that will hold the casket of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) when he lies in state. It's the same catafalque used for President Lincoln. The group paused for a moment and continued.

Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) invited the entire Senate to the screening, which took place in the Congressional Auditorium in the Capitol Visitors Center Wednesday evening.

While watching, the senators got to enjoy some movie treats.

Reid got permission from the Senate Rules Committee to bring in popcorn. He had to ask for the waiver — as food isn't usually allowed in the area — and it was approved, according to a Senate aide.

The flick about the 16th president is proving wildly popular in the nation's Capital.

Spielberg joined President Obama at the White House earlier this month for a screening and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) rented a theater recently and took several of his colleagues to see it.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said he and his wife were going back to see "Lincoln" again because they liked it so much and they were taking their youngest son. He said they rarely see movies twice.

Reid is a huge fan of the movie, which is expected to be nominated for several Academy Awards, telling the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he had seen it twice.

"I hope you all see the movie," he told the press before leading the stars away.

Vicki Needham contributed to this report.