Steven Spielberg's Lincoln has already wowed audiences with its attention to historical detail, from the correct wallpaper in the White House to Abraham Lincoln's high-register speaking voice (captured by Daniel Day-Lewis).
It's no surprise that this kind of detail extended to the film's wardrobes — right down to the undergarments, says James Spader, who plays sleazy political operative W.N. Bilbo in the epic, which continues to command audiences during the Thanksgiving weekend.
So the question had to be asked: Was he donning Lincoln-era boxer or briefs?
"I don't think you could call it," Spader says. "The undergarments I have in that film really don't have a contemporary name. Today you could walk down the street with the undergarments they had on then and people would think you were fully clothed."
As far as truly getting in character, Spader says he never took it too far on the very realistic Lincoln set in historic Richmond, Va.
"I don't know if I am so schizophrenic enough to ever believe I am sitting in a room with the House of Representatives from 1865 or, for that matter, sitting in a small room talking to the 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln," says Spader. "I don't think I ever lose the sense of where I am actually at."
"But it certainly makes pretend a lot easier," he says. "If everyone's playing pretend, it works better. And on this, everyone was playing pretend."