Spader's costume fun in Lincoln

Press Association22 November 2012

James Spader has described his Lincoln character as "a dandy in decay".

The Secretary star plays WN Bilbo, a political operative with a colourful dress sense, in Steven Spielberg's biopic of US president Abraham Lincoln.

James told Vulture: "When I read the screenplay and I saw these scenes with Bilbo out trying to hunt quail with people he was trying to convince, and in the backrooms of taverns and whatnot, I tried to reconcile that with this guy who is described - in the small amount of research we have - as someone who liked to dress very smartly and who liked expensive, colourful waistcoats.

"So, he was a bit of a dandy. But in the screenplay he was depicted as being very bawdy and colourful, and he certainly has the most irreverent language in the film. So, I thought it would be great to try and put all those pieces together - and I imagined him as a dandy in decay. So, he'd have all these expensive clothes but they'd be a little dishevelled. Steven just loved this idea, and he urged me to go as far with that as possible."

James said he spent a lot of time in the wardrobe department for the movie, which stars Daniel Day Lewis in the title role.

"I think he had more changes of costume in the film than anyone except maybe Mary Todd Lincoln," he joked.

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