By Denise Warner
October 26, 2012 at 05:08 PM EDT
Jemal Countess/Getty Images
  • Movie

Oprah, Bill O’Reilly, Gayle King, and Haley Joel Osment were among the special guests at the Time screening of Lincoln in New York City on Oct. 25.

Following the movie, Time managing editor Rick Stengel conducted a Q&A with director Steven Spielberg, star Daniel Day-Lewis and screenwriter Tony Kushner. And here are the five most fascinating things we learned.

1. Day-Lewis was nervous about the role. “I was extremely shy about taking on this wonderful task. I’m not keen on history being tampered with … to any extent. I felt with this man particularly, that it might just be impossible to find the life in him that would help tell this story.”

2. Some of Lincoln’s dialogue was actually spoken by the 16th President of the United States. “I don’t know the percentage. It’s a real amalgamation. I don’t think Lincoln ever says anything in the film that somebody else said … It’s certainly not all Lincoln and it’s not all me,” Kushner explained.

3. The voice was important. “There are some early recordings, but no contemporary recordings. Luckily for me, nobody can say positively, that’s not what he sounded like,” Day-Lewis said with a laugh.

4. Spielberg addressed his star as Mr. President on the set. “It wasn’t because he said, ‘You must call me Mr. President,'” said Spielberg, who addressed most of his actors by their character names.

5. Bill O’Reilly loved the film. “You guys know you’re going to win Best Picture, right?” said the Fox political pundit and best-selling author of Killing Lincoln.

Watch the full Q&A at


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