Sunday, August 07, 2011

Interview with Kevin Spacey - 15th October, 2009

Promoting: The Men Who Stare At Goats
Venue: Vue West End, London Film Festival
Interview type: Press conference

Q: Did you approach the characters as if you were recreating a real-life person, or did you start from scratch?

Kevin Spacey (KS): To me it was all in the script. I mean, there are times when you're playing someone who really lived and there is a responsibility about trying to make that as accurate as you can and even if it's not an impression, to embody that person, particularly if an audience happens to know who they were. But in this case, nobody knows who any of these characters were, so you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want. And also, my character was the most fictionalised of all the characters in the film, unlike the other characters.

Q: Have you ever had any paranormal experiences?

KS: I think working with George Clooney is about as paranormal as it gets.

Q: Did you go home and practise some of the psychic techniques that you learnt, or were you actively encouraged to do this by the director?

KS: I can admit I ran into a lot of walls in Puerto Rico. I never got through any of them.

Q: You've been away from the screen for a while, focusing on the stage. I wondered if you were waiting for the right script before you take a lead role again or are you just taking a break?

KS: I don't know – I did three movies last year, I did two movies the year before, I did two movies the year before that. I don't know what this break is you're talking about (laughter).

Q: Well, obviously you had the voiceover in Moon and the supporting role in Men Who Stare At Goats, but I meant an actual lead.

KS: Oh, an *actual lead*. No, I don't do those anymore. (laughter) No, I just finished two films in a row in which I'm the *actual* lead. I did a film called Casino Jack, about Jack Abramoff, who was a Washington lobbyist and a comedy I just did called Father of Invention. But I suppose I've been focused on building the theatre company over the last six seasons and things are going very well there so I had an opportunity to go out and do a couple of movies that I really enjoyed – I enjoyed the scripts and enjoyed the experiences of doing them. But my priority for the next six years will continue to be the Old Vic and I'll make films when they both suit my schedule and also to suit what interests me.

Q: There's a documentary that's just come out, called Starsuckers, that looks at the way that newspapers run made-up or exaggerated stories about celebrities. Do you think the media's obsession with celebrity is out of control?

KS: I don't get it. I don't understand the notion of people who might call themselves journalists, or who are in the profession of that, who would just make up stuff. I don't understand it as a function as a human being, I don't understand why that's of interest to somebody, to write something that's absolutely false in the hopes that 1800 outlets will print it. Obviously we live in a time – and maybe we always have, I don't know – where if you even bother to say, 'Oh, that story has no whit of truth to it', then they don't write that that story is false, they write that you have denied that that story was true, which is not the same thing as saying 'What we wrote was absolutely wrong'. So there's some people who choose to fight these kinds of things in the courts and there's some who choose to just go, 'You know what? It's yesterday's news, it's fish wrapping and I'm not going to worry about it'.


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