| Gotham Magazine 공식 사이트|
Gotham Magazine 2007년 여름호에 실린 인터뷰입니다.
THE DRAMA KING
Kevin Spacey riffs on the scary side of fame, his decision to answer each and every fan letter, and why he lets people gossip.
by Sara Bliss
At the curtain call for a recent performance of Eugene O’Neill’s A Moon for the Misbegotten, an intense play about love and redemption set in 1923, Kevin Spacey stood solemnly in front of a sold-out house and took in a roaring standing ovation. It was just the kind of crowd every theater actor hopes for: a full house sitting rapt with attention for an entire two hours and 45 minutes, then leaping to its feet to cheer at the final curtain. Spacey’s costar, Eve Best, beamed. But Spacey didn’t even crack a smile.
Given both the long face and Spacey’s reputation as a tough interview, I was expecting a guarded, possibly defiant star. After all, he’s notorious for being loath to talk about his personal life or discuss rumors about his sexuality. And he’s definitely not afraid to shoot down a question he doesn’t like.
But sitting in his dressing room at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, Spacey is far from the difficult star I expect. He’s sharp, intense, and engaging, and eager to talk about his latest passions—theater, London, his new career as artistic director of the Old Vic theater in London. While chain-smoking Marlboro Lights and nuzzling his adorable little pooch Mini, he delivers riveting takes on almost everything. He’s even candid about being private.
Clearly, Spacey’s new life suits him. Committed to a 10-year stint at the Old Vic that has him acting in two plays a year and producing the rest, he’s even gotten Sam Mendes (who helmed American Beauty) to sign on to direct a few plays for the Brooklyn Academy of Music that will then move to London. Amid all this he’s working on learning to enjoy his success—though he’s not there yet. “Maybe one day when I’m old I’ll look back and go, OK, I didn’t do bad,” he says. “But most of the time I don’t give myself those kinds of props.”
GOTHAM: Do you dislike dealing with the press? You’re notoriously private.
KEVIN SPACEY: I’m notoriously private about one subject. One subject. That’s what I’m notoriously private about.
G: Does it drive you crazy that every article talks about it?
KS: I just think it’s like beating a dead horse. All of us are assaulted by way too much information about way too many people that, frankly, I don’t need to know—number one. Number two, I think to myself, well, at least I’m consistent. And number three, I’ve just never believed in pimping my personal life out for publicity. I’m not interested in doing it. Never will do it. They can gossip all they want; they can speculate all they want.
G: Don’t you think it’s unusual that you’ve been able to keep your personal life private?
KS: It’s rare, yes. I was just raised really well by parents who said, “You have a right to design your life the way you want.” I think people need to embrace the idea that every human being is different. So I’m different! So embrace my difference and allow me to live my life as every person ought to be able to live—which is how they choose. And I’m living my life how I choose. In no way, shape, or form am I hiding, or am I terrified. I’m having the time of my life living my life. I just happen to believe that there’s a public life and there’s a private life. Everybody has a right to a private life no matter what their profession is. I don’t think any degree of bizarre social pressure or media intrusion [means] I have to participate.
G: You’ve had amazing mentors, including Jason Robards and Jack Lemmon—did they give you advice about handling life in the public eye?
KS: To some degree, yes, and to another degree, I just observed. I was fortunate that I saw a bunch of people I [graduated from] Juilliard with become famous really fast—Val Kilmer, Kelly McGillis, Elizabeth McGovern. I noticed how much their lives were intruded upon. People knew where they lived and how to get to them. People knew their phone numbers. And I thought, there’s got to be a way to do this so you can live your life as a performer. I’m no different in my public life than I am in my private life. I’m not a different person, but there seems to be this one area that they’ve just got their hooks in. And it’s like, well, all right, if that’s all you have to write about. Actually, if you go back and look at all this stuff, there’s nothing new—it’s just 10 years of the same thing, rehashed.
G: Since you’re so private, why did you thank your girlfriend [Dianne Dreyer] when you got your Oscar for American Beauty?
KS: Because she was my girlfriend. I don’t think you can blame me for a moment when you’re so emotional, and you can’t believe what just happened to you. I was with her on that night, so I acknowledged her.
G: In 1998 you took your production of The Iceman Cometh to the Old Vic. How did you become its artistic director five years later?
KS: I agreed to go on the committee to find an artistic director. We had a meeting to discuss the Old Vic and what it meant, and what I came away with was that it was best when it was an actor’s theater. I went back to the hotel and couldn’t sleep. I started thinking about my own life. At 2 a.m. I took a cab to the National Theatre. I looked up at the National, thinking about where [Laurence] Olivier was in his career when he chose to run it, how long he ran it, and what it represents now. Then I walked five blocks to the Old Vic, and it was like a scene out of a movie. I sat in the rain looking up at the theater, and a lightbulb went off above my head. I was like, what are you doing? You’re on this committee to try and find someone to run this theater and it’s staring you in the face.
G: So is the Old Vic now going to be your primary focus?
KS: When I made the decision to take the job, I thought, I’ve spent the last 12 years of my life trying to build a film career. It’s gone better than I could have ever hoped. What am I going to do now? Am I going to spend the next 10 years trying to top myself? Trying to give a shit about whether a movie’s making money and all of that fucking crap? And I thought, no, I’d like to flip it. I spent 10 years making movies and squeezing in plays. I think I’d like to spend the next 10 years doing plays and squeezing in movies.
G: I caught a performance of A Moon for the Misbegotten, and at the curtain call you were the only member of the cast not smiling.
KS: I have a hard time putting up a cheesy smile because I’m still in [the performance]. I’m not out of it yet. It takes me 10 to 15 minutes to really shed the experience.
G: Do you read your reviews?
KS: I do not. I don’t want to know anything, not a word.
G: Why, would it affect your performance?
KS: I think it could. Even good reviews. Because for me and Eve, it’s a stream of consciousness. We’re not out there playing moments—it’s an experience. So when you read a piece where something’s pointed out to you, good or bad, you’re suddenly aware of it. You have to protect the play by not allowing outside influences other than your director to guide and shape you.
G: You had a correspondence with Katherine Hepburn for years. What did you two discuss?
KS: She wrote all sorts of things, but most were short. I would write her about what was happening in my career and she’d write back, “Dear Kevin, Good for you! Kate.”
G: Are you a mentor to anyone?
KS: We do a lot of work with kids throughout London. It’s not about whether these kids want to be actors, it’s about what acting does to each of them as a person. When I grew up in California there was a lot of money for the arts in schools. I met Jack Lemmon at a seminar when I was 13 years old, and 11 years later ended up playing his son. I didn’t just want to bring A Moon for the Misbegotten to Broadway, I wanted to bring our ethos here. So I’m happy that we managed to bring the same programs that we have in London to New York. Every night we have $25 seats for those under 25. We’re doing workshops at the city schools. We’re doing a UK/US exchange between an actor, producer, and director. Maybe [New York City schools] Chancellor Joel Klein will see the value of this. I know he wants to put more money into the arts.
G: Do you have any sense of what your fans are like?
KS: Nobody answers my letters but me. Sometimes it takes me six months, but I answer all of them, except some of the crazy stuff. I like to answer them because I remember the people who answered when I wrote to them growing up, and I remember the people who didn’t. It means something to people that you take a moment and recognize that they said some kind words.
G: Is it weird when people think they know you?
KS: It’s more than weird, it’s actually very frightening. I’ve had cases where people have written me letters every single day, 25 pages long, saying that they believe our star signs are aligned, that I’m speaking to them through movies, that we’re meant to be married and have children, and that they’re coming to find me. I don’t think people really appreciate that even going out and signing autographs is not the most comfortable situation.
G: If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?
KS: I suppose I have some bizarre idea that it would be great to be a writer. Look at Eugene O’Neill, he wrote without judging his characters—he just presents them, flaws and all. I find it an astounding gift to be able to have nothing come between your heart and the page. Very often people try to write characters that are consistent, but humans aren’t. We’re filled with contradictions and denials and with all these things that these characters experience, which is why his plays resonate so well with audiences.
G: What’s your biggest vice?
KS: I don’t allow myself to enjoy my life enough. I work so hard. I’m so unsatisfied. I rarely feel that I do the best work that I can do. I always think it could be better. I’m also so completely averse to patting myself on the back. I don’t know if I would call it a vice; it’s not even being negative, it’s just being unsettled, unsatisfied, unfinished.
A Moon for the Misbegotten is currently running at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 West 47th Street; brooksatkinsontheater.com.