At the prime age of 40, Kevin Spacey took home the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Burnham, a man who channelled his mid-life crisis into an infatuation with his daughter’s best friend Angela.
The movie? The much-loved American Beauty and Spacey was the casting director’s first choice.
You can read about the beginning of his fall from grace here.
Get this, from The Telegraph:
In David Thomson’s “The New Biographical Dictionary of Film”, there’s an entry on Kevin Spacey that is chilling to read. “Do not be fooled: Kevin Fowler [his birth name] is and always was a chronic pretender, a naughty boy, a wicked mimic… you can see his Lester Burnham in American Beauty as the salt of the earth gone sour… Me, I think he’s just one of Kevin’s nasty jokers. But it won him the Oscar.”
Talk about ruining a movie.
It has also been suggested that Spacey might have himself hinted at his behaviour once upon a time, specifically during his acceptance speech for Best Actor at the 2000 Oscars.
After dedicating his award to Jack Lemmon, Spacey then went on to say something quite telling:
To my friends, for pointing out my worst qualities. I know you do it because you love me, and that’s why I love playing Lester, because we got to see all of his worst qualities and we still grew to love him.
This movie to me is about how any single act by any single person put out of context, is damnable. But the joy of this movie is that it is real beauty, and we found real beauty in this extraordinary script by Alan Ball.
I‘m very proud to be an actor and I’ve tried very hard to protect my work and I’m stunned and a bit speechless.
Watch the speech in full below, and try not get too distracted by Gwyneth’s fashion:
Whether you fell in love with the plastic bag song or related to Burnham’s reinvention of himself, pot-smoking included, American Beauty probably sat high at the top of your best films list.
So what do we do now? No idea, dude.
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