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Kevin Spacey lands first acting role in 3 years in ‘low-budget indie film’

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Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
 2021-05-24

Disgraced two-time Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey has landed his first role since 2018: A cameo in “L’uomo Che Disegnò Dio,” an upcoming film with storied Italian actor Franco Nero.

ABC News first reported the casting news over the weekend, and the film’s producer, Louis Nero, confirmed to Variety that Spacey will play a small part, a police detective, with Franco Nero in the main role. Franco Nero’s wife, Vanessa Redgrave, is also expected to appear in the film, though the producer said it would depend on her ability to travel from England.

Franco Nero, the 79-year-old actor with more than 200 credits (“Django Unchained,” “John Wick: Chapter 2,” “Camelot”) over nearly 60 years, recently told ABC News, “I’m very happy Kevin agreed to participate in my film. I consider him a great actor, and I can’t wait to start the movie.”

“L’uomo Che Disegnò Dio,” which Variety described as a “low-budget indie film,” translates to “The Man Who Drew God.” It reportedly follows a blind artist with the ability to craft true-to-life portraits after hearing a person’s voice.

Spacey’s cameo will mark his first acting role — in a movie or TV show — since the disastrous release of “Billionaire Boys Club” in 2018. (It grossed $2.7 million worldwide on a $15-million budget; its domestic opening-weekend gross was a mere $618.)

Spacey’s A-list career has collapsed under a flood of public accusations of sexual misconduct. In October 2017, “Rent” star Anthony Rapp alleged in a BuzzFeed interview that Spacey, when he was 26, had made unwanted advances toward Rapp when he was 14. The BuzzFeed article alleged that in 1986 Spacey “picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him.”

Spacey responded to Rapp’s allegation via tweet: “I’m beyond horrified to hear his story. I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”

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Anthony Rapp, left, accused Kevin Spacey of sexual assault in 2017. (Associated Press)

At least 15 other men have since come forward with stories of sexual harassment and assault by Spacey, including groping. There have been at least nine criminal investigations into his conduct in the U.S. and U.K., as well as multiple lawsuits.

However, by 2019, all criminal cases against the actor had been closed after, in one case, the alleged victim’s mother admitted to deleting text messages that were considered key evidence, and in another, the accuser (an anonymous massage therapist in Malibu who accused Spacey of sexual battery and assault) died unexpectedly.

His legal woes are not over, but the civil suit Rapp has filed against Spacey is expected to be dismissed as one of Rapp’s fellow plaintiffs has balked at a judge’s order he publicly reveal his identity. Rapp’s lawyers may remove that plaintiff from the case.

When the accusations emerged, Spacey was written out of the final season of Netflix’s “House of Cards,” though he was the main character and had received five Emmy nominations for his portrayal of the Machiavellian Frank Underwood.

He was to star in “Gore,” a Gore Vidal biopic, but the Netflix film was canceled as the company cut ties with the actor. Perhaps most famously, his scenes from the Ridley Scott film “All the Money in the World” were reshot with the venerable Christopher Plummer taking his role as J. Paul Getty; Plummer received an Oscar nomination for his work. Spacey was also dropped by his publicist and high-powered agency.

He has, however, posted bizarre holiday-season YouTube videos each year since 2018. In the first one, “Let Me Be Frank,” he seemed to reprise his Frank Underwood persona with loaded double entendres that could apply to both his character’s crimes and the accusations against the actor. “Conclusions can be so deceiving,” he said. “Miss me?”

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