Kevin Spacey: Movie Star

by criticalhit009

I’ve been watching Kevin Spacey ever since he relaunched his film career in 2014. Now, Spacey hadn’t necessarily been absent from the world at large, but rather held his presence the popular Netflix show House of Cards. But at the Oscars 2014, that changed. Spacey was asserting is status, not just as an actor, but a movie star. His elegance in his Oscar presentation reminded everyone what an actor’s presence could bring.

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He also brought meme-ability.

What makes me say this was the time when he relaunched himself into the public sphere? Well, his follow-up appearance that night on Jimmy Kimmel was very indicative of his intentional efforts to be seen as a movie star, specifically. From that post-Oscar interview, he specifically plugged his new website, and mentioned that his absence from the silver screen was due to his recent stints in the theatre. He also plugged an exclusive clip of him and Jimmy Kimmel on his site; people seized the moment so much it crashed his website.

From that interview in 2014, it was clear what Spacey’s intentions were. He made himself more public, whether it be the new face of E*Trade or making a guest appearance on Jimmy Fallon. Again, all things to raise publicity, all right after the 2014 Oscars. Now, we might ask, how successful has this been? Has Spacey’s image as a movie star specifically been reestablished? What are his current projects?

Kevin Spacey is staring in a talking cat movie?!? Yes indeed.

Now, I’ve always found Spacey to be a bit of Daniel Day-Lewis type. That is, somewhat persnickety about his film roles, usually leaning towards things of critical acclaim. So when I heard about this film yesterday, my mind somehow got me to think it was Kevin Costner who was voicing the talking cat in this film. That, after all, sounds much more plausible. But I was mistaken, as I have delightfully (?) learned.

Perusing the comments of the Nine Lives film illustrates how strange it feels for Spacey to star what appears to be a low-brow family friendly comedy.

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Certainly, this turn towards the comedic wouldn’t feel so disjointed if it weren’t for Spacey’s lengthy buildup of serious natured. But I think this role and his upcoming projects reflect a change in Spacey’s approach to role selection. Looking at his IMDb, it looks like Spacey has a mix of projects coign up, from the serious (Elvis & Nixon) to the respectably comedic (Baby Driver). what’s notable here is the diversity of roles. Spacey has realized that being a movie star means getting your face out there, no matter the costs, and that being a star means you have the flexibility to be everywhere.

So, yes, Spacey’s choice to be in a talking cat movie is strategic. In the long run, it may just be a small cost to pay for the limelight.

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