Kevin Spacey Interview

KevinSAs the director, producer, co-screenwriter and leading man of 2004’s Beyond the Sea, a feature about the late entertainer Bobby Darin (he of the venerable “Mack the Knife” and “Splish-Splash,” not to mention a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for 1963’s “Captain Newman, M.D.”), two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey was quite involved with the film’s long-gestating production. Check out this vintage interview with Kevin about the film, his wishes for the subsequent DVD edition, and the “rumors” that he was going to portray Lex Luthor in 2006’s Superman Returns.

Disc Dish: You’re love of Bobby Darin has been well-noted over the past several months. How did it all come about?

Spacey: Because my mother was in love with Bobby Darin, I grew up with his records playing in our house all the time. By the time I was 10, I was the kid in the living room singing into the hairbrush for his parents. I didn’t know any thing about his life until I was in my 20s when a couple of books came out about him. I was stunned at what he overcome, what he had faced, how sick he was most of his life and how much he packed into a remarkably brief career and short life. In the last decade as we’ve had this revival of the Rat Pack guys and musicals, Bobby Darin has been the forgotten one, because he died so young and I also think because he was so diverse. He shouldn’t be forgotten.

DD: Do you have any big plans for the upcoming DVD?

Spacey: Yes, I’m looking forward to the DVD. I did have to be ruthless in the editing of Beyond the Sea before anybody else was. The hardest part of making the film was the choice of music and the second hardest thing was cutting some of it. There are about five numbers that are cut out of the film including my big drum solo, which I spent five months learning how to play the drums for.

DD: I noticed that your version of “If I Were a Carpenter” is on the soundtrack but not in the finished film.

Kevin Spacey is Bobby Darin in 2004's Beyond the Sea.

Kevin Spacey is Bobby Darin in 2004’s Beyond the Sea.

Spacey: I never found a place to use “Carpenter” dramatically. I mean, I love the song and, yes, it’s on the album. We laid down many more songs than can be found in the movie or on the album. We actually put two songs on the album that aren’t in the movie, “Carpenter,” and a nightclub number which is a medley, “By Myself/When Your Lover Has Gone.” I think there will probably be a special section on the DVD of just performances.

DD: How about deleted scenes?

Spacey: No, I don’t want to show deleted scenes. I don’t like an audience looking at what the movie might have been – if it’s in the movie, it’s in the movie. Now, there’s some stuff that I trimmed from the film after it played the Toronto Film Festival last September that might go back in. But that’s part of the issue of always being faced with having to make it shorter and shorter

DD: And a commentary?

Spacey: Yeah, yeah, I think commentaries are great and I’ll be doing one. I’ll also be getting some other people on the film involved with that.

DD: If we’re to believe to believe the internet buzz, you’re in deep negotiations to play Lex Luthor in the upcoming Superman movie.

Spacey: They want me to do it; it’s all a question of scheduling.

DD: What interests you about the role?

Spacey: Working with [director] Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days of Future Past) again, hands down. Let’s face it – I’m not somebody who’s done those kind of movies. I’ve done big studio films and the big studio films I’ve done, I’ve tried to do the interesting ones and the ones where I could live with myself in the morning. But those movies provide me with the ability to a movie like this, so there’s a kind of trade-off there that works. Hey, I want to be in the game and being in that game allows me to do the other stuff I want to do.



About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.