“Unless it’s Martin Scorsese, and it’s a really significant role, fuck off. I’m not playing someone’s brother” – Kevin Spacey
While House of Cards is a critical hit across the board, many in the industry balked when Oscar winner Kevin Spacey announced he was doing a series with Netflix. Of course, House of Cards became the first streaming series to receive major Emmy nominations and Golden Globe nominations. Spacey even won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for the second season. It wasn’t the first time Spacey made a move that initially confounded his fellow actors and later paid off — in 2003, Spacey became the artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London to rave acclaim for his productions. In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Spacey spoke about why he loves being seen as an outsider and why he decided to make those moves in the first place.
Spacey admits that he’s at the point in his career where he’s more likely to pass on a role than take it. He explains, “Unless it’s Martin Scorsese, and it’s a really significant role, fuck off. I’m not playing someone’s brother. I’m not playing the station manager. I’m not playing the FCC chairman.”
Frankly, Spacey thinks he’s made smarter moves than some of his fellow actors and appreciates being thought of as “crazy.” He says, “People thought I was crazy 11 years ago when I moved to London and started a theater company. What is he doing? He’s out of his mind. People thought we were crazy when we made the Netflix deal for House of Cards. ‘They’re out of their minds, it’ll never work.’ I’m used to people thinking I’m nuts. And you know what? I kind of love it.”
Shortly before he took the job with the Old Vic theatre in 2003, Spacey had an epiphany. He recalls, “I remember having lots of very serious conversations with my mother about where I was at this particular point and just going, ‘What am I supposed to do now? Am I supposed to do what I watch a lot of other people do?’ Which is, ‘Hey, now I’m on the list, I’m going to be in all these movies and get paid all this money.’ It was absolutely unappealing to me to end up in a lot of movies I shouldn’t do, to start showing up and doing the same thing over and over. I was already suffering from, ‘He always plays evil guys.’ ‘He’s always the dark character.’ People love to box us in, and I wasn’t going to be boxed. I decided I was going to fuck with it.”