Kevin Spacey

(Kevin Spacey Fowler)

Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey
  • Born: July 26, 1959
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Actor, Producer, Singer









Quote Topics Cited
Influence, power and money have invaded our political process …. If we leave it to the politicians, it is unlikely that anything will be done. Power
A British director directed 'American Beauty,' an important film about American life, and it didn't matter. What only mattered was everyone's sensibility. Life
After graduation, I was floundering in L.A., doing stand-up comedy and working in a shoe store in the Valley. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Am I arrogant? I've been arrogant, sure; everybody's been arrogant.
Am I now supposed to go on Oprah and cry and tell you my deepest, darkest secrets because you want to know?
And I certainly won't lay out areas of my life that I think are just private. Life
Anytime someone can beat the acting out of someone else, I think it's a wonderful thing.
As a producer or financier, you are going to go where you get the best bang for your buck.
As an actor, you're always nervous as to what a director will do with something.
As long as we, in the United States, continue to insist that our politicians have to spend all of their time raising millions of dollars for television ads, it will be corrupt. If we leave it up to the politicians to clean up lobbying and finance reform, nothing is going to change. Time ;Business, Commerce & Finance
As the years have gone on, I find one of the dangers of watching dailies... is you fall in love with moments. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
At the end of the day, people have to respect people's differences. I am different than some people would like me to be. Respect
Audiences grew to like this duality of feeling, where you're both championing a character and you're revolted by them.
Being an actor sometimes requires that you ask yourself questions you'd rather not know the answers to.
Bobby Darin was one of the first to take black musicians on the road with his band, and there were places that didn't want him to play, and he stood up to it.
Both 'Consenting Adults' and 'Glengarry Glen Ross' revolve around the economic stresses of the '90s. They are about what people do when they're pushed against that wall, and how they're manipulated. They are both morality tales, though in very different genres.
But I feel that I have a responsibility to help the film and I have relations with the studio and with those who put up the money so that I can tell a story that I believe in. Money, Coins & Minting
Cable TV has become where the best actors, writers and directors have gone to work because they are allowed to do character-driven stories. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Clarence Darrow was a unique and courageous man. Several of my favourite actors have played Darrow... Henry Fonda, Orson Welles and Spencer Tracy.
Clearly the success of the Netflix model, releasing the entire season of 'House of Cards' at once, proved one thing: The audience wants the control. They want the freedom. If they want to binge as they've been doing on 'House of Cards' and lots of other shows, we should let them binge. Success ;Freedom & Liberty
Directing a film was something I was yearning to do. I always wanted to see if I had the capacity to be a good storyteller.
Edward Norton and I have known each other awhile. I just think he's the real deal, supremely talented and smart. He's got a great sense of humor. Humor
Essentially, your voice is an instrument; it's a muscle, and you have to treat it like a muscle, and so you have to work it. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Exposure to the arts and culture is enormously valuable.
Film is very condensed.
For kids growing up now, there's no difference watching 'Avatar' on an iPad or watching YouTube on TV or watching 'Game of Thrones' on their computer. It's all content. It's just story.
For me, coming to work every day has turned out to be exactly what I hoped it would be. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
For years, particularly with the advent of the Internet, people have been griping about lessening attention spans.
Francis Underwood was entirely based on Richard III. When Michael Dobbs wrote 'House of Cards' in the original British series, Richard III is what he based the character on.
Fundamentally, I like to accomplish things.
Games are advancing in terms of storytelling and trying to create a character, and it's a brand new audience for me.
Give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in, at a reasonable price, and they'll more likely pay for it rather than steal it. Well, some will still steal it, but I think we can take a bite out of piracy.
Have we become so celebrity-obsessed that there is no longer a difference between a character and an actor? I hope not. Hope
I accept the fact that some things don't go the way you hope. Hope
I actually have a number of lovely watches from the International Watch Company.
I always thought that, in a way, you want your Superman to be a total unknown.
I am different than some people would like me to be. I just don't buy into that the personal can be political.
I am now a commander of the British Empire.
I am so leading the life that I want and wanted and dreamed of as a kid. I'm trying very hard not to abuse it or take advantage of it. Life
I became a bit of a jerk. A kind of a nasty jerk.
I believe if you go to a movie theatre, and you see something you think is incredible, if you walk out of the theatre and there was a bin in the lobby of DVDs of the film you just watched, you would buy four of them - one for you and three for your friends.
I believe this: If an actor wants a role or wants to work with somebody, then you do everything within reason to try to get that role. If they want you to audition, you audition. If they want you to screen-test, you screen-test. If they want you to come and tap-dance in their hallway, you tap-dance in their hallway. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I can imagine there is going to come a time when someone will do 13 hours of a story without breaks. Time
I certainly identify with the role of mentor and, to some degree, maybe teacher. I do a lot of work with kids at the Old Vic. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I cotton to the idea that people are much closer to being flawed; they have problems and don't always make the right choices.
I couldn't imagine something asking as much of me as 'House Of Cards.' It's a great warm-up for coming back to the screen.
I don't care about my personal acting career anymore. I'm done with it. After 10 years of making movies and doing better than I ever could have imagined, I sort of had to ask myself: 'What am I supposed to do with all of this success that I have had?' Success ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I don't categorize characters into one syllable. These are fully-rounded characters that I don't judge; I just play them.
I don't even think in terms of ambition.
I don't live a lie. You have to understand that people who choose not to discuss their personal lives are not living a lie. That is a presumption that people jump to.
I don't play villainy. I wouldn't even know how to play it.
I don't watch rugby.
I feel it's a responsibility for anyone who breaks through a certain ceiling... to send the elevator back down and give others a helpful lift.
I felt that I shouldn't be an actor who just makes movie after movie in a quest for prestige and money. Money, Coins & Minting
I find it sad that by not talking about who I sleep with, that makes me mysterious. There was a time when I would have been called a gentleman. Time
I guess I've been training in the theater for as long as I can remember.
I have always believed that the risk takers are eventually rewarded.
I have long been a supporter of The Prince's Trust, and so when American Express asked me to launch 'Amex Be Inspired' and help young people build their confidence and fulfil their potential, I was delighted to get involved. Trust
I have never played a game in my life. Life
I have to remember if I'm at some charitable event where kids are... I try to remember don't swear in front of the kids!
I have wanted to have children. I do want to have children.
I like being able to go to a local pub and have great food and particularly love pubs that welcome my dogs. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
I liked it because it was such a dangerous script and showed just what human beings are capable of. Here was a movie in which Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, who always win in every movie they ever do, simply don't win. I felt that was outrageous for a commercial movie.
I love doing impressions. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I mean we all played as kids. You play games, you take on different characters, you imitate; the fun and the love of play has never left me. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I might have lived in England for the last several years, but I'm still an American citizen and I have not given up my right to privacy.
I never wanted to go to the Old Vic and not have it survive long after I was gone. It's not about me; it's about that theater. And the more that it's able to grow and do everything it should do without me, then I've done my job.
I open myself up every time I walk on screen and give you everything that I am. There are parts of me that are in every movie that I've done. That to me is what my job is. Time
I remember meeting the likes of Johnny Carson and Jimmy Stewart for the first time and being completely starstruck. Time
I terribly miss - we all miss, I think - somebody like the great producer Irving Thalberg. He had a foot in both camps: He understood us creative people. And he understood the money people. Money, Coins & Minting
I think it is just a function of the fact that I moved around so much as a child that I learnt early on to make every place my home.
I think people love it when anybody acts bad; it's not particular to me. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I think that there was a period of time - and I would reckon it was about 12 years - where I was just determined to see if I could build a career for myself. Time
I think that what is truly unfortunate is when an entire party makes a decision that they're going to block every single thing that a president wants to accomplish. It's very - it's very hard to get anything done in those circumstances.
I want to do better. I want to produce better stories. I want to do better plays.
I was not a studious kid, and I struggled to find things that would command my attention and engage my ideas and energies.
I was on a couple of scholarships. I had a job in the school administrative office. I had a job as a hat-check boy in a restaurant. I had another job as an assistant to a casting director. It took a lot to get myself enough money to put myself through Juilliard. Money, Coins & Minting
I was terrible in my first play. After that experience, I had to face that I wasn't good enough to play with the big boys. I had to go away and learn, so I worked in regional theater for three years. I even understudied at the Kennedy Center.
I went through a period of great rebellion within my family, when I was about 9 or 10. I was mad, I had no focus, had no real interest in anything, and so I started to do things that were just rebellious and stupid. Families, Children & Parenting
I would love to do much more singing; it's just one of those things where I can't quite describe what it feels like when you're standing in front of a forty piece orchestra, and there's nothing between you and an audience but a microphone. It's like strapping yourself to a locomotive, and I love it. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I write a lot about my experiences and the people I meet. I've got a lot of material. But a book about me? It seems sort of odd.
If someone can watch an entire season of a TV series in one day, doesn't that show an incredible attention span?
If there is one thing I object to, it's actors talking about how tough their jobs are.
If we don't reach out to make theatre affordable to the young generation, we will lose them all.
If you go out eight times and play tennis eight times this week, yeah, it's the same rules, but it's a different game every time you're out on that court. You're working on a different part of your game every time you're out on that court; your partner's working on a different part of their game, and the act of being watched changes it. Time
If you haven't turned rebel by twenty you've got no heart; if you haven't turned establishment by thirty you've got no brains!
If you ignore the murdering and the conniving, Francis Underwood is an effective politician.
If you look back through history in the United States, there have been very few landslide elections. Half the country always voted for someone else. History
If you wanna compete, you've got to get into the original content game.
If you're lucky enough to do well, it's your responsibility to send the elevator back down.
If you're not concerned about maintaining an image, you can pursue roads that another actor might not take.
If you're watching a film on your television, is it no longer a film because you're not watching it in a theatre? If you watch a TV show on your iPad, is it no longer a TV show? The device and the length are irrelevant; the labels are useless, except perhaps to agents and managers and lawyers, who use these labels to conduct business deals. Business, Commerce & Finance
I'll tell you one thing. I've never heard a director saying that the dailies suck.
I'm able to hang up the character with the costume at the end of the movie.
I'm always taken aback by things that are successful that I think are just crap, and then I'm completely surprised when things I do end up being successful because you walk into things and you never know... It's just really remarkable.
I'm attracted to things that are challenging and fun and interesting, and it certainly seems that audiences enjoy them as well.
I'm aware that, from the outside, this looks like I've got quite an ego.
I'm lucky if I find one movie a year that's worth doing, and when I do find one, it usually only takes 20-30 days to shoot.
I'm not a writer, and I don't want there to be any mistake about that.
I'm not going to make general comments about the British press.
I'm not out there trying to get press for myself nor am I trying to convince anybody that I'm living any kind of a life. I'm actually trying to convince people: I don't want you to know what I'm living, because it's none of your business. Life ;Business, Commerce & Finance
I'm not revolted by Washington.
I'm not someone who's led my life trying to get publicity; I'd rather do my work and go home. Life ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I'm supposed to convince you, for two hours, that I'm somebody else. Now if you know everything about my life, if you think you've got me figured out and you think you know all my dark secrets, how am I ever going to convince you that I'm somebody else? Life
I'm used to people thinking I'm nuts. And you know what? I kind of love it. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
In film, movies' schedules are based on three things: actors' availabilities, when are sets being built, when you can rent the place you're going to film in. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
It takes stamina to get up like an athlete every single night, seven to eight performances a week, 20 weeks in a row. And there are many young performers who only learn their craft in the two minute bits it takes to film a scene. You never learn the arc of storytelling, the arc of a character that way.
It's a great thriller or mystery, but on another level it's a film about the fact that, if you only look at a person through one lens, or only believe what you're told, you can often miss the truth that is staring you in the face. Truth
It's a really wonderful thing to focus your life on something other than your own personal career and ambition. Life
It's always the big question in our lives if you have a lot of success. What do you do with it? Buy more houses, buy more cars, buy more stuff, be wealthy and distant and unengaged? Or do you take all that good fortune that has come towards you and spread the love, do something with it? Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Success
It's extremely dangerous to compare anyone else to Shakespeare.
It's interesting to play a politician who gets stuff done.
It's not easy to sustain a long career, and sometimes I don't even think about how long I've been doing it.
It's so easy for us to misperceive and see the things in others that we want to see. And, when we're wrong, and often we're dead wrong, we miss the truth. Truth
It's the details and the human element that makes 'Recount' entertaining. Even though we know how the election ends, it plays like a thriller. It's also funny. Humor
I've always found it strange that a director can hire any designer he wants from any country. But if he hires a foreign actor, it's like he's stolen the crown jewels and run across the river with them.
I've been intrigued by politics my whole life. And, yes, I am very close to the Clintons. I was a Hillary person until I was an Obama person. And she was a Hillary person, too, until she was an Obama one, evidently. Life ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I've been on sets where things weren't relaxed because someone was creating tension for no reason.
I've been trying to take this journey over the last four years of getting away from playing manipulative and villainous characters and playing characters that are affected by what happens to them as opposed to unaffected.
I've never done a movie that's shot more than 40 days because I just don't do those kinds of films.
I've taken the experiences that I've had in the theatre and applied them to film and television and now games.
Kids aren't growing up with a sense of television as the aspirational place for their ideas.
Life's all about perceptions. Life
Living in London has become incredible. I suppose it's easy to love where you live if you love what you're doing. But this is not just a visit: it's my home. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
London is a very energising place to be.
Maybe there are people who are gamers who haven't seen movies I have made, or the movies I have made have made no impression on them at all. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Meeting the person you are going to be playing is very unique.
My admiration for 'Mary Tyler Moore' is very, very big because they went out on top.
My life will change, because I want it to change; and also because this is something I'm committed to doing and that I believe my life has been leading towards. Life
My mother always, always, always thought that I was going to be famous. Thought that I was going to win Oscars. In fact, I believe I accepted the Oscar as a ketchup bottle many a time in front of my mother in the kitchen. 'I'd like to thank the Academy,' I said with a ketchup bottle. Time ;Fame
My mother was sarcastic and delightful and, trust me, quite remarkable. Trust
No matter how good you might be in a movie, you'll never be any better. But in a play, I can be better next Tuesday. That's the thrill of it.
No one should ever feel sorry for me. I've been treated very well for the most part.
No one's personal life is in the public interest. It's gossip, bottom line. End of story. Life
One can never take the cynicism one comes across in life too seriously. Life
One of the tasks that any artistic director has is, you're trying to bring elements together that will work. The truth is that you could bring all the best talents in the world together and produce a big turkey. Truth ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Over a spell of about three years, I played a series of roles that were, for me, all very different, but most of them came out within a six-month period. They all dealt with a kind of dark territory that in some cases had been mined before in movies. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Over the years, I've been trying to build a relationship with an audience. I've tried to maintain as much of a low profile as I could so that those characters would emerge and their relationship with audiences would be protected.
Over the years, I've spent a lot of time in Washington. It's a great theater town. Time
Partisan rancour and party politics and ideology have got in the way of compromise - and compromise is the only thing that has ever made politics successful. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
People don't tend to hassle me because when I've got a hat on, I look like a banker. I'm just a plain guy.
People have different reasons for the way they live their lives. You cannot put everyone's reasons in the same box.
People have really long attention spans, and they love complicated plots. TV series are giving the audience what they want. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
People say, 'If you open a movie online at the same time as in movie theatres, no one is going to go to the movies.' That's just not true. People love to go out and have a shared experience; they always will. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
People sometimes have to be reminded, I'm not Frank Underwood. I'm an actor named Kevin Spacey.
People think that direct address was invented by Ferris Bueller, but in fact, it wasn't. It was invented by Shakespeare.
President Obama will go down as having passed some of the most historic bills in the history of this country. History
Secondarily, I think films that are driven by music also terrify studios. Music, Chants & Rapps
Some politicians that I've seen have been brilliant with the public. They almost speak with the skill of an actor.
Sometimes it's the crazy people who turn out to be not so crazy.
Sometimes the person who is the most logical is the person whom we call insane.
Storytelling helps us understand each other, translate the issues of our times, and the tools of theater and film can be powerful in helping young people to develop communication/collaboration skills, let alone improving their own confidence.
Success is like death. The more successful you become, the higher the houses in the hills get and the higher the fences get. Death ;Success
'The 24 Hour Plays' is a quite brilliant, exhilarating event for everyone concerned.
The audience wants control. They want freedom. Freedom & Liberty
The audience, the place you're in, has everything to do with how your performance goes.
The fact is that HBO is doing the kind of films and the kind of stories that the movie industry used to do. You look at a lot of the specialty sections of studios that have gone under... and there's no doubt in my mind why filmmakers and screenwriters and actors are ending up at a place like HBO. They do it better than anybody.
The less you know about me, the easier it is to convince you that I am that character on screen.
The more shows that are produced, the more writers are hired, producers are hired, actors are hired, directors are hired, it means the more people will get employed. It's better for the economy. It's a fantastic thing.
The next day I was in my school's production of All My Sons. This was the performance where I realized something was happening between me and the audience that I hadn't recognized before.
The Old Vic has always been first and foremost an actors' theatre, a home for great talent and memorable performances.
The only real experiences I've had with therapists were the ones who were working with me and my family when my mother was ill. Families, Children & Parenting
The process of doing a play is an organic one, and the process of doing a film is totally inorganic.
The relationship with the cast has everything to do with how a performance develops, and in a sense that while you're discovering a play in the course of rehearsal with the director, you're also discovering it with your fellow actors. We're all in it together.
The stigma that used to exist many years ago, that actors from film don't do television, seems to have disappeared. That camera doesn't know it's a TV camera... or even a streaming camera. It's just a camera.
There are a lot of people out there who offer roles to actors because they'll elevate their movie to a place the movie would never reach.
There are good people in the lobbying industry. Lobbyists can serve a very useful purpose.
There are times when you do a play when you are living in the character over a two-and-a-half-hour period or longer, and you come to the end of the night, and you can feel like you were hit by a truck.
There are ways in which you can make sure that even if people come to the theatre because they know an actor or actress, by the end, they've forgotten that, and they leave going, 'Wow - what an amazing play.'
There does seem to be in the U.S. now an ideology and an entrenchment that has stopped people doing what they are hired to do, which is govern rather than run for office the whole time. Time
There's no doubt that some of the greatest films ever made have come from the theater. It's all a matter of finding a way to make the theater experience watchable on film.
There's nothing like standing in a place and wanting nothing so much as to change but simply not being able to.
To look in the eyes of audiences and see the kind of naughty glee that they got with being on the inside, the audience becomes your co-conspirators.
We're all victims of our own hubris at times.
We're going to see a lot of companies that have been portals of entertainment become producers.
What hasn't surprised me is that audiences, as we found starting with box sets, want control, to decide how they watch it. Appointment viewing is slowly being put slightly behind.
What I like about Britain is that I can live a normal life here. Life
What I've certainly learned is that whenever I've said anything about real politics, I've come under attack. So it's best simply to play politics on television. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
What's my favourite book? It changes all the time. Time
When I look around at Broadway and the West End, theatre is becoming an exclusive club.
When I was young, I learned very early on that I could make my mother laugh. And that was one of the greatest sounds I ever heard.
When the story is good enough, people can watch something three times the length of an opera.
When you study, as I did, every theatrical beginning in this country, none of them have been greeted well. The Royal Shakespeare Company was a disaster, Peter Hall was a disaster, Richard Eyre was a disaster, Trevor Nunn was always a disaster.
When you're just able to distill it down to the idea and the feeling that a character is experiencing in a scene, it can become very, very razor sharp and really clean and really efficient and simple. And sometimes it takes twenty-five years to learn how to be simple.
Where the gaming world is going - and certainly Activision proved it by hiring me - is being willing to push and bend and move in a new direction of actually capturing the character and storytelling.
Whether it's 'Veep' or 'Homeland' or 'The West Wing' - which is a more idealised version of democracy - people are fascinated by politics. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Whether that's positive or not, people are talking about the Old Vic Theater again with passion and commitment and controversy and debate.
While data can only tell you what has happened in the past, it can in some ways give you a sense of what might be of interest to an audience in the future. Future
While the sciences are hugely important, let us not leave behind a child's imagination.
Why is 'Game of Thrones' the most pirated show in the history of TV? Because people can't get it fast enough, that's why. History
Why not sit around a Beverly Hills pool collecting residual cheques? That is not the kind of life I want. Life
Working in film tends to isolate actors - it's your close-up; it's all about you.
You can almost hear people saying, 'We're going to make a movie about an election' and 'We're going to make a movie about a lobbyist.' You can hear the yawning start across the nation.
You have to always be ready, always be alive, and always be willing to move in a new direction.
You just play what a writer writes, in terms of what a character chooses to do and how a character chooses to deal with their various relationships.
You learn every single day when you're running a company. You learn as you go.

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