Kevin Spacey brings stage act to big screen in documentary

Fri May 2, 2014 4:50pm EDT
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kevin Spacey, the two-time Oscar-winning actor and star of one of the most talked-about online streaming shows "House of Cards," leans forward and says that even in his lofty status among Hollywood actors, he still has a personal point to prove.

With new documentary "Now: In the Wings on a World Stage," Spacey lets his personal passion for theater roar in a film that introduces audiences to his second career on the stage as he tours the world with his own company's production of William Shakespeare's historical play "Richard III."

Spacey, 54, who has been the artistic director at London's the Old Vic theater since 2003, said his choice to cut back on his Hollywood career and devote his time to the stage, struck many as a self-defeating project.

"A lot of people looked at me like a dog that's sort of a little puzzled," the star said with a smile. "'Like, why do you do theater, and why did you go off and run this theater for 10 years? I don't get. And isn't theater boring? Why don't you just do movies and make a lot of money?'"

The documentary, which is directed by first-time filmmaker Jeremy Whelehan, gives a behind-the-scenes look into the production, play and tour of the trans-Atlantic theater group, the Bridge Project, a three-year venture between Spacey's Old Vic, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and director Sam Mendes.

"Now: In The Wings" opens in New York on Friday and is available for online download on Friday, rolling out to Los Angeles movie theaters next week after playing limited runs in other U.S. cities. It opens in the United Kingdom on June 9.

It follows the project's final production through rehearsals and its international tour to places such as Beijing, Doha, San Francisco and Greece's ancient amphitheater at Epidaurus.

Shakespeare's 16th century play, based on England's medieval King Richard III, dramatizes Richard's bloody advance to the throne, all with a black comedy turn. For the part of Richard, Spacey dons a hunchback and affects a club-footed gait to mimic the antihero's crumpled physical appearance.   Continued...

Actor Kevin Spacey walks the green carpet as he arrives for the 15th annual International Indian Film Awards in Tampa, Florida, April 26, 2014. REUTERS/Steve Nesius