Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey came to Texas last week to host college screenings of DreamWorks Pictures’ provocative fall release, “American Beauty,” the dark comedy-drama which is quickly becoming one of the major successes of the fall season. Before the Dallas showing on October 11, he discussed the film, and his willingness to travel for question-and-answer sessions with students.
Spacey, who won his Oscar for “The Usual Suspects” and also made a splash in “L.A. Confidential,” read Alan Ball’s script for “Beauty,” in which he plays Lester Burnham, a forty-something miserable in his job and losing contact with his family who chucks his career and remakes his life after becoming obsessed with a cheerleader friend of his dour teenage daughter, while finishing up a strenuous run in a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s mammoth stage classic, “The Iceman Cometh.” Two months before getting the screenplay, he’d seen a London production of “The Front Page” directed by Sam Mendes, who he knew had been inked to direct the picture in his screen debut.