Published in WSJ Magazine
"If there was one play that we really, really didn't want to f— up, this was it." Kevin Spacey curses a lot, which is especially startling since we are walking through the stately public gardens of Greystone Mansion, the English Gothic–style estate in Beverly Hills.
We're having about as British a day as you can have in Los Angeles, starting with breakfast at the London Hotel. Spacey likes to stay there because the hotel offers free calls to London, where he lives and works his day job as artistic director of the storied Old Vic Theatre.
Spacey, who is strolling along in gray Converse All Stars, is headed out tonight to Avilés, Spain, a tiny northern port town, the next stop on the global tour of the play in question, "Richard III."
"The expectations were so high," he explains. It was, after all, the first time he would be working with director Sam Mendes since both won Oscars for "American Beauty." The production is also part of the duo's ambitious Bridge Project, in which a play debuts at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) or the Old Vic, takes an epic world tour to places like Hong Kong, Sydney and Greece. Richard the III lands in New York on January 10 at BAM, a co-producer of the project.