He’s back, long before we thought we’d hear from him again.
Disgraced actor Kevin Spacey shared a new video on YouTube this week — a clip featuring him revisiting his Frank Underwood character from Netflix’s “House of Cards.”
The show killed off that character before the sixth and final season following a wave of sexual abuse allegations against the star. More than 30 people have come forward claiming that Spacey had sexually assaulted them in some manner. The first accusation came from a man who accused Spacey of making sexual advances on him when he was just 14 years old.
A storied career came to a screeching halt. Director Ridley Scott literally removed Spacey from his 2017 film, “All the Money in the World,” recasting his role with Christopher Plummer at the literal last minute.
We hadn’t heard from Spacey since then. Then, on Christmas Eve, he published this video:
Spacey addresses the audience directly, just like he did throughout his Netflix drama. But why? What good could come out of a clip where he seems arrogant, boastful, and hardly repentant?
Consider these four possible explanations (not excuses):
1. He needs to act again
A fellow like Spacey has been gainfully employed as a performer for decades. Movies. Shows. Theater. It’s in his DNA, and he’s got two Oscars to prove his talent. Since the scandal broke, all of that has gone away. He’s a man without a stage. So creating that video, from the script to his precise elocution, lets him ply his trade once more. Did it matter that it likely hardened opinions against him? For that moment he doesn’t seem to care.
2. He’s judging us
Why did so many viewers love his work in “House of Cards”? Sure, it’s a compelling show revealing the worst side of Beltway denizens. Audiences also cheered on Frank Underwood, often against our better judgment. Sometimes villains are more compelling than heroes.
Spacey’s comments, including, “you trusted me, even though you knew you shouldn’t,” suggest there’s something wrong within us for doing just that.
3. He’s hoping fake news will save his career
Most Americans know not to trust the media. We’ve read too many lies, fake stories, and surreal biases to take headlines at face value. Perhaps Spacey is banking on that suspicion to plot his eventual comeback. Sure, the news said he was a monster, but remember when they lied about President Trump and other figures? “You wouldn’t rush to judgments without facts, would you?” he asks. “Did you? No, not you. You’re smarter than that.”
4. Denial steeped in fiction
He’s done bad things and has gotten away with it for decades. Now, he’s been caught. Only he’s been denying his behavior for so long he’s conflated his actual crimes with those of his signature role. The line between his truth and the parts he’s played for years has been blurred so dramatically he thinks we’ll do the same in our own minds sooner than later — and that we not only “miss” him but want him back on the big screen soon.