Despite allegations of abuse, Kevin Spacey received an award for his career: “Thank you for having the guts to invite me”
The two-time Oscar winner was honored by Italy's National Museum of Cinema, as open legal proceedings against him continue, sparking strong criticism in the country
Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey poses as the National Museum of Cinema in Turin awards him the "Stella della Mole Award" in Turin, Italy, on January 16, 2023 (Reuters)
The Italian National Museum of Cinema awarded the American actor Kevin Spacey, which generated some controversy due to the ongoing judicial processes that he is still maintaining for alleged sexual abuse.
His tribute has aroused certain debate between those who defend the decision and those who regret it for the judicial situation of the actor. In an interview with La Repubblica, director Susanna Nicchiarelli defended the presumption of innocence but questioned whether it was “opportune”, in the same way as the filmmaker Liliana Cavani: “They could have waited”, she stated in the Turin newspaper “La Stampa”.
The institution, based in the Mole Antoneliana de la city of Turin, presented him with the “Stella della Mole” award for his “filmography, his personal aesthetic and author contribution and the development of dramatic art,” according to a statement. The tribute included the president of the institution, Enzo Ghigo, and the undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture, Vittorio Sgarbi.
For the occasion, the 63-year-old actor was invited to deliver a speech at the museum.
“I feel blessed, grateful and humble, and my heart is very full this night to the Film Museum for having the guts to invite me tonighte,” he said.
And then he added: “The first performance I did was in my high school drama class. It was a little five-minute scene that we had to create, without words. But we could have music. I was 11 years old. And I decided to do a western scene, so I could play a cowboy. A bank robber. The bad guy, naturally.”
“I am so honored to have been a part of the creative process with so many amazing people. Filmmakers, artists and technicians with whom I have had the opportunity to work. Who wouldn't consider tonight the perfect opportunity to say 'thank you!' You're not just honoring me. You are honoring them all”, Spacey said on stage.
“I feel blessed, grateful and humbled, and my heart is very full tonight to the Film Museum for having the guts to invite me tonight,” the actor said onstage (Reuters)
On the eve of the award ceremony, the Turin newspaper La Stampa published an editorial headlined “Italy, land of full indulgence”.
He was also criticized by the feminist collective “Amleta” and the actress Cinzia Spanò assured that it would have been preferable not to invite him.
Last week, Spacey appeared by video link in a London court, pleading not guilty to several charges of sexual misconduct in front of a man some 20 years ago.
The charges were joined to an indictment previous five counts related to alleged sexual offenses against three men between 2005 and 2013, all of whom Spacey had previously pleaded not guilty to.
Spacey, Oscar winner for “The usual suspects” (1995) and “American Beauty” (1999), saw his career devastated in 2017 by the accusation of sexual harassment by actor Anthony Rapp, of which he was acquitted two years later. He currently faces 12 charges in the UK.
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In Turin, the actor thanked an Italian director, Franco Nero, who hired him despite of the controversy surrounding the making of the film “L'uomo che disegnò Dio” (2021).
“All my life I will be grateful to Franco Nero for making me return to the set of filming , for offering me a movie when everyone else was scared. The role does not matter, what matters is the gesture, what he did at a particular moment in my life”, he declared in a previous event with the media in which he did not accept questions about his judgments.
(With information from EFE)