With "Beyond the Sea," Spacey hopes to introduce Bobby Darin's music to a new generation of fans, while stimulating renewed interest amongst audiences who can still remember listening to Darin during his heyday.
INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN SPACEY ('Bobby Darin'):
How hard was it for you as a director and the star to jump in and out of character? The other actors have said you werent Bobby Darin when you were directing.
Its just part of my character. Im able to compartmentalize very well and do that, [snaps fingers] and Im out of it, in it. But it was also interesting. It takes a while for actors to start to feel safe and trusting. You ask them to go places that are either wildly comic, and they are not quite sure who theyre playing yet. And I remember Greta [Scacchi], when we were shooting a scene like the first or second night, and it was freezing cold and we were outside in Berlin, [thinking about] what were we doing. We did a take and Greta said, Im sorry, Im sorry, and I said, What? She goes, I just became very self-conscious. I suddenly realized that you were the director. And I said, And? And she said, I suddenly saw you looking at me as the director and not me as Bobby. And I said, Greta, Bobby is the director And she went, Oh, literally, and then just completely relaxed. And it was an interesting dynamic. Because Id created that concept, it was less hard for everyone else, and even less hard for me to be able to go back and forth.
Its just part of my character. Im able to compartmentalize very well and do that, [snaps fingers], and Im out of it, in it. But it was also interesting. It takes a while for actors to start to feel safe and trusting. You ask them to go places that are wildly comic, and they are not quite sure who theyre playing yet.
How big a challenge was it for you to lip-sync?
I did some of the stuff live. The first Mack is live. Its not hard for me at all. Ive always been very good at looping. I wont leave a looping stage until its exact, until I know that thats going to look at least like I actually said that. Plus, Id been working on the music for so long. We recorded the tracks in September, before we knew if we had a movie. So I paid for all those sessions because we had no money, but I knew I had to get those tracks down. It was too huge an operation. We had 73 musicians and there were all these charts. It was huge. I had about a month and a half with all those tracks before we started shooting. Id known the music so well, and I knew Bobbys arrangements so well, that they were in me. Plus we kept singing, even when we would do a performance. Then Peter Cincotti, whos a great jazz artist, wed play all these songs that we know, just for all the extras. We couldnt stop.
Can you talk a little about casting Kate Bosworth?
Easy. I mean, it was easy. I was always fascinated over the last couple of years as I was reading all these tabloid articles about me and Sandra Dee being in a big feud, about me wanting to cast Drew Barrymore. Nothing against Miss Barrymore, but I didnt have any intention of casting Drew or anyone else who was very well known. I always knew I wanted a relative unknown to play the role. It wasnt until I met Kate at a dinner, and I never saw her work, I didnt see any of her films before I met her. I saw them after I cast her. My casting director here said, Youve got to meet Kate Bosworth.
I went to this dinner, I walked in, and shes a smart girl and she dressed as the role. She was sitting across this area of this restaurant, sitting on a bench waiting for me. I just saw her from across the room, about 20 feet [away]. Her blond hair was across [forehead] and she was wearing a little sweater and a little print dress. I just went, Oh my God. I literally heard Summer Place in my head. We sat down and we had this dinner. She was funny, she was intelligent, [and] she wasnt wrapped up in herself. Shes an east coast girl. I knew in about 15 minutes. And one of the reasons I did know was because, even though Kates quite young, she has a very mature face. I knew on film, on screen, that face could age. There a lot of girls who can be young and beautiful and Americas sweetheart, but to get where I needed this character to get, to deal with the issues of alcoholism without doing it over the top, to watch how difficult that marriage was, I knew I needed an actress who could get there. And she got there.