Alan Ball Fears Spacey’s Disgraced Legacy Has Tarnished American Beauty
By now you definitely know that one of the very few celebrities who have continued to wear their #canceled badge is Kevin Spacey. To most, his reputation as an esteemed actor gives pause after Star Trek’s Anthony Rapp came forward with allegations of Spacey sexually assaulting him while underage. Spacey, before these allegations no one has proven to be false, was credited as a huge name in Hollywood who could smoothly sell out movie theaters and any film would be an instant hit. His most notable roles come from The Usual Suspects and American Beauty. The latter was created by Alan Ball, an openly gay pioneer in Hollywood who also crafted the magnificent series, Six Feet Under. Perhaps his best work is American Beauty, where Spacey portrayed a heterosexual, insecure man who was in a form of love, primarily lust, with his teenage daughter’s best girlfriend… a popular, high school cheerleader (Mena Suvari). The movie may not age well, or ever really was appropriate to begin with, but the film garnered a plethora of awards and recognition. However, Spacey’s perversions have certainly made any fan of the film look at the content with more curious eyebrow raises… and Ball knows this.
According to IndieWire, Ball touches on Spacey’s association with the film being a stain on the longstanding status. While promoting his new film, Uncle Frank, an uninspired story of a gay uncle within his small family, Ball mentioned that he feels “sad” about Spacey’s involvement hurting his film. Ball clearly has a special place in his heart for the film, which earned Best Picture at the 1999 Academy Awards, claiming Spacey’s character in the film probably wouldn’t even get made in the current climate. The film does revolve around an adult in love with a teenager, although one could see similarities between American Beauty and Call Me By Your Name, which was also widely recognized by Hollywood and audiences.
One of American Beauty’s leading stars, Hocus Pocus’ Thora Birch, commented on Spacey’s involvement in the film back in 2019. She requested everyone remind themselves that Spacey was not the only person contributing to the movie’s greatness and his now disgraced real-life character shouldn’t be the reason why people tune out.
Do you believe Spacey’s personal life has affected American Beauty for future re-watches?
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.