Why Spacey hankers for Dublin nights
HE didn't quite hit the mark with his 'loose' take on the life of crime boss Martin Cahill in the critically mauled, Ordinary Decent Criminal, a laughable attempt at the Dubliner burr just the tip of this box-office iceberg.
But if recent reports were anything to be believed, Kevin Spacey would soon redeem himself with a mooted biopic of another local figure of disrepute, fallen former billionaire, Sean Quinn.
Sadly, the two-time Oscar winner is shutting down rumours on this passion project, though a love for the capital may change his mind down the line.
"I read those articles that I was playing [Sean Quinn] too and if I'm honest, I didn't know who he was before that and I'd never heard of this movie," he says. "Here's the truth, sometimes people talk about actors in interviews and mention them to get attention for a film and I think that may have been the case here. But that's not to say it won't ever happen, he's certainly a fascinating character. And I do love to work in Dublin."
The American Beauty actor, soon to star in House of Cards, shot Ordinary Decent Criminal in several locations around the city and leafy southside suburb, Rathfarnham at the end of 1998 and fell for the atmosphere, the architecture and most importantly, the nightlife, becoming a regular in Lillie's while shooting the gritty comedy drama.
"What's not to love; the people, the history and of course, drinking in the company of the world's finest drinkers. Who wouldn't have an absolute ball there? It's mandatory."
The 53-year-old, obsessively protective of his private affairs, has been quiet of late after turning his back on Hollywood to focus his attentions as artistic director of London's Old Vic Theatre.
Famed for his complex, inspiring performances in LA Confidential, American Beauty and The Usual Suspects, Spacey delivers a long-awaited return to the mainstream in House of Cards, a glossy US remake of the cult BBC political series starring Ian Richardson as the iconically heinous, Francis Urquhart.
Moving from Downing Street to Capitol Hill, Spacey takes over as Frank Underwood, a ruthless congressman passed over for Secretary of State who hatches a plot to bring down the new president. Like Richardson before him, Spacey brings an unfathomable likeability to an utterly loathsome character. "Frank's just a diabolical, delicious treat," Kevin smiles.
"When I saw the original series, I thought it was delectable, fun and ripe for a revisit.
"Frank has this fantastic conversation with the audience, like Richard III or Iago, he has them on his side, despite his despicable deeds."
Spacey is enthusiastic of the online launch of the series through Netflix.
"It's the way of the future. It's how we watch TV these days.
"I'll often be asked what did I do this weekend and say: 'Oh I caught up on two seasons of Game of Thrones, or three seasons of Breaking Bad'.
"As viewers, we become incredibly invested, more than ever before."