Kevin Spacey set for return to movies with paedophilia drama

<span>Photograph: Steven Senne/AP</span>
Photograph: Steven Senne/AP

Kevin Spacey, the actor who has faced numerous allegations of sexual misconduct over the past four years, is set to return to film acting with a small role as a detective in an Italian crime drama.

Spacey, 61, will play a police officer investigating the case of a man – played by the director, Franco Nero – who can draw people by listening to their voices, despite not being able to see and is wrongly accused of sexually abusing children.

“I’m very happy Kevin agreed to participate in my film,” Nero told ABC News. “I consider him a great actor and I can’t wait to start the movie.” The film will also feature Nero’s wife, Vanessa Redgrave, who will play the accused man’s piano teacher.

Spacey has been little seen on either big or small screen since 2017 when more than 20 men alleged sexual misconduct by the actor when he was working at the Old Vic in London between 1995 and 2013. Spacey denies all accusations of misconduct.

He was dropped from Netflix’s House of Cards series and his scenes in Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World were hastily reshot with Christopher Plummer, who won an Oscar nomination for his work.

In October 2019, prosecutors in Los Angeles rejected a sexual battery case because the accuser had died, while in July 2020, prosecutors in Massachusetts dropped a case after the 18-year-old man who accused Spacey of groping him refused to testify.

In September 2020, the Star Trek actor actor Anthony Rapp and another man filed a lawsuit accusing Spacey of sexual assaults in the 1980s when they were teenagers.

Rapp had first spoken publicly against the actor in 2017 and in the suit detailed his allegation of sexual advances made to him aged 14. When Rapp first made the accusation, Spacey issued a statement saying he didn’t remember the encounter but apologised.

Since his public fall from grace, Spacey has been seen in a small number of projects made before the allegations came to light. Billionaire Boys Club made £98 on its opening night when it was released in the US in 2018.

Over the past three years, Spacey has also released short, self-shot Christmas videos, beginning in 2018 with one in which he played his House of Cards character, Frank Underwood, addressing Netflix’s decision to kill Underwood off as well as the sexual assault claims against him.

His video from last December sought to reassure those contemplating suicide because of the negative impact of the pandemic that “it gets better”. In a recent podcast, he also drew a line between his own situation and those whose lives had been destroyed by coronavirus.

“I don’t think it will come as a surprise for anyone to say that my world completely changed in the fall of 2017,” he said. “My job, many of my relationships, my standing in my own industry were all gone in just a matter of hours. And so I do have empathy for what it feels like to suddenly be told that you can’t go back to work or that you might lose your job.”

Spacey appears to have spent a considerable amount of time in Europe since the allegations first broke. In 2019, he read a poem about a battered boxer in a museum in Rome, before being seen singing La Bamba on the streets of Seville the following month.

He is also reported to be serving on the jury of a new film festival in late August in Abruzzo, Le Marche and Molise.