Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Spacey demands TV talent search

BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 19:  Two-time Academy Award-winning Kevin Spacey speaks onstage at the premiere of Love's Routine, the winning US film from the Trigger Street Productions Presents Jameson First Shot competition at the Wythe Hotel on June 19, 2013 in Brooklyn, New York.  (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Jameson Irish Whiskey)
Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey thinks modern TV bosses are lazy and haven't moved with the times.

The star became the first actor to give the prestigious James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival yesterday. The speech is always made by a power figure in the media and Kevin used the opportunity to urge TV bosses to change the way they work.

He criticised the system of small screen pilots in the US, insisting the future lies with the internet and on-demand services, such as Netflix which airs his show House of Cards.

Today, Kevin added to his points by accusing many in television of resting of their laurels.

"I wasn't speaking about everybody. There are executives that do get it, but there are not enough," he explained.

"People are too lazy. You have to get off your ass and go look. If you don't participate, you are waiting for someone else to discover the talent."

The star believes the day of cliff-hanger TV episodes is over and is adamant movies will soon be getting on-demand and theatre releases on the same day.

The changing face of acting is one of the reasons Kevin has always looked to mix up his career. He pointed to his decision to move to the UK and work at The Old Vic Theatre in London as the moment he "completely changed his trajectory".

He also criticised the way modern movies are way, insisting the editing process is such that sometimes the final version of a film is completely different to the one he thinks he has made.

"[Movies can feel like having] a lot of appetisers, but you go home hungry," he explained.

In his speech yesterday, Kevin discussed the importance of engaging with young people. With box sets of shows becoming ever more popular, he advised TV bosses let young people "binge" on programmes if that’s what they want and spoke of how inspirational Lena Dunham is.

"We are no longer operating in a world where someone has to decide if they are an actor, director, producer or writer - these days kids growing up on YouTube can be all these things," he said.

"We have to persuade them there is a home for them in the mainstream. But we also have to make space for those single-minded geniuses that just have it all together, and all they need is a door to be opened - the Lena Dunhams of our world."

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Extra responsibilities you could do without will play havoc with your plans. Resist the urge to persuade someone to help you when they haven't got the time. You don't want to be accused of manipulation. Listen to a mature friend who can see a solution without it causing any further hassle.More