Director Who Cast Kevin Spacey Ahead of U.K. Trial Says “Risky Move” Has “Proven Itself” With Acquittal

Director Who Cast Kevin Spacey Ahead of U.K. Trial Says “Risky Move” Has “Proven Itself” With Acquittal

The director of a low-budget British indie that sparked controversy last year by casting Kevin Spacey months before his his sexual assault trial in the U.K. is saying his decision has now been proven right.

Control, which was announced in November and just two weeks after London’s Crown Prosecution Service brought the number of sexual offense charges Spacey would be facing up to 12, is a thriller in which a British politician sees her self-driving car hijacked by a man seeking revenge. Spacey was cast in a voice-only role as the main antagonist.

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Speaking to the U.K.’s Sky News shortly after Spacey was cleared of all charges on Wednesday, writer/director Gene Fallaize said that he “absolutely knew” that casting the two-time Oscar winner was “going to be a risky move.”

Fallaize said: “I discussed it at length with my producers about the pros and cons, we really weighed it out. It wasn’t an easy decision. But we think we made the best decision and it’s one we stand by. And today, that’s proven itself.”

The filmmaker added that Spacey’s role was recorded over the course of a day, but said it was the “most amazing experience for me as an independent filmmaker.” He praised the actor for the “intensity” he brought to the role.

He also said he never spoke directly to Spacey about the charges or criminal trial, only to his legal team.

“There were indirect things as we were talking about how his life had changed,” said Fallaize. “We talked about House of Cards, which I didn’t know whether to bring up because he was let go from the show, but he spoke quite freely and openly about those things and was obviously very proud of House of Cards. I think he was very proud of his acting past, but totally accepted the situation — his words at one point were that he was a jobbing actor.”

Following the court’s decision on Wednesday, much of the conversation surrounding Spacey is whether he can return to the heights of his career before the sexual assault allegations first surfaced in 2017. For Fallaize, he believes he can.

“Just the response that I’ve experienced today — and I’m a tiny sliver of Kevin’s experiences — has been overwhelmingly positive,” he said. “People that warned us of the risks when we were casting who were saying, ‘just be aware because this could impact us,’ they’ve all come forward today saying what genius casting it was. So, what I’ve experienced today alone, I think Kevin has a very good chance.”