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Kevin Spacey Pays It Forward During a Nacho Bar Interview

image Though known for being tight-lipped about his private life, earlier this month it became no secret Kevin Spacey loves Mexican food. So it was no surprise when the two-time ®Oscar winner chose to meet for our interview at a quiet table in the back of Casa de Papitas, or “House of Chips,” a Hollywood-area nacho bar nicknamed “The Mexican Brown Derby” because of its celebrity clientele. I crossed the busy dining area past the nacho bar, which was nearly depleted after a visit from Brad and Angelina’s family, and saw Spacey at a small table in an alcove taking a selfie with a Mariachi band member.

“Let’s see how much shit we can stir up with this Tweet, El Presidente,” said Spacey, who then motioned me over and stuck out his hand. “You must be from Long Awkward Pause.”

Admittedly star-struck, I only nodded.

“I figured as much, because this handshake is lasting way too long and is becoming awkward,” he said, then paused. “See what I just did there?”

He then graciously offered me a seat before settling into his, legs crossed, one arm resting on the chair-back, leaving the other free to rummage through the chips basket. It was clearly my signal to start the interview, which I opened with the question I’m sure is on every LAP reader’s mind:

“Why did you agree to an interview with us and be a guest on our upcoming podcast? I mean, it seems one would be bad enough.”

Spacey smiled and examined a chip, then popped it into his mouth. “Did you ever see the movie Albino Alligator?” he asked, referring to his directorial debut, which grossed $339,000 and cost $6 million to make.

“I think we all did,” I said. “Everyone at LAP thought it was great.”

“Bingo,” said Spacey.

“You’ve made it known that you want to be in a Woody Allen movie some day. In fact, you even paid for his Netflix subscription so he could see your work on House of Cards…”

“Yes, but Woody said he hasn’t seen it yet because he can’t find the remote,” said Spacey. “I’m not sure if he’s joking.”

“Well, given that your character, Frank Underwood, is essentially a manipulative and conniving politician, are you wanting Woody Allen to create a similar character for you in one of his movies?”

“Why not?” said Spacey. “Imagine what I could have done with Annie Hall?”


“I suppose that’s true,” I said. “Actually, I heard there were several roles you actively pursued but didn’t get, in spite of your two Academy Awards.”



Sandra Dee

Sandra Dee

Sir Elton John

Sir Elton John



Spacey grabbed another chip and swirled it in the salsa. “I think the only role that I was truly disappointed in not getting was Sandra Dee in Beyond the Sea,” he said, then took a bite from his chip. “Considering I co-wrote it, directed it, co-produced and starred in it, you’d think I would’ve had some pull.”

“Is it true your first professional stage appearance was in 1981 as a spear carrier in a New York Shakespeare Festival?” I asked.

“Yes. I was very nervous and practiced for weeks by carrying a hockey stick with me wherever I went,” said Spacey. “In the end, it paid off and I won a Tony Award for Best Supporting Spear Carrier. Plus crime dropped by 67 percent in my neighborhood that month.”

Before I could ask my next question, a waiter approached the table for our order. Spacey, noted for his Hollywood impressions, chose to forgo the nacho bar and order from the small menu as Clint Eastwood.

“I know what you’re thinking,” said Spacey, who squinted and began speaking through clenched teeth. “Will he order the number six chimichanga platter or only five. In all this confusion I sort of lost track myself. So I gotta ask myself: Do I feel lucky?”

“Well — DO you, PUNK?!?” I chimed in, then immediately regretted it.

The waiter gave me a nervous glance.

“A man’s got to know his limitations,” said Spacey.

“Right. Sorry,” I said, and heard the waiter call me “puto” under his breath as he turned to leave. After another awkward pause, I smiled and offered my final question to Spacey, who politely smiled back then glanced at his watch. “There’s been a lot of speculation about your preference when it comes to…”

“Stop,” said Spacey. “I know where you’re going with this and I’ll tell you right now that I’m not pimping my personal life out for publicity. I’m not interested in doing it. Never will do it. Everybody has a right to a private life.”

I cleared my throat, which had turned to sand. “I wasn’t going to ask that.”

“Really? Oh… sorry. Then what was your question?”

“In a remake of Albino Alligator, would you prefer to cast unknowns or movie critics as the hostages?”

Spacey thought about this a moment. “Are we using blanks or live rounds?”

After finishing our lunch, Spacey gave me a hearty handshake and thoughtfully paid the bill despite my objections. I thanked him and, as an afterthought, asked him if his role as President Frank Underwood has given him any real political ambitions about becoming one of the most powerful men in the world.

“You mean I’m not already?” he asked.

He has a point.


Want more Kevin Spacey? He just happens to be our guest on the next Over the Line Show with Jack and Joe podcast! Coming to Long Awkward Pause June 1st!




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About Ned's Blog (35 Articles)
I've been a journalist and humor columnist at the Siuslaw News for 16 years. I'm also a volunteer firefighter. If the newspaper ever burns down, I will have some explaining to do. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

40 Comments on Kevin Spacey Pays It Forward During a Nacho Bar Interview

  1. Very amusing.


  2. Say what you want about Kevin Spacey, he’s going to make a great addition to the LAP staff.


  3. Best Supporting Spear Carrier must be one of those categories that gives out awards the week before the legit Oscars. I wish there was a clip of him and the spear. I also think he looks like the transgender sister of Helen Hunt and Meg Ryan in two of those pics.


    • Yeah, I think they hold those awards in a rented banquet room at the Elks Lodge. Spacey’s spear-carrying days were in 1981, well before Snapchat, so there’s little chance of actually finding a photo. Trust me; I looked.

      And yes, Helen Hunt and Meg Ryan, in that order!


  4. I’m pretending this is real, and I that alone is going to get me through the day.


  5. I can’t believe you failed to mention his “performance” as Lex Luther.


  6. Spacey is fucking badass. I saw him play Richard III. At the end, while Richmond is giving the closing battlefield speech, Spacey (a very dead Richard) is trussed upside down by his ankles and suspended about 10 feet above the stage. Blood from his battle wounds trickles down his arms, hands and drips off his fingertips, pooling on the stage. C’mon! How do you not love that?!


  7. This is excellente. I’m so jealous you got to have chips with Kevin Spacey. I look forward to this, Ned.


    • Thanks, Amy! I tried to get a selfie but, after that Mexican president thing, he was understandably nervous. Especially since I was wearing a sombrero… 😉


  8. Your mind is a wonderful place to visit, Ned.
    Well done.


  9. Ned you are a regular Barbara Walters. And I’m glad to know Spacey’s preference for, uh, chimichangas.

    By the way, I have two solid House of Cards theories I would like to see confirmed or not during the podcast interview:

    1. Frank is a robot designed by Russians who is programmed to take down the US as president so that Putin can step in as leader of the free world.

    2. Frank is an alien who has used its super human intellect to rise to the US presidency and will subsequently take over the earth and then universe.

    YES or NO, Spacey?


  10. I caught most of American Beauty yesterday–I had completely forgotten how fantastic he is. Speaking of fantastic…your “writerly range” rocks! Just made me think of something you need to address in your upcoming NWOW articles. I’ll tell you the next time I’m back over there.
    For now, I’m going to see if I can activate a Netflix account…I have seen entirely too few Kevin Spacey movies!


    • I would watch Kevin Spacey read the ingredients label on a box of Cheerios. If you get the Netflix account, see if you can see his appearance on Saturday Night Live; he actually started out as a stand-up comedian before becoming an actor — and it shows.

      And you’re NWOW topic idea has me intrigued; a couple of my best entries were sparked by your suggestions. I’ll make sure I’m not gassy before I read it 😉


      • You are SO right! Remember “Seven”? Between him and Morgan Freeman, my ears were in a happy coma. I’ll definitely look up his SNL appearance…I’m starting to like this couch potato stuff!

        Regarding NWOW…I’ll drop you a note next week. It’s not a real coherent thought, just a question or two that I know you’ll be able to run away with!

        Have a great weekend!


        • The absolute perfect John Doe. Now I want to see it again! And don’t worry about the couch potato thing; it’s not “sloth” in your case… still, it would almost be worth it if Kevin Spacey showed up 😉

          Looking forward to you slightly incoherent thoughts.

          You have a great weekend and well!

          — Ned


  11. I can’t tell if this is real…is it? Yeah, I’m that derp. If not, I’m submitting this for academy awards. Very funny.


  12. I love Kevin Spacey and watched his devilish character unfold on House of Cards. Will he unfold on LAP?


  13. Gosh I am so envious that you met and had lunch with Kevin Spacey, that is definitely a bucket list item for me.


  14. As I commented on Ned Hickson’s blog, to have lunch with Kevin Spacey is a bucket list item for me. Since it appears you may have an in with him, could you set up a lunch date for me?


  15. Great interview! You should be commended for being able to talk at all in front of the most powerful men in the world. I would be jelly.
    I have to ask who the photoshop expert with the mad skills is? Those pics are scary good. Did you do them yourself Ned?


    • I have to admit, I found those photos floating around the Internet under “Kevin Spacey Images” and sort of built that part of the interview around them. I think the only one that was actually Photoshopped, though, was the one of him as Voldemort! Spacey actually began his career doing stand-up comedy, so he has a great sense of humor.

      Glad you enjoyed the “interview.” 😉


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