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Kevin Spacey's detention in K-PAX

April 12 • Certificate 12

STARS: Kevin Spacey Jeff Bridges
Mary McCormack • Alfre Woodard
DIRECTOR: Iain Softley

An innocuous man named Prot (Kevin Spacey) is detained in Grand Central Station after attempting to assist the victim of a mugging.

When he tells the police that the light on their planet is much brighter than on his own planet of K-PAX, he is turned over to Dr. Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges), a psychiatrist at a New York City public hospital.

Powell becomes obsessed by his new patient, and begins to wonder if his stories about K-PAX could be true.

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IAIN SOFTLEY on Will Smith having been initially chosen to play Prot:
"I was told when I read the first script that it was his role. I thought the Will Smith of Six Degrees of Separation would have been great, and I think the reason he didn't jump at the role in the same way that Kevin did is that it's a role he could have done, but it's a role that Kevin was born to do."
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"The way that I read scripts is I don't want to know the role, I just read the story. (Knowing the character) taints your ability to judge it as a story. When I finished reading K-PAX I picked up the phone and called my manager, and said, 'This is such a beautiful story and the role of Prot is so great.' And she said, 'That's not the part they want you to play.' They wanted me to look at the psychiatrist. I thought the psychiatrist was a good part, but it wasn't the part I liked. For whatever reason, that incarnation of the film didn't get made. Three and a half years went by and they came back and offered me Prot - and we went out and got Jeff, who's a much better psychiatrist than I would have been."
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Spacey and Bridges in K-PAXJEFF BRIDGES on the research he did,
meeting psychiatrists:
"I was very impressed with all the different methods there are to approaching patients. I saw many ways to conduct therapy. It freed me up, not thinking that I had to do something rigid."
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"We got a lot of help from psychiatrists and psychiatric hospitals, because they thought it was a rare film script that was accurate in its depiction of mental health. The actors were very pleased, for more than one reason, when they realized that there was going to be a psychiatrist on the set!"
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"I've always liked Jeff's work. I always thought he did interesting, subversive films that were just extraordinary, and he's done it without a lot of fanfare. We established, almost immediately, that there was no territory that we couldn't go into with each other. There was no ego."
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SOFTLEY on how important using light was in shooting the film:
"Light is a theme in the movie. Prot's eyes respond to light in a different way. Your view of reality is determined by what you see, so the way the light looks becomes a metaphor for seeing the world in a different way."
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SPACEY on the reversal of having Jeff Bridges as an alien in Starman:
"I basically kidded him a lot by saying, 'Now you've got the Karen Allen part!' He would say, 'Yeah, God damn it, I do!'"
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JEFF BRIDGES: (he laughs)
"Kevin would call, 'Oh, Karen!' But it was great to be the other character. You're representing the audience's point-of-view and one of the aspects of this movie that I like is that it's a bit like a puzzle. It's the kind of movie I would love to see, as well as be involved in. It doesn't follow where you think it's going to go. It takes you in different, surprising ways."
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Text by Judy Sloane. More here: PAGE 2Back to top

Visit the official site for K-PAX • All images above © Universal Studios
Feature © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction

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