It’s Monday, and that five-hour World Series game has me more emotionally drained than after I watched Toy Story 3.
Hello from Los Angeles, where we’re telling our Kevin Spacey stories, worrying about how worried Jimmy Kimmel is, and welcoming Jordan Peele to Oscars season.
As the Harvey Weinstein scandal expands, many in Hollywood have been inspired to share secrets of their own. The latest comes from Rent and Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp, who has alleged that Kevin Spacey made a sexual advance toward him when he was 14 years old. In an interview with BuzzFeed’s Adam B. Vary, Rapp said that in 1986, when both were starring in separate Broadway shows, Spacey, then 26, invited Rapp to his Manhattan apartment, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him. “He was trying to seduce me,” Rapp told Vary. In a statement posted on Twitter Sunday night, Spacey apologized for the alleged encounter, saying, “If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”
The House of Cards star used the same statement to confirm long-standing rumors about his sexuality, stating, “I choose now to live as a gay man.” Spacey’s pairing of a response to a sexual misconduct allegation with a coming out statement earned quick condemnation from some public figures in the L.G.B.T. community: “No no no no no!” Wanda Sykes wrote. “You do not get to ‘choose’ to hide under the rainbow! Kick rocks!” Advice columnist Dan Savage tweeted, “I’m sorry, Mr. Spacey, but your application to join the gay community now has been denied.” And Billy Eichner made a wry quip about that endless World Series game before adding, “But honestly I hesitate to make jokes because the Spacey statement is truly disgusting, irresponsible and dangerous. Ok goodnight!”
It’s been eight months since Jordan Peele’s Get Out started breaking box-office records and becoming a genuine cultural phenomenon. Now the writer-director is bringing his thriller about racial hypocrisy to a new audience: Oscar voters. At a Vanity Fair screening I moderated in Hollywood last week, Peele, together with Get Out producer Jason Blum and actors Betty Gabriel and Bradley Whitford, revealed why a satirical thriller, rather than a traditional drama, became his creative vehicle for talking about race. Peele cited The Stepford Wives, Rosemary’s Baby, and Night of the Living Dead as the types of movies that inspired him to use genre to tackle a thorny social issue. “If you do a lecture about race or some social issue, people feel like maybe you’re talking down to them, like you’re forcing your views on them,” Peele said. “If you lead with entertainment, if you get the laugh, if you get the scream, if an audience is propelled to stand and cheer because something happens, then the point is already made and the audience is left to think about why that happened. What truth did that hit on? The moment the police car shows up at the end of this movie, we all know what’s going to happen. The fact that we all know what’s going to happen is the point. That’s the catharsis.”
‘Tis the day before Halloween, so the time is ripe for celebrating all your favorite spooky traditions. But for those of you running low on inspiration, might I point you in the direction of the underrated Veronica Lake rom-com I Married a Witch? Initially released on October 30, 1942, the screwball film officially turns 75 today, which means it’s the perfect time to pay homage to this oft-overlooked story—which follows a Puritan-era witch who’s burned at the stake, only to return hundreds of years later to seek revenge on the descendants of the family who tried to kill her. Naturally, her plan quickly goes awry, and she finds herself falling for the man she’s supposed to destroy. Lake’s performance is the heart of this light and witty little tale. She’s sultry, she’s funny, and she’s effortlessly charismatic, even if the story does tread manic pixie dream witch territory. So, after you’ve watched Hocus Pocus and the Witches of Eastwick for the hundredth time, perhaps now you can give this forgotten gem a try.
Fans of Jeff Goldblum’s uniquely daffy and fascinating movie characters, rejoice: the man himself is just as fascinating as Dr. Ian Malcolm, Seth Brundle, and Thor: Ragnarok’s Grandmaster. In the December issue of Vanity Fair Lesley M. M. Blume unpacks a cornucopia of details about Goldblum, from how his jazz band earned the name The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra to his early job selling pencils to California jails. Perhaps best of all, for fans of his tiny role in Annie Hall is that his character in that movie may have forgotten his mantra, but Goldblum has two of his own.
Have you heard about our newest late-night lord and savior, Jimmy Kimmel? The ABC host has received no shortage of buzz this year, following his emotional monologues about health-care reform and gun control—but if he really is our new progressive hero, he seems to be a reluctant one. In a wide-ranging New York magazine interview, the comedian sounded off about his newly invigorated presence in late night—and about how his newfound voice largely stems from anxiety about the future, which he started feeling roughly a year ago. “I feel frustrated,” Kimmel said. “I don’t know—maybe a lot of it is media hysteria, but I go to bed worried and I wake up worried, and I honestly don’t know if things are going to be O.K. I worry that we’re going to look back at Donald Trump almost fondly because someone worse will come after him. . . . His election was shocking. It makes me question everything.” Even so, Kimmel hopes that some semblance of the “old” normal can remain. He’s pretty sure, for instance, that despite a recent ratings decline, Jimmy Fallon and his Tonight Show will be just fine. And Kimmel also doesn’t plan to address every issue that this crazy period in American politics throws our way. As he sees it, “That’s not what I do, and if I did, believe me, you’d get bored in a hurry.”