Kevin Spacey can do a really good Johnny Carson impression. But would Spacey want to do a whole movie as Johnny Carson?
In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the star of the Netflix series House of Cards dished on lots of topics, including the possibility of his playing Carson in an NBC biopic about the life of the late-night talk show host.
Spacey had already narrated a PBS documentary about Carson’s life, and soon after the idea of a biopic was floated, his name was floated too. But Spacey is a Hollywood outsider in a lot of ways. He says he has not been approached to do the movie, and would likely not do it if asked. Not that he would not be interested, just not with NBC.
“If [NBC] wants to start writing as if they’re a cable network, then absolutely I’d take a look at it,” he says. “But I’m afraid it would just be too marshmallow, and Johnny deserves something that’s tougher and with more expletives.”
Spacey does lots of impressions quite well: Jimmy Stewart, Katherine Hepburn, Clint Eastwood, John Gielgud, Marlon Brando, Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, William Hurt, Bill Clinton, and many others.
When he played Jack Abramoff in the biopic Casino Jack, he had the opportunity to poke fun at Abramoff’s tendency to do bad impressions. In particular he did an impression of Al Pacino in the Godfather, badly. This was particularly odd, since Spacey does a really good Al Pacino, himself.
House of Cards show runners have said that they hear so much of Spacey doing impressions, keeping them in stitches, that they have considered writing in a bit where his character, Frank Underwood, does a Marlon Brando impression.
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