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Kevin Spacey recalls unsuccessful audition for 'Frost/Nixon'

"So, this is my revenge film," Spacey quipped while promoting "Elvis & Nixon" in New York this week.

By
Karen Butler
Kevin Spacey appears backstage during the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on January 30, 2016. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Kevin Spacey appears backstage during the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on January 30, 2016. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, April 22 (UPI) -- Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey says he auditioned to play U.S. President Richard Nixon for director Ron Howard's 2008 film Frost/Nixon, but the role went to Frank Langella, who originated the character in the stage version.

Spacey recalled trying out for the part while promoting his latest movie Elvis & Nixon, in which he plays Nixon to Michael Shannon's Elvis Presley.

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"Weirdly, I had a kind of previous experience in attempting to play Richard Nixon when I screen-tested for Frost/Nixon, which is, by the way, I will just point out, a movie I did not get. So, this is my revenge film," the actor quipped at a Tribeca Film Festival press conference Monday.

Spacey went on to say he and his team fixed his hair and makeup, filmed his audition in a Las Vegas hotel room and sent the DVD to Howard.

However, Langella was ultimately cast in the part and Spacey said he thought he lost the DVD.

"I located it when I knew I was going to come on to this film and I was able to watch what I did wrong in that. Some of the major reasons why I didn't get that role were very clear to me as I watched it all these years later," Spacey revealed. "And I thought, 'Well, you're not going to do that again.' But it was actually very helpful, and yet, I think Michael and I both, you know, these are two figures who, obviously, people know so much from the way they presented themselves. There is so much public stuff, but not that much private stuff. ... This was a private meeting, even though the photograph [which inspired the film] became quite public."

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