Irish actor Gabriel Byrne, one of the leads from 1995 mystery The Usual Suspects, says co-star Kevin Spacey, who won a supporting actor Oscar for his breakout role, caused production to shut down for two days due to his predatory behaviour.
But Byrne told Britain’s Sunday Times that at the time, he and the rest of the cast and crew did not understand the reason for the shutdown: Spacey had been accused of making advances towards a younger actor. (Byrne did not name that castmate.)
“It was only years later that we began to understand that (production) was closed down for a particular reason and that was because of inappropriate sexual behaviour by Spacey,” he recalled, noting that although people would dismiss his behaviour by saying, “That’s Kevin,” no one on the set “understood the depth of his predations.”
Byrne, 67, also had harsh words for producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 80 women.
“I did three movies with Harvey Weinstein, and I knew he was a sleazebag,” the actor told the newspaper. “I knew he was a vile bully and I saw his bullying up close. I saw him be absolutely appalling – not just to women but to men as well. He had very little respect for any kind of human being.”
He added, “I had heard vague rumours – I have to stress that they were vague – of doors being locked and women being compromised. I heard that once or twice from two very well known actresses, but the problem when you hear something like that is, do you pass that on?
“Because if it’s not true it’s awful, and if it is true it’s not your job to say, ‘Well, I wasn’t there, the door was locked, I don’t know what happened, I just heard the story.’ But I did not know, and many people didn’t know, the extent of the violence that he perpetrated on women.”
Representatives for Spacey and Bryan Singer, who directed Suspects, and his production company, Bad Hat Harry, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.