Mena Suvari played a teenager who becomes Kevin Spacey‘s obsession in the Oscar winning film American Beauty, but as she tells People, the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against her co-star prompted a memory of an uncomfortable interaction with the actor.
Now 42, Suvari told the magazine Spacey insisted she get into a bed with him as they were preparing to shoot a scene. The pair were “very close to one another” in bed, the actress details. “He was sort of gently holding me. It was very peaceful but weird and unusual.”
When several men — including former Rent star Anthony Rapp — accused Spacey of sexual misconduct in 2017, Suvari said, “I thought of that day.”
Rapp and another man sued Spacey in 2020, accusing him of sexual assault in separate incidents when they were both 14.
Spacey claimed not to have remembered the interaction with Rapp, in a much criticized apology in which he also came out as gay.
Incidentally, Suvari just wrote The Great Peace: A Memoir, in which she details her own experiences of sexual abuse when she was growing up. “My heart goes out to anyone who suffers [it]” Suvari said.
She explained that she felt she was “living a double life” as a victim, and her life became just another role, “acting…as if I was okay.”
She decided to write the book, she tells People, because, “I was so tired of fighting and hiding my whole life. I hope I can help someone else see their value. If I can lessen the pain for someone else, then I want to do it, because I didn’t have that person.”
Suvari said of American Beauty overall, “It was a beautiful experience, being given the opportunity to work and express myself right when I needed to save me.”
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