Mena Suvari recalls ‘weird’ Kevin Spacey encounter on American Beauty set

Mena Suvari has opened up on a “weird” experience she had with disgraced star Kevin Spacey while the pair filmed the 1999 movie American Beauty.

The actress, 42, revealed that the pair shared an unusual encounter in the build up to their intimate scene on the hit film.

While she explained she “trusted” her co-star she admitted that this particular encounter didn’t sit particularly well with her.

Mena, who was 19 at the time of filming, said the actor took her to a room and “gently held her” while they lay on a bed.

“He was sort of gently holding me,” she told PEOPLE. “It was very peaceful but weird and unusual.”

The movie follows a middle-aged man [Kevin] who becomes obsessed with his teenage daughter’s best friend [Mena] while also suffering from depression.

Almost two decades after the film, Kevin was accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment by several men.



Kevin Spacey and Mena Suvari
Kevin Spacey and Mena Suvari starred in 1999 hit American Beauty

Mena admitted she thought of that weird encounter as soon as she discovered the sex abuse claims made against Kevin in 2018.

“My heart goes out to anyone who suffers abuse,” she said

The American Pie actress detailed her own experiences of sexual abuse while growing up in her new memoir called The Great Peace: A Memoir.

And she admits that she was “living a double life” when she became a star on the back of American Beauty.

“Every time I would go on a set. Every time I was interviewed, I was acting the whole time,” she confessed. “It was another role for me to play. That I was okay.”

She revealed that she was able to transfer her inner turmoil into her role in American Beauty and described the part a “beautiful experience”.

She told how the film offered her the “opportunity to work and express myself right when I needed I to save me”.



Kevin Spacey 1999
Mena said she “trusted” Kevin

And she says she hopes that speaking about her own experience will help others who have suffered.

Allegations against the disgraced actor first came to a head in 2018 when actor Anthony Rapp alleged he had been subjected to inappropriate sexual advances by Kevin when he was just 14 years old.

Kevin then came out as being gay in a statement, but said: “I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I’m beyond horrified to hear his story.

“I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”

While Spacey has not been convicted of any sex offences he has largely been shunned from Hollywood.

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