Gaddafi inspired Richard III look

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Kevin Spacey has said Colonel Gaddafi inspired his look in Richard III Kevin Spacey has said Colonel Gaddafi inspired his look in Richard III

Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey revealed the late Colonel Gaddafi inspired his look in Richard III.

The House Of Cards star, 54, played the title role in Sam Mendes' production of William Shakespeare's play, whose worldwide tour is the subject of a new documentary film, NOW: In The Wings On A World Stage.

"You look at the parallels between Gaddafi and Richard III. We even based some of my costumes on what I call my Gaddafi-robe," he said at the premiere in London's Leicester Square.

Spacey saw parallels between Shakespeare's tragic anti-hero and the controversial Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed by rebel forces in October 2011.

"It was for us, 400 years on, we are still grappling with the same issues, political figures who use the media to manipulate and present a certain idea of who they are. Richard was an unabashed figure. He certainly suaved his way through Shakespeare's play. His power is a great look at what happens when people become corrupted," he explained.

The documentary follows Sam Mendes' Bridge Project - the first transatlantic theatre company - as they embark on a whirlwind ten-month international tour of Richard III.

"With this play, we weren't doing one play for a couple of weeks but we were doing a play and travelling three continents, 12 cities around the world and having a chance to take this 400-year-old play in front of modern audiences today and seeing how much they were engaged by it," Spacey continued.

"For us to peel the onion back a bit and show people what it's like to put on a play with an entire crew and do it through this travel-ogue, I thought it was a great chance to show them what really goes on."

Spacey, who will hand over his reins of artistic director of the Old Vic theatre to Matthew Warchus in August 2015, said playing Richard III was challenging.

"It's an extraordinarily complicated character to try and achieve - the physical demands of the play itself. But I am just one of many actors who have played Richard III and there will be many after me," he said.

The American Beauty star had to wear a leg brace and hunchback for the role.

"It's like wearing a glove - you don't even notice them," he said. "I'm doing the work. The leg brace did nothing. It physically looked like it was doing something but it wasn't.

"So I really wasn't conscious of that. I was lucky to focus on my fellow actors and the play."

His co-stars Annabel Scholey (Lady Anne), Hannah Stokely (young Edward) and Gemma Jones (Queen Margaret) revealed how Spacey would often corpse on set.

"He's terrible! He makes other people laugh and then watches the chaos. He loves it so there were many moments when you saw him do something at the corner of the eye and that would be it. He was a lot of fun," Stokely said.

Scholey added: "There was no getting away from it. I had to pinch my face."

But Spacey deadpanned: "I am a consummate professional."

NOW: In The Wings On A World Stage opened in cinemas today and is available on Vod and DVD on June 10.

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