Kevin Spacey to be feted in Italy with nations award for lifetime achievement

Rome: Kevin Spacey will be honored with the Nations Award for Lifetime Achievement at a special gala evening in the historic southern Italian town of Taormina in July.

The organizers said The Usual Suspects and American Beauty Oscar winner will also give a short on-stage performance at the event, taking place on July 21 in Taormina’s 4,000-seats Greek-roman Theatre.

The event, which is part of a program of cultural events running in the landmark ancient amphitheater across the summer, is not connected to the Taormina Film Festival, which runs from July 12 to 19.

The honor comes as Spacey continues to battle multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him, which he has denied.

He was found not liable in a 2022 battery case brought by actor Anthony Rapp in the U.S., and not guilty in a UK trial in 2023, related to allegations by four men, but faces a fresh civil trial in the UK in 2025, brought by a man who says the actor sexually assaulted him, causing him “psychiatric damage” and “financial loss”.

Spacey has said in interviews that he may have behaved inappropriately in the past, but denies that he behaved illegally.

Currently in its 18th edition the Nations Award, has previously feted Gina Lollobrigida, Claudia Cardinale, Gerard Depardieu, Ferzan Ozpetek, Daniel Brühl, Nicola Piovani, Abel Ferrara and Vittorio Storaro.

In 2023, the prize went to actor F. Murray Abraham, who won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in Miloš Forman’s Amadeus in 1985, and more recently appeared in the Taormina-set, second season of HBO anthology series The White Lotus.

The Nations Award is organized under the patronage of Italy’s Senate of the Republic and the Sicily Regio and directed by Michel Curatolo with the collaboration of the artist consultant Marco Fallanca.

“Kevin Spacey is a timeless monument in film and theater history, who unquestionably deserves the chance to get his career back,” said Curatolo and Fallanca.

Fallanca was previously involved in a Lifetime Achievement award and masterclass for Spacey at Italy’s National Cinema Museum in the northern Italian city of Turin in January, 2023. At the time, the ceremony marked Spacey’s first big public appearance after he was cleared by a New York jury in October 2022 of the $40M lawsuit brought by Rapp.

Spacey has appeared in just two feature films since a raft of sexual misconduct allegations against him first emerged in 2017, derailing his career, kicking off with Netflix axing him from hit show House of Cards.

The actor appears to have found a safe haven in Italy, where he landed his first post-2017 big screen role in Italian director Franco Nero’s detective tale The Man Who Drew God, and was also cast in the role of the devil in the upcoming thriller The Contact.

“Taormina is one of Italy’s oldest movie celebrations and it is a true privilege to witness a taste of a performance by one of the acting greats of our time. Both his audience and the industry miss his boundless talent every single day and we are extremely proud to stand with such an unparalleled artist,” added Curatolo and Fallanca.