THE BLOG
04/10/2014 02:00 pm ET Updated Jun 10, 2014

Kevin Spacey: Museum of the Moving Image Tribute

Sprinkling his talk with the "F" word, Kevin Spacey recounted the wellworn story of how his idol Jack Lemmon encouraged him when Spacey was a 13 year old. "That was a touch of terrific," Lemmon said to the aspiring actor, after seeing him perform at an acting seminar in Los Angeles, and 13 years later Lemmon auditioned him for the Broadway production of Long Day's Journey into Night, to play his son. He became his mentor, friend, and father figure. Yes, as we know Spacey is a major movie star: clips from The Usual Suspects, American Beauty, Margin Call, Glengarry Glen Ross, and many other films at the Museum of the Moving Image's annual fete this week on Park Avenue attested to that fact. But for this viewer, his Richard III at BAM was Spacey at his very most stellar, followed by a modern version of that Shakespearean malevolence on Netflix's House of Cards. You could say, mean and vicious are his calling. However, when MMI chairman Herbert S. Schlosser fainted at cocktails, Spacey was the first by his side.

Michael Bloomberg, Tony Bennett, Penn Badgley, Denis Leary, Samuel L. Jackson, Chazz Palminteri, Katharina Otto Bernstein and Kate Bosworth, "Sandra Dee" to his Bobby Darren in his passion project, Beyond the Sea, were among the many celebrants. House of Cards showrunner Beau Willimon pretended to be Bono, with a message of congratulations. And Spacey did a cool Bill Clinton. But the presentation ran racy when he repeated Kim Cattrall's greeting, hey Kevin, referring to the program on each diner's seat, "I'm sitting on your face."

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.