Kevin Spacey is the smartest man in Hollywood because he has found a way to go beyond the traditional borders of Hollywood and the entertainment industry.
If you watched the broadcasts of the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night, it was apparent that Spacey is as sharp at career management as he is skilled at acting.
Aside from President Barack Obama, it was Spacey's show. The star of Netflix' (NFLX) hit series House of Cards is widely respected. He starred in a spoof that was shown at the dinner. Every media and political power broker got needled and it was plainly a status point to be mentioned in it.
It was also quite obvious that the media representatives at the dinner were star-struck and in awe of Spacey. The television journalists who provided commentary made the point that he was the one celebrity that everyone at the dinner wanted to meet.
The reason was not necessarily Spacey's Best Actor work in American Beauty, either. He is hot right now because of House of Cards. He has found a way to remain relevant as an actor when the careers of his peers are slowing down either because of age or a lack of ambition.
Spacey is showing no signs of slowing down and he clearly understands how the Hollywood game is being played. He is not waiting around for the movie biz to minimize his acting career, as it does with so many others. The standard operating procedure is to chew up and spit out actors. But Spacey is taking charge.
He took a big chance, in a way. What if Netflix' gambit bombed or nobody bothered to watch House of Cards? He'd have been a punch line on Jay Leno's show.
But no matter. Spacey deserves credit for taking a chance and making a bet on new technology. Netflix is a big winner because it will have an easy time getting other shows off the ground, given the success of House of Cards.
How many actors have conquered Hollywood and Silicon Valley? Kevin Spacey has blazed a path.He won't be the last one.
MEDIA MATRIX QUESTION: What's your favorite Kevin Spacey movie?
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