Ridley Scott has described the decision to replace Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in All The Money In The World as being a “business” one.
The movie had to undergo extensive reshoots in the weeks leading to its release after Spacey was replaced by Plummer at short notice following accusations of sexual misconduct, assault and harassment made against the House of Cards actor. Spacey issued a statement following the claims, saying that he was “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment”.
Speaking to The Guardian about first learning of the allegations against Spacey, Scott said: “You get that nasty, deep, gut feeling: oh shit.”
“When I finished it with Kevin, it was kind of perfect,” Scott said of the original cut of the film. “I got on very well with him. He’s a very good actor, great fun to work with.”
“I knew he liked the chaps, you know. But it’s not my business. I never witnessed anything untoward. He’s a very good actor. It’s a pity,” Scott added.
The director went on to say that his decision to replace Spacey was “almost immediate”: “I said: ‘We need to re-do this.’ I phoned Christopher and asked if he’d meet me in New York. Met him that night… I didn’t agonise. I never dwell on a problem, only the solution. You learn to do that, doing what I do.”
“At some point, somebody will say, ‘Let’s not put the film out,’ It would infect the movie to the extent that we’d eventually decide not to sell it.”
“Business is always highly linked with the creative process,” Scott continued. “Whatever you do in private is not my business. It only becomes my business if it infects the business that I’m in. Then it’s my duty to do something about it.”
Of distinguishing between the artist and their real-life actions, Scott said: “I can separate the creative talent from whoever the man is. I just hope a lot of this isn’t going OTT. I know that’s a very unpopular thing to say, but there it is. It’s certainly going to affect dating.”