CINEMA: STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

THE MYSTERY ISN'T WHY KEVIN SPACEY IS A STAR. IT'S THE MAN HIMSELF

Christmas Eve, 1951. L.A.P.D. Sergeant Jack Vincennes is canoodling his dance partner at a bash for a Dragnet-type show where he moonlights as technical adviser. He is explaining why his small-screen counterpart seems so bland compared with his own colorful persona. "That's because he's the television version," smirks Jack, who pockets additional cash helping a sleazy Hollywood tabloid called Hush-Hush. "America isn't ready for the real me."

Art imitates life. Vincennes, the flashy, morally enigmatic cop in the new film noir L.A. Confidential, is played by renowned character actor Kevin Spacey. But finding out who the real Spacey is can also...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!