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Kevin Spacey Shares A Story About The Usual Suspects’ Keyser Söze

Let’s start things off with a big, fat spoiler alert. If you haven’t seen The Usual Suspects stop reading right now. Then go watch the movie and come back, because you’re nuts for having missed in the first place.

I don’t know if this is something that’s out there, but it’s a cool story all the same. Kevin Spacey appeared on The Colbert Report last night to support his new Jack Abramoff biopic Casino Jack. The two riff in some funny ways for about six minutes, but it’s the tail end of their chat when Colbert makes a reference to The Usual Suspects‘ Keyser Söze mystery that things get really interesting.

First, a little backstory which, if you’ve seen the movie, you already know quite well. The big mystery in The Usual Suspects is the identity of Keyser Söze, a legendary figure in the criminal underworld whose public identity consists of little more than a name and a collection of terrifying stories. All is revealed in the movie’s final scene, and it remains one of the greatest last-minute story twists in the history of cinema. No need to spell it out: if you’ve seen the movie then you know who it is and if you haven’t, get your mega-spoiler somewhere else. I’m not going to be that guy.

Neither is Spacey, so don’t worry about him revealing anything in the below video. He does share an amusing anecdote relating to Söze’s identity and the cast’s knowledge of it, which you can read and watch below — the good stuff comes with about 40 seconds left.

COLBERT: Is there any chance that I am Keyser Söze?

SPACEY: [thinks for a moment] There could be a chance, because Bryan Singer, who directed that film, had managed to convince every one of the major actors in that movie that they were in fact Keyser Söze. I remember when we screened it for the company of actors, Gabriel Byrne was stunned that he wasn’t Keyser Söze. Went out into the parking lot and had an argument with Bryan Singer. For a half an hour.

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  • stealthwise

    Hahaha, that’s awesome.

  • Josh

    That’s nothing people didn’t already know. Byrne was heated. This was back when he was a mildly decent named actor so he figured he was the big gun in the movie.

  • Stella

    I like Stephen’s response: That sounds like Keyser Soze. Oh yes.

  • bobh

    It’s a cute story. Not sure if it’s in any way true, since the screenplay makes it pretty clear who Keyser Soze is, and if you listen to the commentary track on the DVD there’s at least one story that requires Byrne to know he’s not Soze.

  • Margdennis

    Fun interview

  • Wizard

    You’ll all find out soon because the biggest secret in Hollywood has just been leaked ( along with the latest draft of the screenplay) – The Usual Suspects sequel – Bear Trap – is going into production mid 2012, and apparently all questions from the first film are answered in a stunning multi-twist ending that even blows the original away.

  • Blink

    The Usual Suspects sequel – just finished reading the leaked screenplay Bear Trap – I won’t spoil it for you – but – WOW! – I hope it does get made – totally different from the original – it’s a very big budget, high concept blockbuster – and the ending just blows away all the debate about the original – you have to read the whole screenplay to get it – but it is very clever and actually makes the original even better.