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BEYOND THE SEA

About The Production
BEYOND THE SEA is Academy Award®-winning actor/filmmaker Kevin Spacey's vividly imagined and superbly crafted look at the life and times of Bobby Darin, who blazed an incredible trail across the fields of popular music, nightclub performance, film and television in his 14 year career. While people around the world know Darin's music, particularly hits like "Splish Splash” and "Mack the Knife,” his individual story is less familiar. Spacey's BEYOND THE SEA traces Darin's remarkable artistic and personal journey through the very music that made him a huge star – and which brought the scrappy kid from the Bronx into the orbit of America's favorite young movie star, Sandra Dee. Performing Darin's songs himself, Spacey embodies the charisma, style and vitality that made Darin such a magical entertainer. At the same time, the film doesn't skirt the darker implications of Darin's relentless drive for stardom, exploring how an entertainer touches not only his audience, but also the people who know and love him. 

With his swinging musicality and deft phrasing, Bobby Darin would have stood out on the basis of his vocals alone. But Darin's talent went well beyond singing and song interpretation; a self-taught musician, he was a songwriter who played guitar, drums and piano. In the late 1950s, he rocketed to success with the gold records "Splish Splash,” "Queen of the Hop” and "Dream Lover,” becoming a teen idol in the process. But Darin wasn't content to stay in one musical place, and devoted his second album, 1959's "That's All,” to standards. That LP yielded Darin's classic, finger-snapping version of "Mack the Knife,” which was #1 on the Billboard charts for nine weeks and won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, while the 23-year-old Darin won Best New Artist. He swiftly became one of Las Vegas' top headliners, and even surpassed Frank Sinatra's attendance record at New York's legendary Copacabana nightclub. Over the course of his career, Darin scored nine Top 10 hits and recorded in a range of musical genres, including country, Broadway, folk and R&B. He had his first starring film role in the 1961 romantic comedy COME SEPTEMBER, and went on to act for directors including John Cassavetes, in the drama TOO LATE BLUES, and Don Siegel, in the war drama HELL IS FOR HEROES. In 1963, he received Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations for his role in the comedy/drama CAPTAIN NEWMAN, M.D., with Gregory Peck. He also hosted a popular television variety series, "The Bobby Darin Amusement Company.” 

Kevin Spacey first became aware of Bobby Darin as a child. His parent's extensive record collection included Darin's LPs, and Spacey also grew up listening to and loving the big band music that influenced Darin. But there was something about Darin, his music and his persona, that made a strong impression on the future performer. As Spacey puts it, "I just thought he was the coolest cat that ever walked the face of the earth. His style, his attack had certain echoes of Sinatra, but it was its own thing.” As Spacey grew up, he heard more of Darin's music, and his appreciation deepened. "I began to realize the breadth of his musical journey, how he went from rock & roll into pop music, gospel music, folk music, country/western and ultimately, into protest songs against the Vietnam war. When you then look at that trajectory in the context of his short 15-year career, that's a pretty remarkable road.” 

In taking on the role of director as well as star of BEYOND THE SEA, Spacey sought to honor Darin's unique identity as a performer. "What was at the forefront of my mind was to make an entertaining film about an entertainer,” the actor/filmmaker explains. "A person who walked out there every night and sang his guts out for two hours and created the kind of intimate nightclub world that doesn't really exist anymore.”

To create that kind of portrait, Spacey felt he had to c

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