by Aimee Levitt
Casino Jack, St. Louis-born director George Hickenlooper's last film, opens today in New York and L.A. Hickenlooper, who died in October, is not around for the inevitable media blitz, so the movie's star, Kevin Spacey, is doing the honors.
Yesterday Spacey told the New York Times a charming story about how he and his producing partner Dana Brunetti learned that Hickenlooper was interested in casting Spacey as disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff via Facebook. Spacey tried to tell the same story to the Daily Beast, but got diverted when the interviewer, Kevin Sessums, asked him point-blank why he continues to deny rumors that he is gay.
All of which made the Daily Beast's interview for more interesting than the Times' -- and Kevin Spacey, what is your problem with coming out anyway? -- but if you're short on time and want to read about Hickenlooper, the New York Times is your paper.
Casino Jack opened the St. Louis International Film Festival last month, where it won the audience choice award; it comes back to town early next year.