(WASHINGTON) — Sunday on ABC’s This Week George Stephanopoulos spoke one-on-one with actor Kevin Spacey in his first interview since Spacey’s political drama House of Cards debuted its second season on Netflix Friday.
The Washington-insider thriller has had viewers glued to their screens this weekend. Still, Spacey teased, some days the Washington portrayed in the show is not much different than the real Washington.
“We can get done shooting on a day and I’ll come home and turn on the news, and I’ll think our story lines are not that crazy,” Spacey said.
The show offers an exceptionally dark and twisted portrayal of Washington and its leaders. There’s murder. There’s scandal. There’s lying and back-stabbing. But that hasn’t stopped President Obama from becoming a fan.
A tweet from the presidents Twitter account, an account run by Obama For America staffers, surfaced late Thursday night: “Tomorrow: @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please.”
In December at a meeting with technology CEOs, Obama joked that he wished Washington was more like House of Cards. “I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient…It’s true. I was looking at Kevin Spacey and I was thinking this guy’s getting a lot done.”
Spacey said he understood that the president might be envious. He commented that the efficiency in his Congress serves as a clear reminder that the show is fiction. “I thought over the last year it must be really interesting for—not just an American public but people around the world—to view a very effective Congress that gets things done. So I can imagine [President Obama] must feel like, ‘gosh, I wish we could move that quickly,'” he said.
In order to prepare for his role as House majority whip, Spacey spent time shadowing real-life Whip Kevin McCarthy (R- CA). He learned firsthand the difficulty in getting 218 congressmen to vote a particular way. The lesson learned? Maybe ruthlessness is necessary.
“Lyndon [B.] Johnson is a character that my character in House of Cards admires. During his lifetime and certainly during his presidency he took an enormous amount of criticism, certainly for his policies in Vietnam. But we also have to look at the fact that he passed three civil rights bills in a very short presidency,” Spacey said.
For Spacey, House of Cards is good for a night of binge watching, as well as a reminder that the country has a history of politicians who took extreme steps to pass legislation.
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