‘House of Cards’ an Accurate Portrayal of Washington Says Kevin Spacey

House of CardsOn ABC’s This Week actor Kevin Spacey came on to talk about the hotly anticipated second season of his show House of Cards, but wound up making some bold comparisons between the plot of his television show, which airs on Netflix, and real life bureaucratic activities. At one point Spacey said that he, and others from Washington he has talked to, believe that the show is an extremely accurate portrayal of life at the nation’s capital.

Spacey spoke of a specific day when he had finished working on some of the episodes for the upcoming season and upon coming home had turned on the news. Watching the news he began to feel that the story-lines House of Cards works up are really not that “crazy.”

He also said that after talking to lots of different people, most said that they feel that “99% of the show is accurate and the one percent that isn’t is that you could never get an education bill passed that fast.”

To draw the link between real life Washington and House of Cards even tighter, reports have surfaced that Spacey actually shadowed a real life congressman when he was doing research for his role as Frank Underwood. Spacey said that he followed Kevin McCarthy, the House majority whip who comes from California.

Spacey declined to answer too many questions that poked at possible plot turns for the show because he did not want to let slip any spoilers. Spacey also said that because of the current country-wide dislike for the government he feels like his work is really “performance art.” He said the show is equal parts a fictional fantasy and a gritty documentary.

He also said that he would agree with fans who perceive the show to be a kind of reaction against a show like the West Wing which was filled with high-minded idealism. Spacey added that his character holds Lyndon Johnson to be a role model and believe it is symbolic because that is a president who received, during his presidency, an enormous amount of hatred from Americans over the Vietnam war but was also a significant promoter of human rights. That same topic was the focus of a front page story in the New York Times not long ago.

“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,” said Spacey.

Fans of the show received a very special Valentine’s Day present on Friday when season 2 became available on line via Netflix. Although Spacey and the rest of the shows team have been able to be fairly adept at keeping spoilers from surfacing in the front pages of tabloids, now the actors will not have to worry about holding on to their secrets as most fans of the addictive capitol hill suspense story have probably spent their Valentine’s Day weekend with marathon’s of Frank Underword style political espionage. For Spacey the suspense and craziness of the plots is not a detractor from House of Cards but rather could be a shock for viewers who do not realize how accurate the shows depictions really are.

By Nick Manai

The Wire

The Atlantic

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