‘Everyone on this show gets what they deserve’
Cards, continued from 1
Spacey took a production of Richard III on tour before beginning House of Cards. In the stage show, he previewed the direct-to-camera addresses that are a hallmark of Underwood’s political career (originally seen in the 1990s British political drama of the same name, on which House of Cards is based). “You would look in the audience’s eyes in every city we went to” – he stares directly into my eyes – “and you would see that they were excited to be included. They felt like co-conspirators, and they felt implicated, and it was kind of cool, and I was telling them all this stuff that I was gonna do.
“And right up to the point where he kills the kids – they were with him.
“It’s a very interesting thing when you ask an audience to continually reassess their own moral compass about how they feel about a character,” Spacey says. “Can you both root for a character and be terrified by a character? Can you both want a character to win and can’t believe the things they’ll do to win? That is a very interesting line to get a chance to walk.”
Could House of Cards ever go too far? Spacey isn’t worried. “As long as we stay true to the character we’ve developed, there is something that the audience really dig about that push-pull, being pulled towards and pushed away from it at the same time,” he says.
Spacey won’t be drawn on the fate of the characters in season 5. He laughs off supposed plot leaks. “I find it very amusing, every year, somewhere around the fall, these stories start popping up, Claire and Frank to adopt a baby. Stamper to be killed in train wreck. I’m being killed off this season apparently.
“I can only say this,” he says, before leaning heavily into his lowest, most sinister Keyser Söze from The Usual Suspects register. “Everyone on this show gets what they deserve.”
He corrects himself, quietly: “We killed karma off.”
airs tomorrow on OSN Series First HD at 11pm.
Jayne Atkinson, who plays American secretary of state Catherine Durant, with Kevin Spacey as President Frank Underwood in the White House’s Oval Office in House Of Cards season 5.