‘Ev­ery­one on this show gets what they de­serve’

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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.

David Gies­brecht / Net­flix

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.

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