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Hot Press Meets Kevin Spacey

House Of Cards actor Kevin Spacey talks about power, conspiracy, his mate Bill Clinton and whether he’d ever run for office...

Roe McDermott, 29 Jul 2013

However, press him on whether his ruthless character is based on any one politician in particular and Spacey becomes political himself.

“I’m not basing the character on anybody, because Michael Dobbs and Beau Willimon have done such a brilliant job in laying out his characteristics,” he reflects. “I will say it’s interesting now to see how certain politicians who at the time had reputations for being ruthless or being bastards are being re-examined. Lyndon Johnson is a perfect example. After all the series of books have come out, people are saying, ‘Yeah, he was a bastard, and yes he was diabolical, but he fucking got things done!’ He passed three Civil Rights Bills in his very short presidency. It’s maybe interesting for an American audience that’s sat through the most non-productive Congress in the history of the United States, in terms of bills passed, to watch a fictional show where some bills actually get passed.”

While not a fan of Congress, Spacey is passionate in his admiration of the Obama administration.

“President Obama will go down as having passed some of the most historic bills in the history of this country,” he insists. “That despite constant knee-jerk opposition from the Republicans. A lot of people don’t realise how much he’s done in the most difficult of circumstances.”

Would he ever be tempted to stand for office himself? The actor explodes with laughter.

“If there’s anything you’ve gotten to know about me,” he remarks wryly, “I hope it’s that I like to get shit done.”

House Of Cards hasn’t gone unnoticed by the political world. Spacey performed in a parody of the show at this year’s White House Correspondents dinner. House Of Nerds, as it was dubbed, featured a whole host of politicos and high-profile journalists, including John McCain, White House advisor Valerie Jarrett and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“I’ve generally heard, and whether people would say this publicly or only privately I’m not sure, that we’ve gotten it right. That there’s a tremendous amount about the way that we’ve approached the show that’s accurate in terms of how politics and the machine of politics works.

“Whether that’s a depressing or an interesting idea, I will leave to the viewers!”

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