As Netflix COO Ted Sarandos put it best, it may not be a tweet from Justin Bieber, but a tweet from President Barack Obama’s official handle about the “House of Cards” season two premiere is reason to celebrate.
A screenshot of the tweet formed the backdrop at the Director’s Guild of America theater during the Los Angeles screening of the new season’s first episode. Although Obama himself didn’t send the tweet (it wasn’t signed with his initials), he has named the Netflix original series as one of his favorite shows.
“We all know what the President will be doing this weekend,” star and exec producer Kevin Spacey joked Thursday on the red carpet.
Kate Mara even regarded the President’s message as the most memorable reaction from a politician.
“Obama tweeting that he watches the show and that he doesn’t want any spoilers — that’s the most surprising, exciting thing I’ve heard,” she said.
Spacey, on the other hand, cited a conversation with the House majority whip — his real-life counterpart — during last year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner as the most shocking piece of feedback he received about the political drama.
“Kevin McCarthy said that all he would need to do is kill one member of Congress and he wouldn’t have to worry about another vote,” Spacey said. “I thought that was pretty amazing. But he said that publicly, not just to me.
Spacey also said his decade-long run as artistic director of London’s Old Vic theater prepared him to play this multi-layered Machiavellian character.
“I would have not been ready to play this role 10 years ago,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind about it. If I’d gotten the role, I would have played it badly.”
Because the entire thirteen-ep sophomore season debuted Friday on Netflix, Robin Wright mused about what a hypothetical Valentine’s Day celebration would consist of for her and Spacey’s married characters, Claire and Frank.
“(It would involve) someone’s blood — metaphorically and literally,” Wright said. “You know, you can sit over a glass of wine and a smoke at the window strategizing of how we’re going to get that done.”
Mara said she will consume the show differently this season, taking full advantage of its revolutionary distribution model.
“I will be probably binge watching,” she said. “I plan to spend (Friday) evening watching as much of it as I can. I want to watch it with everybody else and sort of feel that excitement.”
However, Gerald McRaney (who plays Raymond Tusk) said his generation favors scheduled TV viewing.
“I think my aging biological clock wants me to see things at a predictable rate,” he said. “Maybe I’ll decide that Thursdays are the day to watch ‘House of Cards’ and that’s what I’ll do, but I’m not much in the way of binge watching.”
“HoC” creator and exec producer Beau Willimon attributes the show’s success in part to its focus on power rather than politics.
“I think that’s one of its biggest advantages, which is that we’re not ripping from the headlines,” he said. “We’re not trying to create a parallel universe that exactly reflects what’s going on in Washington right now. We have the liberty to explore what we want to explore and to focus on the types of characters that we want to without trying to say this character is meant to represent this person in real life, this event is meant to represent this event in real life.”