×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kevin Spacey Talks Acting Career, ‘House of Cards’ at Netflix FYSee Event

Emmy voters got an early look at the Season 5 premiere of “House of Cards” at Netflix’s FYSee event Monday night. The rest of the world has to wait three weeks to screen the premiere episode, which was followed by a brief Q&A with Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos and Kevin Spacey.

The two men talked about how Spacey got into acting and his quest to co-star with his acting idol, Jack Lemmon, of whom Spacey does a great impression. Spacey told the story of meeting Lemmon at a Mark Taper Forum acting workshop when he was 13 years old and how Lemmon’s encouragement about his scene work was “everything I needed to hear.”

Flash-forward to Spacey at age 25, working as an actor in New York, hearing Lemmon was to star in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and Spacey was determined to play the role of Jamie in the production. Spacey recounted how he bought a ticket to a lecture the play’s director, Jonathan Miller, was conducting in the city. He then got himself into the post-lecture cocktail party, where he seized the moment and chatted with Miller and won the chance to audition. Finding himself in the room testing for the role with Lemmon, Spacey recalls, “I was f—king relentless!” Spacey ultimately landed the role.

Sarandos and Spacey also looked back at the start of Netflix’s first original series, “House of Cards,” which was also the first streaming series to win an Emmy. Spacey recalled director David Fincher’s knack for getting the best out of actors.

“Sometimes he’s just wearing you down, just beating the acting out of you, where you’re doing it with beauty and clarity.” Spacey also refuted the oft-repeated idea that his Frank Underwood character is based on Bill Clinton, all the while doing another spot-on impression, but this time of Clinton.

More memories about the first episode of the show included Spacey’s reliance on table reads because “they show what are the script problems and what are the actor problems. It’s about the rhythm of the words. Words can be like music, you have to find the beat and the silence.”

Spacey credits showrunners Frank Pugliese and Melissa James Gibson with keeping the show on track in Season 5 after creator Beau Willimon’s departure. He noted that maintaining the same team made sense: “It wasn’t broken.”

“House of Cards” returns May 30 on Netflix.

More Scene

  • Jordan Peele'Us' film premiere, Arrivals, New

    Jordan Peele Explains the Meaning Behind the 'Us' Michael Jackson Reference

    Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us” is filled with pop culture references, from “Jaws” to “Goonies.” But the most divisive might be right in his opening sequence. Warning, minor spoilers ahead. The movie about a couple (played by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) and their children being hunted and brutalized by a mysterious family that looks just [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

  • Nick Offerman Amy Poehler

    'Parks and Recreation' Cast Talks Possibility of a Revival at 10th Anniversary Reunion

    For one night, Hollywood felt a little like Pawnee. The cast of NBC’s hit comedy “Parks and Recreation” reunited at PaleyFest on Thursday in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. The whole Pawnee gang showed up: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Jim [...]

  • Andy CohenThe Shops and Restaurants at

    Andy Cohen to Receive Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Media Awards

    Mazel, Andy Cohen! Bravo’s late-night talk show host is set to receive the Vito Russo Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 4 in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will present him with the award, which is named in honor of GLAAD founder Vito Russo. The annual award goes to openly [...]

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

  • David Furnish, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron

    'Rocketman': Paramount Previews Footage of Elton John Biopic

    “Rocketman” is ready for lift off. Paramount Pictures threw a cocktail party Monday night to preview 15 minutes of the upcoming Elton John biopic, set for release on May 31, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the legendary rock club where John made his U.S. debut nearly 50 years ago. The footage featured pieces of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content