×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Listen: Michael Kelly, Greg Kinnear on the End of ‘House of Cards’ and Its Legacy

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

In this week’s episode, Variety‘s chief TV critic, Daniel D’Addario, speaks with actor Michael Kelly of “House of Cards,” and senior TV reporter Daniel Holloway speaks with Kelly’s new co-star, Greg Kinnear.

Listen to this week’s podcast for free below and at Apple Podcasts:

Kelly returns as Doug Stamper in the sixth and final season of “Cards,” which arrived Nov. 2 on Netflix. He spent most of the show’s first five seasons playing against former series lead Kevin Spacey, who was written out of the show following real-life allegations of sexual misconduct.

“One of the greatest themes that I got to play this season was loss,” Kelly said. “Everything that he knew — his entire professional career — is just gone.” Kelly went into detail about the process by which the final season of the political drama, which had been scripted with Spacey’s Frank Underwood still alive, was salvaged, thanks in substantial part to the effort and leadership of Robin Wright, who plays Claire Underwood, now serving as President.

“After you try to start to process this,” Kelly says, “one of the first calls I made was to Robin and I was like, ‘What are we going to do? We can’t not do this.’ And she was like, ‘I’m already on it.'” Kelly and Wright had barely shared screen time without Spacey before this season, but now face off at length. “She’s just so good as an actor. I’ve been blessed with the people I’ve [acted with] — Rachel Brosnahan and Kevin and now Robin, to get to punch it out with those guys is incredible.”

Kelly, who will next appear on Season 2 of the Amazon action series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” reflected on what the show — the first major streaming series — has meant to the world and to him. “I think to the world, unfortunately, it’s meant a little too much,” Kelly says, citing stories that Vladimir Putin had asked cronies to watch the show to understand the politics of dominance and power, American-style. “That goes too far.” But the show’s influence has also extended, more benignly, to television, and Kelly sees it as the precursor to all that followed, the entire universe of streaming TV now available. “To think that you were part of that revolution — I feel really grateful.”

With the new season, Kinnear — an Academy Award nominee and two-time Emmy nominee — and Diane Lane join the cast as Bill and Annette Shepherd, a brother and sister who are part of the behind-the-scenes Washington elite. “For me, I felt like it was an exciting opportunity to work within a great show and with great actors,” Kinnear said. “And Diane Lane was going to be my sister. That had me, too.”

Kinnear said early comparisons of the characters to the Koch brothers are apt — and that the real-life political power players were cited by showrunners Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese when describing the characters to Kinnear and Lane. “They used them as an example, and I think they threw out a few other examples,” Kinnear said. “It was a good guidepost.”

New episodes of “Remote Controlled” are available every Friday. Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, or anywhere you download podcasts. You can find past episodes here and on Apple Podcasts.

Greg Kinnear photographed exclusively for the Variety Remote Controlled Podcast
Dan Doperalski for Variety

More TV

  • NEW YORK, NY – JUNE, 24:

    LGBTQ Stars Honored at Variety’s Power of Pride Celebration

    New York City felt the full power of pride on Monday, as Variety celebrated its inaugural issue devoted to the annual recognition of LGBTQ people worldwide. At an intimate gathering at lower east side Manhattan hotel The Orchid, rooftop bar Mr. Purple hosted Variety’s cover stars and luminaries for cocktails and the unveiling of the [...]

  • WWE

    WWE and PP Sports Extend China Partnership

    WWE and PP Sports have signed a new multi-year agreement that will keep WWE programming airing live in Mandarin in China. In the past three years of the partnership, PP Sports has delivered more than 300 episodes of WWE programming. PP Sports will offer, “Raw,” “Smackdown, and the WWE Network as a subscription VOD service [...]

  • Billy Eichner Power of Pride Variety

    Billy Eichner on Taylor Swift's 'Calm Down' Backlash

    When Taylor Swift released her “You Need to Calm Down” music video, it seemed like every member of the LGBTQ in Hollywood was included — except for Billy Eichner. “I’m still not gay enough for Taylor Swift — or too gay — I don’t know what it is,” Eichner joked at Variety’s Power of Pride [...]

  • HIGHWIRE LIVE IN TIMES SQUARE WITH

    TV News Roundup: 'Highwire Live in Times Square' Tops Sunday Night Ratings

    In today’s TV news roundup, ABC’s “Highwire Live in Times Square” tops Sunday night ratings, and “Total Bellas” has been renewed for a fifth season. DATES FX will air the special event “Peabody Presents: Stories of the Year” on July 7. The program will showcase the issues honored at the 78th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Scream' Series Moves From MTV to VH1 for July Debut

    The long-gestating third season of the “Scream” series is finally debuting–but not on its original network. Variety has confirmed that the series will air on VH1 instead of MTV as originally planned. “Scream” will debut on VH1 on July 8 and air two one-hour episodes back-to-back for three straight nights. The third season of the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Video of Jussie Smollett With Rope Around His Neck Released by Chicago Police

    The Chicago Police Department released new surveillance footage and files in regards to the Jussie Smollett hoax case on Monday, including one that shows the “Empire” actor shortly after the alleged attack. In one of the videos, police body-cam footage shows authorities entering Smollett’s Chicago apartment, led by his manager, Frank Gatson. Smollett is found [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content