LONDON — After a sneak peek at the darkly comic Season 3 House of Cards premiere that introduced President Frank and First Lady Claire Underwood, stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright took turns name-dropping real presidents — with Spacey slipping into character as Bill Clinton.
“I love that House of Cards,” Spacey said, imitating the former commander-in-chief’s Arkansan drawl during a Q&A after the episode aired. “99% of what they do on the show is real. The 1% that isn’t is that you can’t get an education bill passed that fast.”
Spacey was in a jokey mood all evening, also slipping into the voice of his antihero alter ego, Frank Underwood, at London’s Leicester Square for the screening along with the show’s executive producer Beau Willimon.
Wright was also in fine form, describing her on-screen relationship as “the ultimate power couple” with a wry grin on the red carpet. She also revealed President Obama had told her he was a fan of the show at a dinner.
“He said ‘I’ll have you know I am not as bad as your husband, but my wife is’,” Wright said.
The first episode began to cheers from the audience, and introduces the show’s new life for the President, who was sworn in at the end of Season 2. Without revealing too many spoilers, Mashable can confirm that the episode features Stephen Colbert, a wooden spoon and a typically dramatic ending.
Of course there’s manipulation aplenty and negotiations in both the boardroom and the bedroom.
After the screening, Spacey, Wright and Willimon talked politics, the original British version, and their approach to filming.
Spacey revealed that there a lot of laughs on set. “We spend 65% of the time giggling,” he admitted, adding,” it’s amazing they haven’t released a blooper reel yet.”
He also insisted he has a lot to learn about his character.
“What I love is the feeling that I don’t know anything about Frank Underwood at all,” he said, adding that “the excitement of coming to work every day is what I don’t know.”
Kevin Spacey on House of Cards Season 3: “Viewers are going to have a lot of fun in the first three minutes.” pic.twitter.com/PRpvq9G9gh
— Tim Chester (@timchester) February 26, 2015
He also had reservations about seeing himself on Britian’s largest cinema screen, insisting that “4K is very unforgiving.”
The trio also discussed Robin Wright directing two episodes of the third season. “She knows what she wants, and she gets what she wants,” Spacey said.
When asked if she took more takes that David Fincher, she quipped, “Fincher has more takes than any director in the history of cinema.”
“He’s beating the acting out of you,” Willimon said.
The London premiere was staged in aid of The Old Vic Theatre Trust. Kevin Spacey was appointed Artistic Director of the Old Vic in 2003, and is due to appear onstage there in Clarence Darrow from March 3.
House of Cards returns to Netflix on Friday Feb. 27.
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