House of Cards Season 5 is almost upon us, premiering on May 30. With so much turmoil and unexpected surprises in the real world of politics this past year, can the political TV show even compete? Is there anything left to show us that we haven’t seen in real life, surrounding Donald Trump’s administration? House of Cards’ cast members, Michael Kelly, Neve Campbell, and Kevin Spacey say the show doesn’t mirror real life, or else it won’t be entertaining enough – but also admit that Trump is “crazier” than their show.
Netflix’ House of Cards follows the life of Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), a Democrat from South Carolina who rises from being a minor political figure, to the position of President of the United States. Along the way, Frank stops at nothing and removes – sometimes violently – anything and anyone who might stand in his path to power.
Michael Kelly plays Frank’s loyal Chief of Staff, Douglas “Doug” Stamper on House of Cards Season 5. Neve Campbell portrays political consultant LeAnn Harvey. The two of them sat down with CNN to talk about the upcoming season – and were asked about the similarities between the fictional political world on the show – and the one in real life.
“Which is crazier,” Michael and Neve were asked directly, “House of Cards Season 5, Or…” – And without even waiting for the reporter to finish her question, both cast members immediately answered – “Trump.”
“This is insane what’s happening in the real world. This is crazy town right now. It’s disturbing. We’ve always been a country, except for in television, that has someone who can represent the American people with knowledge and respect and proper decorum. This is the first time that we’ve not had that and that’s incredibly troubling.”
Michael Kelly then adds how important it is for him, and House of Cards, to have a voice and be able to use it for what he thinks is the right cause. Michael acknowledges the fact that he’s being “a pain in his [Donald Trump] Hollywood, leftist, elitist… whatever you want to call it” – but he says he simply has no choice, not just as an actor – but as a father.
“I’m a dad and I have kids and I’m a family man, I have to care about things like women’s rights. I want my daughter to grow up in a world where she’s respected equally.”
Kevin Spacey: I Needed “A Good Joint” To Become Frank Underwood
The star of the House of Cards Season 5 cast, Kevin Spacey, also addressed the similarities between the show and the real world, when speaking with The Hollywood Reporter. According to Spacey, who jokingly admitted he needed “a really good joint” when he stepped into the role of Frank Underwood on Season 1, the show never tries to follow real-world events.
“It’s never something that crosses our minds. We just try to remain true to what we’re trying to do.”
House of Cards Season 4 ended with Frank and his wife, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) getting ready to use the fear of war and terrorism to their advantage in the upcoming elections. These topics were very much part of the real elections in the United States and were addressed constantly by both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. But Kevin Spacey says the show’s writers work very hard to differentiate themselves from the real world of politics, mainly so that the viewers never know what’s going to happen next.
“One of the most important aspects for me is to just to not go where people think we’re going. To continually have the show go down different paths and open up different doors and not end up being predictable….”
“We wanted to be an alternative universe. And it may be a universe that some people prefer.”
With four seasons of House of Cards behind us, some story-lines might have even predicted real world events and issues. For example, Frank Underwood’s complicated relationship with Viktor Petrov (Lars Mikkelsen), the fictional President of Russia on the show, comes to mind, as he constantly tries to influence Underwood’s administration. With Donald Trump’s relations with Russia a constant talking point in the news, once cannot disregard the similarities.
How long will we be seeing new seasons of House of Cards? Kevin Spacey says he’s still having the time of his life – so as long as the audience is still interested, and the story has enough places to go to – we will keep getting our binge-watching fix.
[Featured Image by David Giesbrecht/Netflix]