Netflix series House of Cards was honored at the Washington D.C. National Portrait Gallery last night, when a very real portrait of a fictional president – Kevin Spacey's Frank Underwood – was hung alongside the portraits of former U.S. presidents. The portrait was unveiled by Kevin Spacey – in character as Frank Underwood – at a ceremony last night in Washington D.C.
Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood was given the real presidential treatment when he walked on stage to a podium adorned with the Presidential Seal, shadowed by a cadre of fake secret service agents. This was of course, a promotional event – a preamble – to the real show, a sneak peek at Season 4 reserved for Washington D.C. insiders. Among the guests were MSNBC's Luke Russert and CNN's Dana Bash, reports the Washington Post.The event was by all accounts a surreal experience, blending the fictional with the real world. A fake president getting a real portrait hung in the real National Gallery, actors mingling with their real-world counterparts many of whom actually work in or around the White House.
"Thank you to Netflix for making the travel into hyper-reality a reality," said Kim Sajet, director of the National Gallery.
The House of Cards promotional event comes at a time when the series' future may be in jeopardy, reports the Hollywood Reporter. Showrunner and series creator Beau Willimon departed the show this year as part of an ongoing bankruptcy dispute between Relativity Media and Netflix. Willimon was absent from the screening of the House of Cards Season 4 red carpet premiere, but the cast and crew had nothing but praise for the creator and former showrunner.
"He was the first person I connected with when I got on set, it was completely overwhelming and intimidating but I sat down with Beau and then went into the scene. It was a really great moment," remembers Derek Cecil, who plays Seth Grayson on the Netflix series.
Kevin Spacey, who was recently appointed chairman of Relativity media, didn't speak specifically about Willimon, but he praised the fans of the series who have kept it going over the past few years, despite financial trouble at Relativity.
"I feel so blessed that audiences around the world have proven such loyal and passionate viewers, I can't wait for them to get a look at Season 4," Kevin Spacey told the Hollywood Reporter at the red carpet event.Beau Willimon worked on House of Cards Season 4, but won't be returning for Season 5, it's unclear who will take the wheel for the next season, but Willimon had nothing but praise for Netflix, Kevin Spacey, and Robin Wright.
"I'm grateful to Netflix, my fellow executive producers, our two incandescent stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, our talented writers, as well as the incredible cast and crew with whom I've had the privilege to work. After five years and four seasons, it's time for me to move on to new endeavors, but I'm supremely proud of what we've built together, I wish the show much continued success and leave it in the hands of a very capable team," said Beau Willimon in a statement to the Verge.
At the red carpet premiere, the cast and crew promised that Season 4 will not disappoint die-hard House of Cards fans, promising more bloodshed, and more of the signature Machiavellian political scheming which has enticed fans from all over the world.
"Fans should be excited for more of the brilliant villainy of Frank and more bloodshed that flows in his wake," said Nathan Darrow, who plays Edward Meechum.
House of Cards Season 4 premieres on March 4th on Netflix.
[Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Netflix]