“I don’t know she is,” he said when asked if we could send Miller his regards at the red carpet premier of Netflix’s “House of Cards” last night at the Newseum. FishbowlDC explained that Miller tipped off the FBI about details surrounding the Jack Abramoff scandal, as portrayed in the film “Casino Jack,” starring Spacey himself. “Oh,” Spacey said, sort of recalling who Miller is. “Hi! Sure. I don’t know what you’re asking me,” he said. Then his handlers moved him along.
“House of Cards” tells the story of Francis Underwood, played by Spacey, a congressional Democrat who wheels and deals his way to the top of the political world. Michael Dobbs, the creator, told FishbowlDC that he wrote the story “as a form of therapy” after having worked as the chief of staff to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the late ’80s.
The Washington news corps. plays a heavy, fictional role in the show, which is based on the original 1990s BBC series of the same name. James Foley, one of the show’s directors, said while working on story lines he’d ask himself whether it would be believable if he saw it reported on CNN. If not, he’d ask the lead writer for adjustments to the script. He also said actual on-air talent from CNN make cameos in the show, including… Wolf Blitzer, John King and Soledad O’Brien. “They were so willing,” he said. “You’re a big cheese, why would you want to be in the series?” he wondered of Blitzer.
Actor Sebastian Arcelus plays an editor of the fictional Washington Herald newspaper. As part of his research for the role, he watched Page One, a documentary about the NYT. Asked to name one of his favorite NYT columnists, his answer was media critic David Carr. “His sort of idiosyncratic approach to things is pretty interesting,” Arcelus said.
Sakina Jaffrey, who plays the chief of staff to the president-elect, told us she looked to Valerie Jarrett, President Obama‘s senior adviser, and former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice for inspiration. She said both women in their respective administrations spent and spend much of their time around men. “They both have a certain elegance, which I think this character has,” she said, “and they’re both very steely when they need to be.”
CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer took a brief stroll down the red carpet just before Spacey showed up. “I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing here,” the 75-year-old newsman remarked to FBDC. Asked if he was heartbroken about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin leaving Fox News as a paid contributor he laughed the heartiest of laughs. “I haven’t given it much thought,” he said.
Notables: Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab; The Hill‘s Judy Kurtz (a.k.a. Howlma); ABC News’ Rick Klein; The Daily Caller‘s Nicholas Ballasy (who, in typical fashion, confronted the actors on pertinent issues such as gun control and Obama’s productivity) and Sarah Hofmann; CQ Roll Call‘s Emily Cahn; the perpetually-offended Ben Freed of DCist; Tammy Haddad for HuffPost; Getty photographer Kris Connor; and publicist Janet Donovan.
Quotable: “I bought some sweet tights.”– Nikki Schwab
Tammy Haddad interviewing actress Kate Mara.
Kris Connor, who is roughly 5′ tall, down on his knees capturing photos of Kevin Spacey.
Sebastian Arcelus taking questions.
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