Season 2 of “House of Cards” is being released on Netflix in just a few short hours, when Frank Underwood’s (Kevin Spacey) scheming once again plays out over another 13 episodes as he assumes the office of the vice president.
Actor Michel Gill, who runs the country as President Walker on the political drama, tells Zap2it that Frank is “off and running” as the VP, though he can’t divulge too much, under threat of bodily harm.
“I have this collar around my neck. It’s an invisible fence collar. Anytime I say something, if I go off — it zaps me,” says Gill with a laugh.
He also laughs as we ask Gill about Walker’s relationship with Frank as VP. “It’s a great relationship, can’t you tell? [laughs] But no, that’s the thing — from Walker’s perspective, as all president’s have, there is a pool of advisors, good and bad, and they pick and choose. Frank is just one of them, so we get along fine.”
President Walker may think he and Frank get along fine, but obviously he is not privy to what the actors and the viewers know about Frank’s machinations, which is something Gill loves about the show.
“That’s the wonderful thing. This show is so clearly — it’s not a safe place, it’s thin ice. It’s really trying to find those spots where the ice has gotten thicker in areas than others and god help you if you walk on an area that isn’t because you’re gone,” says Gill. “It’s not safe.”
“That’s the wonderful world that [creator Beau Willimon] has made in the first season,” Gill continues. “Everybody is in that world, we’re all living in that world. The best way to comment on that is it’s not safe for anybody and it never will be. It’s a very Shakespearean experience. … This is imposing a Shakespearean drama on Washington D.C. Whatever rings true, fine, but let’s not forget this is fantasy and drama.”
“There are two levels of excitement on that for me,” says Gill. “The most wonderful part about it is that my wife [Jayne Atkinson, right] and I are on the show together. For us to be on the show together is just — it doesn’t get better than that.
“Then to have President Obama kicking back and watching the show we are just in heaven about, it’s just icing on that cake. And then I have another level because I’m the president being watched by the actual president. I hope it reads true enough for the drama of it. It’s a very difficult part. Not to play but to make believable to the vast audience.”
This is the first project Gill and his wife have done together and he tells us it’s “such a great honor and such a great joy” for them to work on this show together. “We couldn’t be working with a better team of people. I’m a lucky guy,” says Gill. “Having these scenes with Kevin over and over again just raises the bar, he raises the bar.”
But when asked who he would hope to have more scenes with in the future, since “House of Cards” is renewed for a third season, Gill does not say Spacey. “I’ll always answer my wife. Any time and every time there’s an
opportunity, I would just love to do that,” says Gill. “We have a couple [scenes together], but it’s
always great to be able to have that experience.”
He also says that he and Jayne are going to watch Season 2 together but “not in one fell swoop.” “We’re going to take it slowly; we’re not big binge-watchers.”
“House of Cards” Season 2 premieres Friday, Feb. 14 at 3 a.m.ET/midnight PT on Netflix.