‘House of Cards’ Star Kevin Spacey Once Revealed He Was Addressing Donald Trump While Breaking the Fourth Wall

Not many shows employ the tactic of breaking the fourth wall because it’s so controversial. But in general, the Netflix political drama House of Cards didn’t shy away from overstepping boundaries. Writers often had Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) addressing the audience directly.

Only he wasn’t just talking to viewers as a whole, or some generic fan. Instead, the actor confirmed he was always addressing Donald Trump.

Addressing the audience in ‘House of Cards’ was intentional

Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey | Paul Morigi/Getty Images For Netflix

Breaking the fourth wall doesn’t go over well most of the time. But with a drama so filled with lies, murder, cover-ups, and scandals, it actually works for House of Cards. As Spacey told The Guardian, speaking to the camera made viewers feel like they were in on his cons. And being Frank Underwood’s accomplice felt equally thrilling and evil.

“(As) a theatrical device, it’s a remarkable idea that a character will break the fourth wall. The audience become their co-conspirators,” Spacey explained. “They provide a chance for the audience to root for and be terrified by the character at the same time.”

Kevin Spacey said he was talking to Donald Trump

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The 61-year-old actor is adept at delivering the most sarcastic lines with total seriousness, making it difficult to determine when he’s lying or when he’s telling the truth. But his answer for who specifically Frank was addressing is particularly intriguing in retrospect.

During a 2015 interview, Spacey sat down with talk show host Stephen Colbert to answer the most-asked question about the series. “Who do you think you’re talking to when you talk right to the camera? Is it like a close confidant?” Colbert asked, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “The person you’re actually talking to of course are people on a ten-hour Netflix binge, sucking on boxed wine.”

The actor considered the suggestion, then came up with an alternative explanation. “This is the truth from the very beginning. When I’m looking directly into that camera, I’m talking to one person, and one person only,” Spacey says while staring into the camera. “And that is Donald Trump. Now, it all starts to make sense.”

Spacey insisted the political drama on ‘House of Cards’ was realistic

One common complaint about House of Cards was how over-the-top it all was. Murderous politicians and elaborate conspiracy theories make for great entertainment, but were they really representative of Washington politics?

Of course, four years into the series saw Donald Trump become the 45th president and other unbelievable events unfold as well. While chatting with Colbert about whether House of Cards was too unrealistic, the Emmy award-winning actor said it actually was.

“There have been times when I’ll leave the set and we’ll have shot a particular storyline, and I’ll think, ‘Man, this is really pushing it,’” Spacey said. “And then I get back to the hotel and I turn on the news. And I think, ‘Actually, we’re f*cked.'”

Even several years after the House of Cards finale his words still ring true. Frank Underwood would fit right into present-day American politics.