House Of Cards will return for its sixth and final season later this year, with Robin Wright running things on and off screen. There’s still a President Underwood in the show’s White House, but it’s now Claire, who’s also served as Vice President. And in a case of life imitating art, Wright has stepped up to lead the series after Netflix fired Kevin Spacey, who played Frank Underwood, for sexually assaulting a teenage Anthony Rapp, as well as allegations that he made the House Of Cards set “toxic” with his “predatory” behavior.
Despite all the coverage of Spacey’s ouster and Netflix’s decisions to cancel and then move forward with the sixth season, Wright hadn’t commented on any of the news until she sat down with Today’s Savannah Guthrie this morning. When Guthrie asks how the cast reacted to word that Spacey was leaving the show for creating a “toxic environment for young men,” Wright says they “were all surprised, of course, and ultimately, saddened. We forged ahead, and we’re so thankful we were able to complete the series as planned.”
Wright stresses that her relationship with Spacey was limited to the House Of Cards set: “We were co-workers, really. We never socialized outside of work.” But she notes that they had a “respectful, professional relationship. He was so great with me... and was never disrespectful to me, so, that’s my personal experience. That’s the only thing I feel that I have the right to talk about.” As for whether Spacey, who’s now being investigated by Scotland Yard, sent up any red flags on set, Wright again says they only interacted “between action and cut, and between setups, where we would giggle. I didn’t know the man, I knew the incredible craftsman.”
When Guthrie asks if Wright feels Spacey’s firing was justified, the actress says, “I don’t know how to comment on that, but I think at that time, the shock was so intense all over the nation, for many reasons, many stories, many people, I think that everybody felt it was respectful to back off. The five-time Emmy nominee is slightly more forthcoming when asked if she’s ever been sexually harassed: “Of course. Who hasn’t?” Then Wright, who directed the House Of Cards series finale, speaks on the uneven power dynamics in Hollywood and other industries: “This is a bigger, broader issue, I think, which is seduction. I don’t care who you are, it’s about power. And once you overpower someone, that person then becomes vulnerable. And this last year, I think has shined a light in a new way, to allow us to start a new conversation. So we just need to shift the paradigm.”