Hardball | January 29, 2013
>>> who watches "hardball" knows i love politics. another thing i love are movies and tv shows about politics, and i can't remember a time when there were more great films and shows to choose from. look at this, lincoln, "argo," all on the big screen . sitcoms like 1600 penn and dramas like homeland, the president's favorite on tv. what this tells me is i'm not alone. americans are into politics right now, including the dramatic kind. now, the great kevin spacey has joined in with his entry the political drama " house of cards ." he plays a house majority whip who has been passed up for secretary of state.
>> is the president-elect running late?
>> no, he
>> okay. this is the memo i've drafted on our middle east policy we've been developing. now, i want to borrow from reagan. i'd like to coin the phrase trickle down diplomacy.
>> i'm going to stop you there. we're not nominating you for secretary of state. but circumstances have changed.
>> the nature of promises is that they remain immune to changing circumstances.
>> i love that face. joining me the star and executive producer of " house of cards " kevin spacey . i was thinking of john kerry .
>> because i thought kerry was going to be secretary of state. then i thought susan rice was going to be. so when i watch that ad, that tease there, i said oh my god. this is going to be like wag the dog when they knew the girl was wearing a beret before the girl knew. this is going to be a drama of art proceeding life. where'd you get this idea?
>> the original book that was written by michael dobbs , he based his character largely on richard iii because i think he was in margaret thatcher 's government. he got out of government with a bad taste in his mouth. he wrote this book as a kind of revenge. and david fincher , it came from david the idea of rebooting the idea to the united states . we thought it would transfer incredibly well. it was a great hit series in britain in the '90s. they called him francis ercot then.
>> let me ask you about inside. you played an inside guy like i used to be. inside. not king, not president. those characters seem more interesting today. the ones inside the woodwork. by the people who make the calls and do have these intermural fights going on.
>> it's been fascinating for me to learn. kevin mccartney met with me. and thinking about what it must be like to corral 218 senators to vote they want you want them to is kind of crazy. we learned it isn't that crazy to do. but i've learned a lot.
>> what have you learned about ambition in politics? i think even hillary clinton never talks about what she wants. she can never say i want to be president, for example. and you are doing a study in gross ambition. this guy wants to get ahead, get ahead with people.
>> it's interesting. there have been incredible political figures in the past who now are sort of being re-examined. like lyndon johnson , for example. you start to look at how people are saying yes, he was ruthless. but he was also a remarkably effective president in a short number of years. i think what our show is attempting to do on some level is have that conundrum of what someone does to get something done. it's like watching the film "lincoln" now. it's fascinating. the character is perhaps the most saintly of all presidents as how he's portrayed in history was doing back door deals because he needed the votes. he wanted to win that and get slavery abolished. it's an amazing question about if someone does something that is diabolical.
>> i've seen you do -- for three hours.
>> that was very kind.
>> i thought it was worth coming across the tlangs to see it. the amazing ego it takes to command the stage for three hours. and a politician like bill clinton that has to have that confidence. it's not just reagan that was acting in politics. it seems all have dramatic ego.
>> and some are better actors than others. some are not good communicators and it's extraordinary.
>> like nixon you can see right through them.
>> yeah. and to some degree i think clinton is probably one of the best communicators we've had. i think to a certain degree i think in the legal profession, in politics, what you do. whenever you're in a position where part of your job is to convince your audience of an idea, that's true from an actor's idea. you're trying to get a play right's --
>> do you want to get on mine? do you like obama?
>> i love obama.
>> thank you. 13 episodes ready to stream right now on netflix. " house of cards ." this is going to be gripping. starts friday february 1st .
>>> when we return let me finish with john kerry 's confirmation as secretary of state. and chuck hagel . you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [