Fictional pols mingle with real-life ones at correspondents dinner charity brunch

Fictional politicians mingled with the real ones at Tammy Haddad's annual White House Correspondents Garden Brunch.

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Kevin Spacey, who plays Rep. Francis Underwood on "House of Cards," was just feet away from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

And actor Tony Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Grant on ABC's "Scandal," joked about coming in from an "alternative world."

Meanwhile, White House advisers Valerie Jarrett and Gene Sperling mingled from room to room.

Wall-to-wall people packed the historic Beall-Washington House in Georgetown for the brunch, which was celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The crowd was so hard to see through that Cantor, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) were within yards of one another without appearing to notice.



Tammy Haddad

Meanwhile, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was in the next room, while "Downton Abbey" star Michelle Dockery hung out in the hallway.

It benefited the CURE Epilepsy and the Miss America Foundation.

Obama adviser David Axelrod was on hand to talk about his epilepsy foundation. He praised Cantor for his support of research and the two men recognized a veteran who suffered from epilepsy.

The brunch has evolved into one of the must-attend events during the weekend of parties surrounding Saturday night's White House Correspondents' Association dinner. It has become a tough ticket and a big draw for celebrities, business leaders and members of the media.

Celebrities, meanwhile, had one star attraction: President Obama.

"Homeland" star Morena Baccarin said she was hoping to meet Obama, who has called her show his favorite on TV.

"I'm going to ask him if he gets any ideas from our show," she said.

Baccarin, who plays the wife of fictional Rep. Nicolas Brody, said she didn't get the chance to get any advice from lawmakers' wives.

"I wish I'd had the time. It happened very quickly that they decided that for my character so I didn't have time to do much research and I would have asked them a lot of questions about what it must be like to come into that," she said.

The actress was also mum about what will happen next season on the Showtime hit. "I don't know anything," she said.



Gerard Butler, Mallory Hagan

Goldwyn also said he wanted to meet Obama, adding he'd like to apologize to the president for his character, who is having an extramarital affair.

"It's no reflection on him," he said of the real-life POTUS.

Meanwhile, "House of Cards" writer Beau Willimon was offering no tidbits on season two of the Netflix hit.

"Mum's the word," he said. "We're not going to give any secrets away."

Actress Constance Zimmer said she's been getting amazing feedback as she worked the party circuit.

"We've been getting feedback on how much they like and that how similar we are to the people they work with every day," she said of her chats with D.C. pols.

"It's kind of amazing that they like it," she added. "Everybody wants to think you're doing a version of them."

Also spotted at the event: Olympian Gabby Douglas, White House chef Sam Kass, MC Hammer, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, former AOL CEO Steve Case, Gerard Butler, Josh Rador, Sharon Stone, Kyle MacLachlan, “Daily Show” correspondents John Oliver and Aasif Mandvi, Fred Armisen, Tim Daly, "Homeland" actor Navid Negahban, "Breaking Bad's" Giancarlo Esposito, Miss America Mallory Hagan, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, CNN's Jake Tapper, Fox News's Ed Henry, Arianna Huffington, CBS's Charlie Rose, NBC's Savannah Guthrie, CBS's Norah O'Donnell, and Fox News's Greta Van Susteren.

-- Judy Kurtz contributed to this report.

Follow The Hill's In The Know columnist Judy Kurtz (@JudyKurtz) and Features Editor Emily Goodin for (@Emilylgoodin) this weekend for live updates from the White House Correspondents' Association dinner and related parties.