Kevin Spacey says real-life GOP White House candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure A review of President Biden's first year on border policy Hannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump MORE is just as much a “fictional character” as the president Spacey plays on “House of Cards.”
The Academy Award winner, who stars as the conniving and corrupt President Frank Underwood on the Netflix political thriller, weighed in on the controversial Republican front-runner Monday night at a gala benefitting the Kevin Spacey Foundation and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.
Saying he was recently asked who would win a debate between Trump and Underwood, Spacey said, “My answer was, and I mean this in all sincerity, I said you have to put it in context.”
“You have to recognize that there’s a distinction: one of them is a fictional character,” he said before pausing, “and the other of them is a fictional character.”
With the audience at the Arena Stage in Washington laughing loudly, Spacey added, “But, actually, I don’t think The Donald would ever make it to a debate with Frank Underwood, because Frank would kill him.”
Mimicking the real estate mogul, Spacey quipped to the moderator, CNN chief political correspondent Dana BashDana BashJan. 6 panel chair says 'significant testimony' shows White House 'had been told to do something' Jan. 6 panel eying subpoenas to force Republican reps to cooperate Hogan says it's 'insane' anyone could watch Jan. 6 and believe it was 'just tourists looking at statues' MORE, “It’d be huuuge! Such a huge death.”
But Spacey expressed hope during the wide-ranging chat with baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. that the current climate in Congress hasn’t soured younger generations on politics.
“I so believe in public service,” Spacey said. “And I think it’s particularly hard nowadays for young people to see and look at our political process and be inspired by it.”
“I hope that the fact that not a lot of s--- does get done doesn’t dissuade people from wanting to join public service, whether it’s running for office or doing anything you can to help other people.”
“I hope out show doesn’t dissuade that,” Spacey, 56, added. “It certainly hasn’t for me. I’m fascinated by the political process.”
Several nonfictional lawmakers were on hand for Monday’s soiree as money was raised for the Spacey's foundation, which helps provide education and scholarships for young people interested in theater and film, and Ripken’s charity, which brings athletics to underserved and disadvantaged communities.
Among those eyed in the audience: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), whom Spacey shadowed while researching his “House of Cards” role, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).
The event reportedly raised more than $1 million for the two foundations.
—Updated at 4:32 p.m.