Kevin Spacey doesn’t find the 2016 race for the White House as entertaining as he once did.
“It’s getting less amusing,” Spacey told ITK Monday when asked about how he’d describe the current presidential campaign.
The “House of Cards” actor — who’s facing his own re-election bid as the conniving and cutthroat President Frank Underwood in the Netflix drama’s forthcoming fourth season — had said in January, “I mean Frank Underwood would look at this particular year and find it as amusing as I do."
But, perhaps taking a page from a real-life politician’s playbook, Spacey deflected several questions from reporters while in Washington for the official unveiling of a new painting at Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
“I have an election to win myself,” he said to laughs. “I can’t spend any time thinking about what’s going on in the real world. I have a fictional election to win.”
The portrait, from British artist Jonathan Yeo, shows a stern-faced Spacey as his famed “House of Cards” character, striking a stiff pose in a desk chair, a clenched fist resting on a desk.
“You may wonder if I’m about to kick you in the face, which seems appropriate for this particular character,” Spacey quipped.
Spacey, 56, said he looked at some past real-life presidential portraits and watched their unveilings in preparation for working with Yeo.
“I was particularly struck by what President Clinton said when his portrait was revealed,” recalled Spacey, who counts the 42nd president among his friends. “Apparently a plastic surgeon had written [Clinton] a letter when he first started running for president, suggesting that he needed a little work. And the president wrote that plastic surgeon back and said, ‘Thank you for your suggestion, but I’ve worked hard for this face and I’m going to live with it a little while longer.’”
“It’s such a tradition,” Spacey told the crowd. “Of course usually portraits of presidents aren’t unveiled until after they leave office, but since Francis Underwood doesn’t believe in term limits, I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be unveiled now.”
Spacey’s portrait as Underwood goes on display to the public at the Portrait Gallery on Wednesday.