Kevin Spacey says hit show “House of Cards" is like "performance art" in the way it mimics Washington.

"We can get done shooting in a day and I'll come home and turn on the news and I'll think our story lines are not that crazy. They're really not," Spacey said on ABC's "This Week."


The Oscar-winning actor, who plays fictional House Whip Francis Underwood on the show, followed actual House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as part of his training for the role. He said on Sunday that tagging along to meetings and learning how to corral lawmakers “was very helpful to understand what it’s actually like to try to whip.”

While working with McCarthy, the No. 3 House Republican had joked with Spacey about being envious of the actor's character.

“He actually said recently, ‘If I could kill just one member of Congress I would never have to worry about another vote,’” the Oscar-winning actor told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.

On the show, Spacey plays a conniving South Carolina Democrat set on increasing his own power above all else. In the first season, his character worked to kill a Pennsylvania lawmaker whose career had become mired in scandal.

McCarthy was “really very generous to me,” Spacey said.

“It’s not easy. But it was, for me, very fascinating to go to a couple of whip meetings and actually see what the agenda is, what they’re going to put out there, how they do it,” he said.

The show has won over numerous fans in Washington, including President Obama. McCarthy and other members of Congress last week starred in a "real life" version of the show posted online.

The second season of “House of Cards” was released on Netflix over the weekend, and Obama is expected to plow through episodes of the show while spending the long weekend on a Southern California estate.

Obama has said that he envies the efficiency with which decisions are made and legislation is passed in the show.

“I can imagine why he would,” Spacey said on Sunday.

“I’ve thought over the last year, it must be really interesting for not just an American public but people around the world to view a very effective Congress to get things done. And so I can imagine he must feel, ‘Gosh I wish we could move that quickly.’”