'House of Cards' Producer Beau Willimon Talks Truth, Secret Ratings

Monday, 24 Jun 2013 07:35 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Political machinations and drama highlighted the first season of the new Netflix series “House of Cards,” and some of that drama drifted through Hollywood over Netflix’s refusal to share numbers on the show’s success.

Developer and producer Beau Willimon shared his insights on the new show, which debuted on Netflix in February, with TheWrap.com.

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Blowing off the idea that Netflix should release numbers, Willimon said the focus is to offer underserved Netflix subscribers unique content and he’s happy as long as Netflix is happy.

The show, set in Washington, D.C., features Kevin Spacey as an angry and revenge-focused U.S. Representative who was betrayed by the President after helping him get elected. With dark plots that involve leaking information to the media and career sabotage, Spacey’s character resorts to murder in the first season.

Willimon said he was less concerned with creating likeable characters than with creating characters people are attracted to.

“Because the most interesting characters — Shakespeare is a great example of this — are not likeable,” he told The Wrap.com. “Richard III is not likeable. Macbeth is not likeable. Hamlet is not likeable. And yet you can’t take your eyes off them.”

The show’s cast and staff have gone out of their way to make sure the truth is a mainstay. Washingtononians may not like what they’re seeing, and many, Willimon said, may say it doesn’t really happen this way, but they’re wrong.

“We don’t f— around. We do our research,” he said. “We do break the rules sometimes, but we know which rules we’re breaking, and you have to for the sake of drama.”

Willimon shrugged off any criticisms of the show, saying that everything is fair game.

“And one of the arguments this show is making is that all these worlds are the same,” he said. “If you really think that ambition, power, lust, desire are not as applicable in the media as in politics or on Wall Street or anywhere else, you’re deluding yourself.”

Thirteen shows for the second season are currently in production.

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