“I thought, ‘Oh man, how much more am I going to be working,” admits Michael Kelly during our recent webcam chat (watch above) as we talk about the turn of events on season 4 of “House of Cards.” The actor plays Doug Stamper, loyal chief of staff to President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), who goes to extreme lengths to protect the life of the commander in chief after he is shot. “Doug is prepared to kill another man for the President. As hard as it was to play that from a compassionate human level, I understood it.”
Reflecting on the upheaval in the White House, he says, “I really thought, what an interesting direction to go with the show. The rise of Claire during that was so great. Being able to go toe to toe with Robin Wright on a level we had never explored before was thrilling.”
The actor describes his character’s loyalty to Frank “at it’s real visceral core is an addiction. Everything for him is an addiction. Whether it’s his relationship with Rachel, Frank, alcohol or even his job. He has to do it to the absolute best of his ability. There’s no doubt that he loves Frank.”
For Kelly, one of the most challenging scenes this season was a life-or-death struggle. “I said to Beau Willimon (the creator) ‘You’re sick dude. but I love it.’ Beau replied, ‘You’ve never seen it in film or television. It’s really cool. Many things have been done but you’ve never seen someone choked out with a glass before.’”
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