Actor Greg Kinnear went from “House of Cards” fan to joining cast: “It’s very surreal”

Actor Greg Kinnear joined “Salon Talks” to discuss his new role in the final season of “House of Cards,” premiering November 2 on Netflix. Kinnear plays a new character, the arch conservative Bill Shepherd, opposite Diane Lane, who plays his sister Annette. Both are modeled after power brokers like the Koch brothers.

On “Salon Talks,” Kinnear described his excitement coming onto the cast, who had already been at it for five seasons and seven Emmy Awards. “It was so weird. I’m a fan of the show, so it’s like you’re watching ‘House of Cards,’ and then suddenly, you’re IN ‘House of Cards,’” Kinnear told SalonTV’s Alli Joseph.

“I’m crawling into the television on those incredible sets in that kind of still atmosphere that they’ve perfected amazingly, and you’re interacting with Robin [Wright], and all the people you’ve come to know. It’s very surreal.”

After the firing of Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, Kinnear said the “House of Cards” writers worked quickly and efficiently to rewrite the last episode of season five, leaving Frank Underwood mysteriously dead.

“People are tracking what’s happening in Washington more than ever,” Kinnear said. “You’ll recognize certain elements of what is happening, but at the end of the day, I think the writers’ biggest task was to tell a full-bodied story about Claire as the president. Listen, power and virtue don’t go together.”

Asked if he liked playing a villain, Kinner laughed. “It’s great to be devious and conniving. I don’t get to do that enough. They have a long history on this show of writing devious characters and it’s great fun, particularly grounded in politics because people, they care, it matters.”

Many fans will also remember Kinnear from his well-loved role as host of “Talk Soup” on E! in the 1990s. Watch the interview to hear more about Kinnear’s first on-air experiences, his humble beginnings on an international high school radio show called “School Daze with Greg Kinnear,” and his role as Simon in 1997’s “As Good as it Gets.”

Photography by Jill Greenberg. Watch Jill's TedxTalk on the Female Lens and the problem with only seeing the world from a man's perspective. And find out more about Jill's initiative Alreadymade., a mission to hire more female photographers and content creators.

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