Kevin Spacey's Frank Underwood is only the fictional president in Netflix's House of Cards, but it increasingly feels like the pretend politician is bleeding through into the real world. Spacey appeared in character during the Golden Globes in January, and now the Machiavellian monster has his portrait hung alongside actual presidents', in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.
The 6-foot picture, painted by British artist Jonathan Yeo, will hang in the gallery's entrance, not far from its "America's Presidents" section. Yeo's treatment pictures Underwood in shades of gray, with lines of darkness obscuring the Oval Office, hinting at TV static and the character's fictional background. In the middle, Spacey's pugnacious face stares at the viewer, in much the same way it does during his to-camera interludes in House of Cards. Spacey said his combative pose was deliberate. "When it is hung at the right height you may wonder if I'm about to kick you in the face, which seems appropriate for this particular character."
Spacey said that it was "an incredible honor" to have his picture hanging alongside such prestigious figures, just ahead of House of Cards' fourth season, but the actor wouldn't be drawn on who he wanted to be the next president in the real world. "Listen, I have an election to win myself," he said at a press conference on Monday. "I'm absolutely convinced, a few more cities and I'm going to win this damn election."