House of Cards' Beau Willimon: 'The show isn't about politics'

House of Cards showrunner Beau Willimon doesn't think his political drama is cynical -- but then again, he admits optimism isn't always rosey.
House of Cards writer and creator Beau Willimon doesn't believe his smash hit show is an entirely bleak depiction of American politics. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters) (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

You may be surprised that House of Cards showrunner Beau Willimon doesn't believe his political drama is cynical. He describes Frank Underwood, the ruthless politician at the centre of his show, as an optimist. 

But then again, he explains, optimism doesn't have to be rosy. Willimon joins guest host Jelena Adzic to explain his nuanced take on the show's major themes, whether he feels a responsibility to the show's dedicated fanbase, and why even "unconditional love" is a bargain. 

*Click on the listen button above to hear the full segment (audio runs 19:45)

Kevin Spacey stars as power hungry politician Francis Underwood, left, and Robin Wright as his equally ambitious spouse, Clair Underwood. (Nathaniel E. Bell/Netflix/Associated Press)


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?