The Netflix series “House of Cards” became an instant hit when it debuted in February. Actress Sakina Jaffrey plays White House Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez on the political drama. We caught up with Jaffrey on the red carpet at the New York Indian Film Festival this weekend and talked to her about the overnight success of the show, her co-star Kevin Spacey and portraying a Washington power broker.
What was it like working with Netflix? Some people were surprised when they started producing an original series.
Netflix was amazing only because they let us alone. So [David] Fincher and [Kevin] Spacey and Beau [Willimon], the writer of the show, really got to do what they wanted. It felt like, “Where are the grown-ups?” (laughs). Because we could do everything we wanted to do with no supervision. I think what they did was they got the best people involved and trusted them to create something interesting and they did. They audience response has been incredible.
What’s your favorite part about working on House of Cards?
You know, I’ve not played this power role before so just playing someone that smart for any period of time is just really fun. And the other thing that I love is watching Kevin Spacey work. Particularly when he does that direct address in that very heightened language [Ed. note: Spacey plays a powerful Congressman in the series].
Everyone seems to think of Kevin Spacey as “the actor’s actor.”
He really is. He’s also a producer. He does everything. And I think those people are sort of tireless, which is what you want in an actor.