More than five months after Kevin Spacey was fired from House of Cards over sexual assault allegations, one of his Emmy-nominated costars is breaking his silence on the “heartbreaking” matter.
Michael Kelly, a three-time Emmy nominee for his role as Underwood fixer Doug Stamper, spoke to Variety about his reaction to the Spacey controversy — and returning to work without him.
“It’s such a mixed bag of emotions because I was with that guy every single day,” revealed Kelly. “To go back to those sets and all of a sudden be with completely different people, it was a strange feeling. I don’t even know how to put it into words because you know one thing for so long and then all of a sudden it’s a completely different world you’re living in. There’s obviously a million emotions that I went through, that I processed during this whole thing. I don’t want to talk too much about it because it was heartbreaking in so many ways.”
In October, Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp came forward with allegations that a then-26-year-old Spacey made sexual advances towards Rapp when he was 14 years old. The House of Cards star issued a public apology, though he said he didn’t remember the incident.
Following the news, production on the sixth and final season of the Emmy-nominated series, which had begun only two weeks earlier, was halted. Further allegations soon emerged against Spacey, including current and previous House of Cards employees saying the actor created a “toxic” work environment through sexual harassment and “predatory” behavior. Spacey, who according to his then-publicist was “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment,” was subsequently fired from the Netflix series; the upcoming final season was set to focus instead on Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood, who had become the new president at the end of season 5.
While Kelly told Variety that studying under Spacey and Wright was “the greatest acting classes,” he said he hasn’t spoken to Spacey since the allegations surfaced.
“All I know is what I hear, but I don’t know,” he said. “It’s tough. You go from talking to someone often to not at all, and in any profession, in anything, circumstances removed, what happened removed, it’s strange … and I’m still processing. I haven’t formulated any opinion, and I haven’t talked publicly about it. This is the first thing I’ve ever said. I think I’m still going through a lot, processing the whole thing. It’s tough.”
For more from Kelly’s interview, including his political aspirations, head to Variety.