“House of Cards” Use of SoliloquyBy: Lea Leonard - August 14, 2013
Translated from Latin phrase as “talking to oneself,” soliloquy is a storytelling device that’s been around for centuries. Ever see a character talk directly to an audience when the other actors don’t pay attention? Well, that’s kind of what soliloquy does. It’s a way for a character to explain thoughts or feelings without letting others know what is going on, except the people looking on, of course.
The “House of Cards,” features a story about Frank Underwood, a soulless Washington D.C. politician, played by actor, Kevin Spacey. Beau Willimon, screenwriter and the show’s creator says virtually no one can deliver a soliloquy more effectively than Spacey.
“Kevin has a lot of experience on stage doing Shakespeare and the soliloquy is something he is particularly good at,” he said. “He makes the black and white on the page become gold and seismic on the screen.”
Willimon further explains the use of soliloquy allows an audience to partake in what he characterizes as Underwood’s “illicit behavior.” He says this artistic device allows an audience to be more fully drawn in. It also makes a drama unfold for them in a much more powerful fashion.
“He is up to some pretty nefarious things,” he said. “The more he explains or tells an audience what he is doing, the more it lends to the character’s philosophy and rationale behind his actions.”
Last month, the “House of Cards,” was nominated for multiple Emmys including one for Kevin Spacey as Best Actor. The anticipated Season 2 is reportedly well underway. Reed Hastings, chief executive producer, says his hopes for the show remain ever positive.
“Hopefully, by the time we get to season three, four, five, if we’re fortunate enough to get there, then we turn it into a Harry Potter-esque global massive phenomena,” he said.