“House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey is booked to appear in Annapolis on Friday night as the fate of a tax credit that has benefited the production of his Netflix series hangs in the balance.
Gerard E. Evans, an Annapolis-based lobbyist for the show, has invited the entire Maryland General Assembly to a local wine bar to meet the two-time Academy Award winner who plays the scheming Vice President Frank Underwood in the series. An invitation describes the event as “an evening of Annapolis, D.C. and Hollywood.”
“He’s coming to promote ‘House of Cards’ and the tax credit,” Evans said of Spacey. “He loves Maryland. He’s got a house here.”
The visit is scheduled just a few days after the Senate voted to increase the amount the state can spend next year, to $18.5 million, on a tax credit that rewards movie and television production companies that choose to film in Maryland. “House of Cards” has been the biggest beneficiary in recent years.
The House of Delegates has yet to act on the bill, with about two and a half weeks remaining in this year’s 90-day legislative session in Maryland. Evans said he has been encouraged by recent meetings with House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) and other key delegates.
A few weeks before the second season of “House of Cards” debuted online, the show’s production company sent letters to Busch and Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) making clear they could film elsewhere if the debate over the tax credit didn’t end well.
Besides Spacey, Beau Willimon, the creator and executive producer of “House of Cards,” is also expected to attend Friday night’s event at Red Red Wine Bar in Annapolis. Evans said executives with HBO’s “Veep” — another show that has benefited from Maryland’s tax credit — will also be on hand.
Spacey previously appeared in Annapolis in June for two days of filming of the second season of “House of Cards.” The cast and crew took over the State House, turning the House of Delegates chamber into a stand-in for the U.S. Senate. Busch’s wife, Cynthia, was among the extras who got some on-camera time in episode three.