'House of Cards' Star Al Sapienza: An Unsung Player In Great Television
Netflix's House of Cards has been a step forward for television on the Internet - but even better, the series has given audiences another opportunity to enjoy a plethora of great actors. One such talented performer is Al Sapienza, who plays Marty Spinella, and who has previously appeared in some of TV's best series, including HBO's The Sopranos and Showtime's Brotherhood. BFTV recently caught up with Al to talk about not only House of Cards, but his thoughts on the developing landscape of television.
Given how many wonderful credits Al has to his name over decades in the business, it might surprise you to learn that House of Cards was a particular eye-opener for him. "I made the commitment back in 1981," he explained. "But it wasn't until February first of this year - I went home after the red carpet and I watched House of Cards, and when I watched my scenes with Kevin Spacey and my storyline with that show, it was the first time ever in my life that I was satisfied with my work and I felt like I'd made the right choice. It was a big epiphany."
"You're going to love this show," he continued. "This show has a quality to it and an intelligence to it, from like the first second you see it. It's just a top notch piece of film. Everything about it is well done. Most importantly, the written content, it's about our American political system, and what could possibly be more relevant right now? I really love the show."
With a cast that also includes the likes of Robin Wright, Kate Mara, Corey Stoll (Law & Order: Los Angeles), Jayne Atkinson (24), and Ben Daniels (Law & Order: UK), House of Cards is great entertainment. But has the program's online-only status or Netflix's decision to release all thirteen episode at once affected its reception at all? Not according to Al. "I was skeptical," he admitted. "I thought, 'Aren't they going to lose thirteen weeks of word of mouth and thirteen weeks of suspense? Would that be worth it?' And apparently it is. I got more emails and Facebook things and texts and voice messages from House of Cards than I did from The Sopranos."
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