After playing Remy Danton for four seasons of “House of Cards,” actor Mahershala Ali had to bid goodbye to the character because he is going to be starring in different roles both in the small screen (“Luke Cage”) and big screen (“Moonlight”).
Ali told Entertainment Weekly that he will forever be grateful for his stint in “House of Cards” because it helped him nab a lot of great roles after.
Prior to playing Remy, Ali said he had been working consistently for 12 years but none of it mattered as much as his “House of Cards” role. Remy hit a “sweet spot” among audiences, so Ali felt like the character deserved to leave the show with a bang.
“I do feel a marked shift in [my career], and I think in a large part, it’s because of my exit from ‘House of Cards,’” he said. “I knew going into last season, that that was going to be my last. I had conversations with [the writers and Netflix] about making an exit, because I felt like Remy had said all he has to say. They were really kind about it, and we parted ways on good terms.”
Ali said that during the height of Remy’s fame in “House of Cards,” fans would come up to him and ask him what it’s like to work with Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey).
“A lot of times people would say, ‘Man, you’re supposed to be in a suit,’ and I’d be like, ‘Yo, you know that was acting, right?’ People were calling me Remy!” he said. “There were guys talking to me as if we really have a relationship that goes beyond a professional one… It was clear to me that that show really spoke to people.”
Personally, Ali told The Wrap that one his favorite characters on the show would have to be Freddy Hayes (Reg E. Cathey), the owner of the barbecue joint Underwood frequents. Freddy surprisingly shouted at his loyal customer to get out last season, and Ali thought it was pretty brave of him.
“There’s no higher position in the U.S. than the president, so for someone to take a stand the way he did… I loved the writing in and of itself but also the performance because Reg E. is phenomenal,” Ali said.
Meanwhile, Michael Kelly, who plays Doug Stamper on the show, also feels thankful for his “House of Cards” role.
“I mean, I love going to work. It is the greatest job I’ve ever had. It’s the greatest crew that I’ve ever worked with. It’s a dream,” he told Deadline. “You know, to feel that way at the start of season five, to feel the same I did when I started season one, it just says so much.”
“House of Cards” Season 5 will premiere sometime in 2017.