Russia vetoes ‘House of Cards’ filming at the U.N.

While all the 15-member body agreed to allow “House of Cards” producers to film at United Nations, Moscow refused

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
3 min read

President Frank Underwood will not be taking a seat at the United Nations because Russia will not allow him.

Russia has nixed a request by producers of the popular Netflix series “House of Cards” -- starring Kevin Spacey as Underwood, the ruthless U.S. leader -- to film in the U.N. Security Council chamber, Agence France-Presse reported diplomats as saying.

Netflix had asked the United Nations for permission to use the council’s chamber, where the 15-member body votes on resolutions, as a backdrop for upcoming episodes -- perhaps filming on nights and weekends.

All 15 member states had to agree for the request to be granted but Moscow refused.


According to Foreign Policy, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon agreed to two episodes of House during off-hours to raise public awareness of how work is done at the United Nations.

“Upon thorough reflection, we are objecting to the proposed filming in the Security Council,” Foreign Policy quoted Mikael Agasandyan, UNSC coordinator for the permanent Russian delegation to the U.N., as saying in an email to council members on Tuesday.

Agasandyan added: “We are of [the] opinion that the Security Council premises should be available at any time and on short notice. Besides that, we consistently insist that the Security Council premises are not an appropriate place for filming, staging, etc.”

News of Russia’s refusal was first reported by Foreign Policy.

France’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gerard Araud, joked as he discussed the issue with journalists.

“It is disappointing for you, I guess, because you wanted to see the actors,” Araud said.

“It’s reassuring because I think the actors would have seemed so much more elegant than we are, you know, and the action so much more romantic than the reality that maybe we didn't want to see the comparison.”

The U.N. headquarters in New York -- but not the council’s chamber -- has been featured on the silver screen and on television before.

Director Sydney Pollack won then U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan's approval to film scenes for “The Interpreter” (2005) starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn.

But the legendary Alfred Hitchcock was not given the same privilege. His bid to film scenes for “North by Northwest” starring Cary Grant was denied, forcing him to recreate the backdrop in the studio.

(With AFP)

Top Content Trending