In an exclusive interview with Today on Monday morning, Wright addressed the numerous sexual misconduct allegations leveled against Spacey last fall — several of which came from past and present House of Cards crew members — which ultimately led to his firing from the Netflix drama in November.
“We were all surprised, of course, and ultimately saddened,” Wright told Savannah Guthrie. “We forged ahead and we were so thankful that we were able to complete the series as planned.”
Despite the accusations made against Spacey, Wright said she and the actor had a “respectful, professional relationship” on the House of Cards set, adding that Spacey “was so great with me. He was never disrespectful to me. That’s my personal experience, and that’s the only thing I feel that I have the right to talk about.”
Wright went on to reveal that she and Spacey “never socialized outside of work” and did not develop a bond that extended beyond filming scenes together.
“We were coworkers, really,” she said. “Kevin and I knew each other between ‘action’ and ‘cut’ and in between setups where we would giggle. I didn’t know the man. I knew the incredible craftsman that he is.”
As previously reported, House of Cards‘ sixth and final season — which will land on Netflix this fall — will center on Wright’s Claire Underwood, who is now president of the United States. It’s unclear how Spacey’s onetime protagonist will be written out, but he will not have any part in the drama’s eight-episode final run. His firing was slyly addressed in a meta July 4 teaser for Season 6, in which Wright’s POTUS says with a smirk, “Happy Independence Day… to me.”
Though Wright wouldn’t comment on whether she personally felt Netflix did the right thing by severing ties with Spacey, she said House of Cards‘ cast and crew largely agreed with the decision.
“At that time, the shock was so intense all over the nation — for many reasons, many stories, many people. Everybody felt that it was respectful to back off,” she said, adding that “this last year has shined a light in a new way to allow us to start a new conversation, so we just need to shift the paradigm.”
The rest of Today‘s interview with Wright will air in the fall, closer to House of Cards‘ return. In the meantime, watch the video of Monday’s segment above, then hit the comments with your thoughts.