US actor Kevin Spacey received a roaring ovation at India’s film awards but he doesn’t like the way he suspects that many fans there know him – through pirated videos.
Spacey, who plays a conniving congressman in the popular Netflix series House of Cards, was a star attraction at the International Indian Film Academy Awards which took place in Tampa, Florida, the first time it’s been held in the United States.
“House of Cards is really big in India, I discovered,” Spacey told reporters late on Saturday as he walked the ceremonial carpet into the packed stadium.
“Except isn’t it funny that Netflix doesn’t exist there yet. Which means that you’re stealing it,” he said.
Netflix has shaken up the US entertainment landscape by streaming videos online to customers without advertising, with House of Cards bypassing the traditional formulas of Hollywood and television networks.
US companies have attacked India over intellectual property but complaints have mostly revolved around generic drugs, with China considered a far larger source of counterfeit entertainment products.
Spacey, who won Oscars for his roles in American Beauty and The Usual Suspects, delighted the crowd at the Bollywood awards by wrapping an Indian sarong around his waist and trying out dance moves.
Spacey welcomed the Indian film industry’s appeal for a wider market in the United States, saying it was beneficial “to bring our cultures together, because very often we can achieve things culturally that we can’t politically.”
“More and more people in the United States are becoming aware of Bollywood films. I want to go to India to make your culture even more aware of theatre because theatre is not as big there as film is,” Spacey said.
Spacey is a veteran theatre actor who returned to the stage in 2011 to play Shakespeare’s Richard III.