Delaware actor talked about being in "House of Cards," and why he recently re-enlisted into the military.
How many veterans can say they’ve appeared in a Bollywood movie? Georgetown resident Richard Cramer can. He played a reporter in the film “Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai.”
The flick, released in 2017, was one of several roles Cramer has landed.
That includes a role as an FBI agent in an episode of the upcoming Netflix series “Messiah,” about a CIA officer who investigates a charismatic man whose followers claim he can perform miracles.
To date, Cramer’s most notable project is his appearance in an episode of Netflix’s “House of Cards,” starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. The Georgetown veteran, whose stage name is “Allen Cramer,” was cast as a war protester in an episode where he shared a scene with Spacey.
“It was humorous. I’m on set with some other [acting] friends and it’s like, ‘Here’s the irony in this: I used to be in the military. I’m a veteran. But now I get to play as a protester,” the 41-year-old said with a laugh. “It’s a job that had to be done.”
Cramer was in the Maryland Army National Guard for eight years beginning in 2001. Last month, after 10 years, Cramer re-enlisted, this time joining the Delaware National Guard, he said.
He’s writing a short film called “The Flip,” about a suspended cop who teams up with an ex-gang member for big-money heists.
He plans to play the crooked cop. Meanwhile, he’s looking to cast someone as the ex-gang member. For performers interested in that role, contact Cramer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cramer explained what pulled him back into the military, his impression of Spacey on the set, and plans for his short film.
You’re 41. Isn’t there an age limit to enlist in the military?
There is. But since I’m prior service, there’s an exception, because I’ve already served.
I feel like I’m not complete until I finish it, because I only did eight years; and after 20 years is when you retire. Then I’ll feel like I’ve completed my purpose.
What do you miss most about the service?
The traveling, training and the soldiers, because you have everybody from [various backgrounds like] mechanics, police officers and Wal-Mart greeters all working in one building, contributing to a mission. You become lifelong friends with the people; and if something is wrong with my car, there’s always someone in the unit who’s a mechanic who says, “Hey, let me take a look at your car.” Or there’s someone in the unit who might be a nurse. You can say, “I think I have high blood pressure” and they’ll say, “Let me check your pulse.” There’s somebody in the unit who can help you with anything.
You worked with Kevin Spacey on “House of Cards.” How did you feel when you heard allegations he sexually assaulted someone?
It was hurtful, because when we were on set, Kevin and Robin Wright didn’t act like they were too good for us. They were outside talking with us. It was like, “Oh my God, this guy just got accused of sexual misconduct.” Then I had some doubt. I started thinking you never know what’s wrong with people nowadays. It was confusing. Everyone had mixed emotions like, “I can’t believe he’s done this” or “he’s a pig.”
My personal thing was let the facts speak. Then if he’s guilty, throw him under the bus and charge him accordingly, because sexual assault is nothing to play around with. I’m a big advocate against that and I like to see people get buried underneath the jail. But we were really shocked about the allegations because on set, Kevin is a really good guy.
Did that situation prevent you from making more appearances on the show?
ln October 2017, I was contacted by another casting director for “House of Cards.” They asked me, and I still have the text message on my phone today, to play as a reporter on the show. I accepted the role. But one week later is when the allegations came out and they suspended the production. I was like, “Oh my gosh, they’re not going to continue this. This is my shot at a reoccurring role.”
Were you brought on for any episodes once the show resumed?
What’s the big-picture goal for your short film?
I’m hoping it’ll be completed, edited and ready to be viewed in festivals by the summer of 2020. I have a friend who’s a producer for the FX network in California. He’s very interested, because I pitched this to him last year and he said he’d love to read it. But that’s when I said I’m going to shoot a short film for it. He said, “When it’s done, let me know,” because they’re always looking for pilots to do.