House of Cards Star Corey Stoll Doesn’t Bother With Cable

Are you surprised?


Who Corey Stoll 

Age 37

Accomplishments Starred as Rep. Peter Russo (D-Pa.) on Netflix’s House of Cards; played Ernest Hemingway in Midnight in Paris; appearing in the films Glass Chin and Non-Stop, out this fall

Base New York

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

It’s unfortunate, but I keep my cellphone next to the bed. I use it as an alarm, and the first thing I do is I check my email. Then I’ll turn on NPR, go online and look at The New York Times, Slate, Daily Beast, Google News and The Atlantic.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train or bus?

When it’s warm out, I’m usually commuting on my bike, and that occupies my entire brain, just trying to avoid trucks and pedestrians and other bicycles. It’s sort of a postmodern meditation—it clears your mind. But for the other half of the year, I’m on the subway, and I’m usually listening to podcasts: Fresh Air, This American Life, Radiolab, Rachel Maddow’s show, Bill Maher.

Are you a TV junkie or on an airtime-restricted diet?

I don’t watch a lot of TV. We’ve cut the cable cord. I have an Apple TV and an Xbox 360, and everything comes through there. It’s not really a question of cost so much as when I have cable, like when I’m on location and in a hotel room, I’ll just turn on the TV and there goes a few hours and I haven’t really watched anything. It’s really just self-preservation; otherwise, I’ll watch too much TV.

What do you stream?

The Daily Show and Colbert on Hulu, and I’ll watch seasons of shows. With House of Cards, there was this whole new idea of binge-watching, but I haven’t really watched a show without binge-watching for years. Right now, my girlfriend and I are slowly going through The Sopranos again.

Did you watch House of Cards on Netflix?

We got access to our own little private stream. People kept telling me that they only intended to watch one or two episodes and ended up watching the whole thing over the course of two or three days. I had a similar experience. I was trying to draw it out and savor it, but there’s something very compulsively watchable about the show.

How do you pass the time between takes on set?

On my iPad, I use the Pulse app. And Angry Birds Star Wars is really awesome. It’s the perfect thing when you’re on set and you want to turn your brain off for a second.

How do you listen to music?

I do Spotify. For a while, I was still buying stuff, and I just sort of realized that ownership of music is not really important to me anymore. I’ve gotten into a habit where, with every role, I’ll create a mix. Spotify is a great resource because you can pick and choose from all across the spectrum.

What was on your Peter Russo mix?

There was a lot of Bruce Springsteen [laughs]. I think Peter sort of sees himself as a character in a Bruce Springsteen song. And then definitely some Tom Waits and some Bob Dylan. Good drinking songs.