UNITED NATIONS : President Frank Underwood will not be taking a seat at the United Nations. Russia has nixed a request by producers of the popular Netflix series ‘House of Cards’ - starring Kevin Spacey as Underwood, the ruthless US leader - to film in the UN Security Council chamber, diplomats say.

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. But all 15 member states had to agree for the request to be granted, and Moscow refused. 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 UN 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 UN 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.