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Taking part in TV history

South Boston NewsSouth Boston News
Justin Brugos landed a role as an extra in the new Netflix TV series, House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey. In a scene of a civil disturbance, Brugos is the disgruntled teacher to the right. / February 06, 2013
When Justin Brugos graduated from Park View High School in 2008, he had dreams of becoming a veterinarian. Little did he know that just four years later he would be an extra in Netflix’s first big drama, House of Cards.

The show stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, a ruthless politician with his eye on the top job in Washington, D.C.

It is an adaptation of the novel by Michael Dobbs and a remake of the BBC miniseries of the same name. It is ground breaking, too — House of Cards marks the first time a television series has been released in its entirety. Traditionally fans have to wait from week to week to see what happens next, but House of Cards breaks that long tradition.

Brugos, now living in the D.C. area, got the gig while searching the website,, for acting jobs. A friend told him about the Netflix project and he applied. Now he’s made it into internet TV history — albeit in a small role.

Acting has long been a passion of Brugos, and something he has decided to pursue in his adult life.

“The first real play I was in was the Tin Man in ‘The Wizard of Oz’,” said Justin. “I was in the third grade. Then in middle school I was in forensics and in high school I worked with Mrs. Leigh Howell, who was the British Lit teacher,” he said.

Going on to Blacksburg after high school, he graduated from Virginia Tech in May of 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts.

His intention was to head to Hollywood and follow his dream — becoming a bartender or waiter and waiting for the big role that would skyrocket him into stardom. But a professor at Virginia Tech offered him different advice.

“Michael Anthony Williams said you don’t want to go to California with just your hopes and dreams. You need to go to D.C. and get resume credits, so when you go to California you have something to market to agencies,” said Brugos, who added, “D.C. is happening this June.”

He played an extra in House of Cards as one of the members of an angry teacher mob in Episodes 5 and 6. He can clearly be seen wearing a gray shirt and standing on the right side of the screen. He is standing across from Kevin Spacey in the scene in Episode 5.

“I have always wanted to get into acting, and as soon as I got on the set and saw Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, people you’ve seen before, it was such a rush,” said Justin.

And while he didn’t get to meet Kevin Spacey, he did brush shoulders with him — literally.

“The whole time I was looking for Kevin and I saw him and thought, Oh forget about it! I can’t believe that I’m on the same set as this guy,” said Brugos.

His next goal is to get a speaking role in a TV show, commercial or movie. He is currently helping out the South Hill Children’s Theater in the role of Prince Charming for their spring production of Snow White.

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An extraordinary performance by Justin Brujos.
He is favored to win the Golden Globes award for Best Extra.

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