As Frank Underwood on House of Cards, Kevin Spacey is as cool and collected as they come, but when it comes to hosting the 71st Annual Tony Awards, the two-time Oscar winner admits that he’s a bit nervous.
So how does Spacey calm his nerves? “I drink heavily,” the star joked with ET’s Jennifer Peros at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sunday.
Aside from that, Spacey said he knows how to use his nervous energy for his benefit.
“When you’ve been around long enough, you learn how to use that adrenaline, you learn how to use those nerves in a positive way rather than a negative way so you just kinda drive through it and hope for your best,” he shared, adding again, “And have a couple drinks!”
Spacey, 57, also explained that, despite the fact that the show is televised nationally, his primary interest is entertaining the star-studded audience in the theater.
“I hope we’re able to entertain the 6,000 people that are in Radio City. That’s really, for me, the most sort of focus and important thing to me. I’m not really thinking about the television audience,” Spacey explained. ” So if we can win over that crowd then I think it’ll play in the telecast.”
And it seems that Spacey had just the right opening act to win over the crowd. Parodying a number of the night’s nominated musicals — including Dear Evan Hansen, Groundhog Day, Come From Away, and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.
Dressing as the main characters from each of the hit Broadway productions, Spacey sang about trying to become the best Tony Awards host he could be, and the legacy left by previous hosts.
“I know they love James Corden, but I’ll show I came to play,” Spacey crooned during the opening minutes of the song, referring to the Late Late Show host’s celebrated turn as the host of the Tonys last year.
Spacey was also joined on stage by Stephen Colbert — rocking a giant groundhog head — who advised the star to just read off the prompter and try not to mess things up.
The opening number featured a few other guest appearances from former Tony Awards hosts, including Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal, who joined Spacey via video message.
After a slew of costume changes — including Norma Desmond’s iconic gown from Sunset Boulevard and a tux-and-tails dance number — Spacey sang that he was finally ready to take on the role of host, and celebrated being “Broadway bound.”
Spacey is a Tony winner himself. The star snagged the award for Best Featured Actor in a Play in 1991 for his role in Lost in Yonkers. He was nominated again in 1999 for Best Lead Actor in Play for The Iceman Cometh.