The actor plays Doug Stamper, who at the beginning of season three of the Netflix political drama is recovering after being hit on the head and left for dead.
Michael revealed: “I had a month to do the research on brain injuries and the different levels of recovery. And one of the leading brain surgeons in the country was good friends with the director, so he was available to me on the phone in the month leading up to the first episode.
“A crazy story. I live in New York city and it was a snowy day and I was running late for the train so I started jogging and literally my feet went out from underneath me. There was black ice, and I went up in the air and my head snapped back and hit the sidewalk.
“And I hit my head so hard that when I sat up my nose started pouring blood. And I couldn’t think straight, so I was like ‘brain injury’ and I panicked and I called him.
“He asked me five questions and said, ‘I think you’re fine but you are so lucky. I knew a record producer who fell and never woke up out of a coma.’ It can happen that quickly.”
Michael plays Machiavellian President Frank Underwood’s henchman Doug in the hit series, and admitted he has been overwhelmed by the success of the show after nearly 20 years of being a struggling actor.
He said: “Right after it came out, I’ll never forget, I was walking with my wife and she was like ‘Are you seeing all the heads?’ Every person that walked by their heads were turning.
“And then I started hearing Stamper on the street all time, ‘Hey Stamper!’ and I thought, hey I guess this role did it. It’s different now.”