The second season of the Netflix drama "House of Cards" was released online last week after winning three Emmys. Kevin Spacey plays an ambitious Washington politician, Francis Underwood. Kate Mara co-stars as a shrewd journalist who learns how dangerous he can be.
Mara and show's creator, Beau Willimon joined the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts to discuss the show's success as well as some big spoilers from the second season.
Willimon said that while they portray an "extreme and dark" view of Washington on his show, it's not necessarily what the nation's capital is actually like.
"Of course not all of Washington is like that. There are a lot of great people that go to Washington because they want to pursuepublic service and make our country better," he said. "Francis is there for self-interest alone and that doesn't reflect on all politicians, but it is one layer of politics."
For Spacey's character, Willimon said that he was influenced by many different things, but that President Lyndon Johnson was "abig one."
"He shares a lot of the same aspects as Francis. He came from nothing. He was a political mastermind and he stopped at nothing in order to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish," said Willimon.Mara plays Zoe Barnes, who is a character that is both loved and hated by fans of the show because of her involvement with Underwood - she carries on an affair with him as he provides her with high-level political intelligence. Mara said that she doesn't mind playing someone is not necessarily loved by people all the time.
"It makes it much more interesting as an actor to do things that people are going to roll their eyes at," she said.
Mara also discussed what it was like to work so closely with Spacey.
"Most people have this sort of picture of him as – and I sort of did as well before I started working with him – I thought he was going to be very, very serious, and a little intimidating. And that's not my experience with him at all," she said. "He's hilarious and with all the dramatic stuff we had to do together, he kept it light with me and I always felt really comfortable with him."
(Potential spoiler alert below)
The pair also discussed a major shocker from the end of the second season's first episode. Mara's character gets killed Spacey's power-hungry Underwood pushes her in front of a moving Metro train. Willimon said that they told Mara "from the get-go" that she would be killed off.
"I always knew that Zoe was going to meet her maker, the first episode of season two. That had to happen," he said.
Willimon said that it was the natural progression for Francis to kill Zoe, because one of the questions "House of Cards" asks is how far Francis will go for what he wants.
"It was very hard to do," he said. "Of course she's so wonderful as we got closer to do doing it, we reconsidered for a second, but we stuck to our guns."
Mara said that she did not "take it personally."
The pair also discussed the appeal of the show and why it is so popular. Even President Obama watches. Mara said she believes it is the great characters.
"I think it's really interesting that a lot of people find it hard to choose somebody that they think is sort of the hero and the one that you’re supposed to root for," she said. "But, I think that's really appealing because it's rare to find that on a show. There's usually the obvious hero and then the bad guy and I think on 'House of Cards' everyone has this gray area.'