Neve Campbell returns for a second season of playing political strategist Leann Harvey -- a close adviser to Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) -- on "House of Cards." But a lot has changed in real-life Washington between seasons.
Campbell told CBS News that keeping up with the 2016 election and its aftermath was "exhausting" -- but the experience was definitely educational.
What the reaction on set to making this show while watching the last year of real politics unfold?
It was exhausting, in a sense, to be shooting a show about politics and then watching the mess that was the real political world at the moment. We had CNN on in the makeup trailer all day, every day. Obviously what's going on in D.C. is very important to everybody -- and certainly important to us -- because it's important to stay close to what's going on and stay aware, but it's all-encompassing.
Did it sometimes feel like reality is getting too crazy for even "House of Cards"?
That's just it! The challenge this year is if you were to actually write what's really going on, you would say it was over the top. "'House of Cards' has jumped the shark, right?" Yeah, the current administration is pretty fascinating, and it's a scary time at the moment.
What can you say about the new season and how your character evolves on the show?
Leann, last season when she was first introduced, said to Claire, "I'm not interested in getting between a president and first lady." She felt she didn't need to go to D.C., she had enough success and enough power in her own right that it wasn't necessary to her. And then when she was finally coaxed to come, I think getting into the White House and a taste of that power was very enticing for her. So we see her moral compass get tested a great amount -- as we do with many of the characters on the show. But for her, I think she's in between her commitment to the president and the first lady and also vying for position against Stamper.
Has playing this kind of political fixer been something of an education in politics for you?
I grew up in Canada, so I learned those politics. I lived in England for eight years and learned those politics, and now I'm in America again and these politics are incredibly complicated and tough to understand. I feel like it's a continual political lesson that I can never really quite wrap my head around. But it's been fascinating to be on the show and be observing how things function within that world, to be questioning what it is to be one of these people who are so deeply set in the world and influenceable. They're fascinating characters and it's a fascinating role to take on. And for the writers, I imagine it's very fascinating, too.
Has it changed how you watch Sunday morning talks hows or follow the news?
I probably have a better sense of what I'm reading, of the ins and outs. I think I question things more, which is always a good thing.
The fifth season of "House of Cards" is available to stream starting May 30.