10 Things You Didn’t Know About House of Cards

01 March 2016
Did you know these 10 things about House of Cards?
house of cards season 3

From Watergate to Monica Lewinsky, there have been many things the White House has tried to hide. In House of Cards, Kevin Spacey plays Francis Underwood, a fictional POTUS (president of the United States) with a few secrets of his own.

Whether these will ever come to light is just something you’ll have to find out when you tune into House of Cards Season 4 Express from the U.S. every Sunday at 02:00, on M-Net Edge; and in prime time, Tuesdays at 20:00. Francis might get away with it all, but that remains to be seen; until then, satiate your need for secrets with these ten things you didn’t know about House of Cards.

1. In the Hot Seat
Renowned director David Fincher serves as executive producer for House of Cards, and he directed the first two episodes. This is not the first time Fincher has worked with Spacey, having directed him in Se7en. House of Cards is also Fincher’s first foray into television, while Spacey has made numerous appearances in TV movies and series.

2. The Right Direction
Fincher was keen to get a diverse set of directors on board for House of Cards, but he did establish a few rules for how the series should be shot. This included cutting out the use of handheld or Steadicam shooting.

3. My Way
For Joel Schumacher these rules became mere guidelines. The man behind movies such as The Lost Boys and Phone Booth directed the fifth and sixth episodes of Season 1 and threw caution to the wind by not watching any of the previous episodes. Fincher loved the results.

4. Directing Duty
Fincher and Schumacher are not the only big names behind the lens. James Foley, who directed Spacey in Glengarry Glen Ross, has helmed twelve episodes of House of Cards. John David Coles brought his vast experience in directing television, including political drama The West Wing, to five episodes. Women have also stepped behind the camera, including actress and director Jodie Foster and Robin Wright, who plays Claire Underwood.

5. Republican Research
Not one to do things half-heartedly Spacey shadowed Republican House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, since he began the series with the same job title. Underwood, however, is a Democrat and McCarthy has assured viewers that he doesn’t kill dogs or fake coups, like Francis does. Those are the kinds of things best left to television.

6. Sister Sister
Kate Mara is Rooney Mara’s sister. The latter worked with Fincher on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Rooney is also half the reason Kate landed the role of Zoe Barnes, having secured her sister an audition for the series.

7. Football Fan
Kate Mara is a huge fan of American football, and it’s in her blood. Her grandfather was co-owner of the New York Giants, a title inherited by her uncle. Her great-uncle, meanwhile, is the chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers. After missing the Steelers' win during Super Bowl XL, Mara had a clause added to her House of Cards’ contract that she has permission to leave the set if either the Giants or the Steelers are playing the Superbowl.

8. Come Again?
The series is famous for its excellent script and Spacey naturally gets some of the best lines. From “He wants to rip my head off and peel it like an orange” to “The nature of promises is that they remain immune to changing circumstances,” we can’t wait to hear what Spacey has to say next. A quote from Season 1 “You know what I like about people? They stack so well” came from Fincher himself, on the set of his feature film debut Alien 3, after being told by a producer to be nicer to the cast.

9. Location, Location 
Remember the jaw-dropping gala Claire held in Season 1 at Hotel Cotesworth? The location where it was shot was actually a library in Maryland. On the opposite end of the scale is the famous Peachoid in Frank’s hometown of Gaffney, an eyesore that actually exists in the South Carolina city. 

10. The Worst Kept Secret 
While you might not have known that Robin Wright directed three episodes of House of Cards or that Kate Mara loves American football, it’s common knowledge that the real and current POTUS, Barack Obama, loves the series.

House of Cards Season 4 starts Express from the U.S. on Sunday 6 March at 02:00, and in prime time on Tiuesday 8 March at 20:00 - only on M-Net Edge.