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A few things you should know about ‘House of Cards’ (14 Photos)
Kevin Spacey boasts an impressive $500,000 per episode.
It’s based off of a British miniseries with the same name. It aired in 1990 and was 4 episodes long, and the main character’s name was Frank Urquhart.
The entire cast were first choice picks. Fincher said that when he first got the group in a room together, he said, “Every single person in this room represents our first choice, so don’t fuck it up. If you do, I will never forgive you.”
They’re HUGE in China. “House of Cards” streams on the Chinese equivalent of Netflix, Sohu TV. It’s reported that the show was ranked first among the American programs streaming, with 24.5 million people tuning in, including government employees and the leaders of the Communist Party.
Several moments in the show mirror real-life moments. In Season 1 when President Walker signs the education bill, the room is set up to portray how the room looked when JFK signed the Equal Pay Act. Both scenes show a neglected vice president in the back of the room.
Another example is when Frank first sees Zoe Barnes and is photographed admiring her from behind. Of course the press noticed, which is exactly what happened when President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy were caught checking out the backside of a young French delegate. Although evidence later proved that Obama was simply turning to talk to someone, Frank Underwood wasn’t as lucky to have an excuse.
David Fincher and Kevin Spacey (who doubles as executive producer) started developing the show without a network backing it. After shopping it around, Netflix beat everyone out on the bidding war with a two-season commitment right out of the gate. They allocated a whopping $100 million for the first 26 episodes, and that’s now just the cost for one season after the giant success.
Although $100 million
sounds like a huge budget, Fincher is known as a perfectionist director, and while filming Season 1 he threatened to leave the show if the budget wasn’t expanded. Luckily it was worked out.
Fincher takes responsibility for one of Frank Underwood’s most biting lines: “You know what I love about people? They stack so well.” Willimon actually overheard Fincher say this to one of the producers and instantly wrote it into the show.
Rachel the call girl was actually supposed to only be in 2 episodes and recite a total of 5 lines. She did such a good job however that they decided to keep her on, making her an integral part of the show.
Kate Mara got the role of Zoe Barnes by asking her sister Rooney to put in a good word for her with David Fincher (executive producer) while she was filming “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” She was offered an audition within a month.
If you’re also a fan of “The Wire,” you may have noticed some familiar faces in the show. Although “House of Cards” is set in Washington, it’s mainly filmed near Baltimore, which is where “The Wire” is shot and set. Doug Stamper often goes to a diner for covert meetings, and it just so happens to be the same one that’s a detective haven in “The Wire.”
Reginald E Cathey, who plays BBQ joint owner Freddy, was also a campaign advisor for city councilman Tommy Carcetti in the other show. None of this is a coincidence, seeing as showrunner Beau Willimon has called “The Wire” his favorite show of all time.
Michael Gill and Jayne Atkinson (President Garrett Walker and Secretary of State Catherine Durant) bring a familial aspect to the set, seeing as they’ve been married for 20 years. Gill said, “When we got to set non of the cast knew we were married.”
Both presidents Walker are inspired by real leaders of the American government. President Walker, who reigns for the first two seasons, has many similarities with John F. Kennedy, such as energy and youth, domestic and spousal issues, and a scandalous cabinet that threaten to take down the whole ship.
Frank Underwood has a lot in common with Lyndon B. Johnson. Both Southern politicians are intimidating, power hungry and tough. They also both obviously dislike the President they usurped. To bring it all together, there’s a copy of “The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power” on Underwood’s desk in “Chapter 13.”
Kevin Spacey has said that Bill Clinton once told him “99 percent of what you do on that show is real.” The one percent difference? “You could never get an education bill passed that fast.”