'House of Cards' creator: Season 2 shocking death was always part of the plan
"House of Cards" fans got a shock two-thirds of the way through the Season 2 premiere when Francis Underwood ( Kevin Spacey) threw reporter Zoe Barnes ( Kate Mara) in front of a speeding subway train, killing both her and what she knew about his involvement in Peter Russo's Season 1 downward spiral and "suicide."
But the death didn't come as a shock to Mara, who knew of Zoe's fate from the start.
"We told Kate from the get-go. I always knew that Zoe was going to meet her maker in the first episode of Season 2. That had to happen," creator Beau Willimon tells "CBS This Morning."
For viewers with knowledge of the original U.K. miniseries of the same name, however, the death didn't come as a huge surprise. In the British version, Francis kills the Zoe character, named Mattie, by throwing her off the roof of a building in the Series 1 finale.
Willimon says that they considered changing the storyline from the original U.K. plot. "It was very hard to do. Of course [Mara's] so wonderful as we got closer to do doing it, we reconsidered for a second, but we stuck to our guns."
The creator also says that he sees Frank Underwood as having a lot in common with President Lyndon Johnson. "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," says Willimon.
Mara adds later that she thinks it's terrific to be part of a show where so many characters are both heroes and villains, saying that it's "much more interesting as an actor" to play those kinds of roles. "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.
"But I think that's really appealing because it's rare to find that on a show," says Mara. "There's usually the obvious hero and then the bad guy, and I think on 'House of Cards' everyone has this gray area.'
"House of Cards" Seasons 1 and 2 are available now on Netflix.