Kate Mara talks Zoe Barnes and 'House of Cards' Season 2

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"House of Card" debuted on Netflix nearly two months ago, which means viewers of the Netflix drama have had plenty of time to let the series marinate. That means it's a prime time to start looking forward to Season 2 and speculating about what could have happened after Season 1's cliffhanger ending.

Leading lady Kate Mara participated in a conference call interview and talked about her character Zoe Barnes and some of her motivations in the series. Here are some highlights from the conversation.

On the core of Zoe Barnes in "House of Cards"...

"The script in the first couple episodes I read were already very full and layered. Zoe was already there on the page for me. I didn't have a ton of questions about her because Beau Willimon did such a great job of creating her in our scripts. I just took it from there and David Fincher helped a lot with that in bringing her to life and figuring out what she should look like. We wanted her to seem a real as possible. She starts off not wearing a lot of makeup or barely wearing any at all in the office, really not caring about her looks. We decided any time she goes and sees Francis, Kevin Spacey's character, that maybe she would put on a little bit more and try and look a little bit better. All of those little things that maybe people noticed and maybe people don't, those really helped bring her character to life."

On Zoe's moral compass, or lack thereof...

"She's written as someone who will do whatever it takes to achieve certain goals in her job. A lot of people like to judge her lack of morals, I guess you would say, but as an actor that was the really fun sort of stuff to play, playing somebody who doesn't really think about -- well, maybe she does sort of think about things -- but she would do things that maybe a lot of people wouldn't and basically has a lot of balls to show up at this guy's house and try to deal with him. She's basically with a lot of older men and trying to play their game and the power struggle and all of that was what I was really attracted to."

On working on a show for Netflix instead of for a standard television show...

"Shooting it really felt like shooting six movies in a row because each director directs two hours of the show. I had more time than on a normal [TV show]. I've never been a regular on a TV show before, but I have done arcs and recurring roles and I've always found that the most challenging part of it was the lack of control and the lack of knowledge really that you have about your character and what's going to happen each week with a new script. This was very different because David Fincher and Beau Willimon really let me know what Zoe's sort of story was going to look like. We got early drafts of the scripts way before we were going to start shooting, so it was a very, very different things. It really didn't feel any different from shooting a movie. I just felt very lucky because I got to play with this character and these other actors for such a long period of time. That was really the only difference.

On Zoe's motivations...

"I think she's more thinking about now and what's happening now and how she can make things happen in the moment rather than what's going to happen next year. I don't necessarily think that's at the forefront of her mind, but she has plans. She doesn't have this grand scheme like Francis does. ... I don't think she necessarily knows what the master end plan will be, but she's definitely a really hard worker and I think she just really wants to be appreciated in whatever job she's in."

On what she knows about Season 2...

"I guess we start in a month, we start Season 2. I haven't sat down with Beau. I haven't seen the first few scripts or anything like that. I sort of know where the story's going to be heading, but it would be silly for me to share because that would ruin a lot of things. I'm just as excited to start this season as I was to start the last one. It will be an interesting thing to see where it goes and how it plays out."

Photo/Video credit: Netflix