"Now that he's achieved his goal and climbed his way to the summit, what does he do with his power?," asks "House of Cards" showrunner and creator Beau Willimon about his diabolical character of Frank Underwood. In our recent webchat (watch below), he discusses the character (played by Kevin Spacey) and his rise to be the American president: "The pressures of the presidency weigh heavily on his shoulders and on Claire's (Robin Wright) shoulders. What affect would it have on their marriage, which is the central story of 'House of Cards'?"
The third season of the Netflix political drama has 11 nominations at next month's Emmy Awards. That includes its third straight bid as Best Drama Series plus nominations for Spacey, Wright, Michael Kelly (supporting actor), Rachel Brosnahan (guest actress), and Reg E. Cathey (guest actor).
While the two leads have been nominated before, this is the first chance for veteran character actor Kelly. The first and last episodes of the season were focused on his character of Doug Stamper, former Underwood chief of staff who was brutally wounded at the end of the prior season. His physical efforts at a comeback are the focus of "Chapter 27," his Emmy episode submission. Of that arc, Willimon says, "He is one of the big reasons that our show has had any sort of success over the last several years. People are fascinated by the character he created. He's enigmatic and mysterious. You strangely find yourself rooting for him even though he is doing some pretty despicable things."
The season ended with a possible split between the President and the First Lady. Willimon will not confirm if next season will pick up directly after those events, but says they will certainly be addressed. He adds, "It is something we must confront to be narratively responsible. We've taken the audience on this journey where we've seen this couple, who have given each other this extraordinary mutual strength, come to a place of conflict where Claire felt compelled to say she was leaving."
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Photo: 'House of Cards' creator Beau Willimon in February, 2015. Credit: Can Nguyen/REX