Beau Willimon Q&A: ‘House of Cards’

"House of Cards" creator Beau Willimon says he was "astounded" they were able to keep a shocking murder secret for so long.

In the second season premiere that debuted on Netflix on Valentine's Day, reporter Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) was killed off. She was shoved in front of a subway train by newly appointed U.S. Vice President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey).

"We had a bit of a disinformation campaign" (to try and keep it secret), Willimon tells Gold Derby. "We took a lot of photos of Kate when she was shooting the first episode and then dribbled them out on Twitter over the course of production so it seemed as if she had been on set all year."

He added that killing off Zoe was always in the cards: "I knew this is what I wanted to do for the first episode of season two before I even began writing season one. It was always the plan. Kate Mara knew when we cast her this was what we were going to do. It was very difficult to stick to my guns on it because I love Kate as an actor. I loved Zoe as a character."

Over the course of the most recent 13 episodes, Underwood maneuvered his way into the Vice President's office and was sworn in as President in the finale. First Lady Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) helped him scheme his way into that role, proving to be just as devious. Chief of Staff Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) was left for dead, and that actor doesn't yet know whether he is returning next season.

The Netflix drama made history at last year's Emmy Awards by becoming the first online-only provider to win awards.

The show earned nine nominations in all, including bids for Best Drama Series (losing to "Breaking Bad"), Drama Actor (Spacey), and Drama Actress (Wright). David Fincher prevailed for directing the pilot episode, and Eigil Bryld won for the lensing of that same segment. Laray Mayfield and Julie Schubert also took home awards for casting the series.

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UPLOADED May 16, 2014 4:13 pm