For the first time since “House of Cards” debuted on Netflix, its new episodes have coincided with an actual presidential election. And though it was filmed months ago, there have been some uneasy similarities between the show’s latest season and recent, often ugly developments in the election.
“That was crazy,” Neve Campbell, who joined “House of Cards” this season as political strategist Leeann Harvey, told Business Insider. “People have been saying it’s like [executive producer Beau Willimon] had ESP with this season, because of the similarities.”
One storyline in particular has jumped out at viewers and the media for its likeness to a particular Donald Trump dust-up: Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) instructs Leann (Neve Campbell) to dig up a photo of Frank’s father with a leader of the Klu Klux Klan. In a plan to hurt Frank’s chances in the election, Leann then has it secretly posted on a roadside billboard with the words “Underwood 2016.” It would force Frank to reveal his family’s connection to the white supremacist group, and hurt a key relationship with black leaders.
Frank Underwood is a Democrat in the world of the show, but in recent weeks, Donald Trump has also been faced with defining his relationship to
white supremacists, especially after KKK leader David Duke endorsed the real-estate mogul for president. After failing several times to disavow the support, Trump finally denounced Duke and the KKK.
“It’s astonishing in a bad way,” Campbell said of the coincidences, “only because who wants someone who’s running [for president] to be involved with the KKK? You would hope that our story would have been too far-fetched or too negative, but here we are.”
Campbell, a Canadian native who has been acting since age 15, was introduced to most US viewers on the Fox teen drama “Party of Five.” After six seasons on the show, she went on to star in the “Scream” movie franchise, “The Craft,” and “Wild Things,” among others.
With a career spanning nearly three decades, she said comparisons between Washington, DC, and Hollywood are understandable.
“I do in some senses feel that Hollywood and Washington are similar in that first of all, they are male-dominated worlds, which is not unusual. There are a lot of industries like that,” the 42-year-old actress said. “But also, there’s a lot of politics when it comes to the ins and outs of getting things done, getting a film made.”
“There’s a lot of different things that have to happen, a lot of people have to be on the same page, there’s a lot of game-playing. I suppose that would be a similarity to Washington… I would imagine it’s very much the same trying to get a bill passed.”
“House of Cards” season four is currently streaming on Netflix.
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