10:21am PT by Kim Bussing
'House of Cards' Cast Bids Farewell to Beau Willimon, Teases More "Bloodshed" in Season 4
As the 2016 presidential election looms, Frank Underwood is willing to do whatever it takes to keep his spot in the White House.
The political antihero is back in the fourth season of Netflix’s House of Cards, which celebrated its premiere Monday at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
“I feel so blessed that audiences around the world have proven such loyal and passionate viewers,” said star and executive producer Kevin Spacey, who was recently appointed chairman of Relativity Media. “I can’t wait for them to get a look at season four.”
Spacey was joined by several castmembers, including Michael Kelly, Nathan Darrow, Jayne Atkinson, Elizabeth Marvel, Derek Cecil and new addition Neve Campbell.
Beau Willimon, creator and now-former showrunner, was absent from the red carpet, although the cast gushed over his creativity and vision for House of Cards as this season marked his last with the drama.
“He was the first person I connected with when I got on set,” said Cecil, who plays Seth Grayson, Underwood’s director of communications. “It was completely overwhelming and intimidating, but I sat down with Beau and then went into the scene. It was a really great moment.”
Added Kelly: “I’m going to miss him. Not only is he one of the most talented people I’ve ever met in my life, but he is one of my heroes, one of the greatest guys you’ll ever meet.”
A new showrunner has not yet been announced.
Season three of House of Cards ended with the Machiavellian politician facing a failing marriage and a struggling presidential campaign, and this season will see Underwood trying to reconnect with wife Claire (Robin Wright) while making his bid for reelection.
The cast was tight-lipped about upcoming plot points, but hinted that viewers should expect plenty of surprises, conflict and suspense.
“Fans should be excited for more of the brilliant villainy of Frank and more of the bloodshed that flows in his wake,” said Darrow, who plays Secret Service agent Edward Meechum.
As the story builds in intensity, audiences will get further insight into the characters. “I think the appeal, and the success of the show in general, is that it is Shakespearean in the way they unpack these characters,” said Marvel, who plays Frank's political rival Heather Dunbar. “They keep unfolding, both dark and light.”
When asked if he would be voting for Underwood in the 2016 election, Darrow joked, “Of course. Otherwise I’m out of a job.”
The screening was opened by Netflix’s head of content acquisition Ted Sarandos, and was followed immediately by a reception in the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard.
House of Cards' fourth season will be available worldwide March 4 on Netflix.