Kate Mara on President Obama's 'House of Cards' Fandom: Awkward, 'Like My Dad Is Watching'

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Kate Mara

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright tell THR of their wildest politician reactions at the season two premiere, while creator Beau Willimon shares who on Capitol Hill helped authenticate the series.

Kate Mara cringes when President Barack Obama watches House of Cards.

After tweeting of his anticipation for the Beltway drama, Mara reacted to the president's admiration of the show at its season two premiere on Thursday at the DGA Theater in Hollywood.

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"It's the coolest news ever -- it's very, very exciting and flattering," Mara, who plays ambitious journalist Zoe Barnes, told The Hollywood Reporter. "And then it also really embarrasses me because I do some inappropriate things as Zoe, and I feel like it's like my dad watching. I'm like, 'Don't watch episode five!' " (While not quite the White House, Mara's father's family owns the New York Giants; her mom's family owns the Pittsburgh Steelers.)

The Netflix team was so pleased with the presidential endorsement that guests arriving at the DGA were greeted with a blown-up photo of the tweet projected onto a screen.

Series star Kevin Spacey also told THR about the implications of his role as cutthroat Congressman Frank Underwood.

"I've heard a lot from politicians -- in fact, I think majority whip Kevin McCarthy is coming tonight," he said. "He once said publicly, and I was a little surprised he said it publicly, 'If I could just kill one member of Congress, I wouldn't have to worry about another vote.' "

The wildest reaction that Robin Wright, who plays the equally relentless wife of the congressman, has ever received from a real-life politician? "The only thing inaccurate about season one is that you wouldn't get an education bill passed that fast," she said, though she declined to cough up the politician's name.

Constance Zimmer, who plays Zoe's coworker, opened up about the cast's experience at the White House Correspondents' Dinner last year. "We ended up talking to so many people. Journalists and politicians and everybody was like, 'Thank you. Thank you for representing us.' The politicians love it."

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"We've had the help of a lot of politicians in Washington on both sides of the aisle," confirmed show creator Beau Willimon, who calls Lyndon B. Johnson, "a master Machiavellian," an inspiration for Frank Underwood. "Kevin McCarthy, the house majority whip and Steny Hoyer, the house minority whip, they both were really helpful in talking to Kevin Spacey and me about what it means to be a whip. They helped us achieved the authenticity we strived for."

As the Netflix original series returns hoping to give politicians and the general public more to love, Spacey tells THR that viewers can expect the political thriller to get "more diabolical, more complicated and more juicy."

All 13 episodes of season two are available on Netflix on Friday, Feb. 14.