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Stars Walk Red Carpet at D.C. Premiere of ‘House of Cards’

Netflix’s new political drama “House of Cards” is set to premiere later this week, and the stars of the series were on hand at the Newseum on Tuesday night to premiere the show’s first episode.

The series stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, a House majority whip who embarks on a plot to bring down the president of the United States after he is passed over for the secretary of State role he covets.

And while many political dramas take liberties with how Washington actually works, Spacey told reporters gathered on the red carpet that he spent time with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., before the show’s filming to get a feel for the challenges and duties a whip possesses.

“[McCarthy] was generous with his time,” Spacey said, adding that he also tagged along with Hoyer, who was equally giving. “He told me what it’s like to corral 218 individuals.”

In addition to Spacey’s homework,  the show’s creator, Beau Willimon – who also wrote the screenplay of the political thriller movie “Ides of March” based on his own play, “Farragut North” – has worked on a number of political campaigns, including the campaign of Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential run.

The stars of the show – including Kate Mara (“American Horror Story”) and Constance Zimmer (“Entourage”) – said Willimon’s wealth of knowledge for how Washington works was essential to their understanding of their characters’ roles.

All 13 episodes of the first season of the show will be posted at once on Netflix on Friday.

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