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What's the Deal on 'Cards'' Breakouts?

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Whether or not you’ve finished binge-watching the 13-episode second season of Netflix’s political drama House of Cards, you’ve no doubt seen that Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright’s conniving power couple aren’t the only ones demanding attention. We dished some dirt with the supporting players who are seizing center stage.

Jackie Sharp, new House majority whip (Molly Parker)
The biggest scene-stealer is Frank Underwood’s ambitious protégée. “I wouldn’t qualify her as either drawn to the dark or light side,” says Parker. “For me, what was interesting was looking into what it costs a woman to be operating at this level of leadership.”

Freddy Hayes, owner of Freddy’s BBQ Joint (Reg E. Cathey)
From rib slinger to pivotal player, Freddy gives Frank a harsh lesson in survival when he’s forced to close up shop. “[Kevin and I] really liked doing our restaurant scenes, but we knew that was coming and were looking forward to it,” says Cathey of Freddy’s farewell monologue.

Edward Meechum, bodyguard (Nathan Darrow)
Meechum proves his, um, loyalty in a bombshell moment during which he appears to initiate a steamy threesome with Frank and Claire. “It’s something that is wonderfully not clear,” says Darrow. “Meechum is still a bit of a cipher — we don’t know what he’s motivated by.”

Cashew, guinea pig of hacker Gavin Orsay
The pet rodent had a near-death experience that resulted in an unusual amount of squealing…from us, not Cashew — who, incidentally, is played by three different guinea pigs. [Editor’s note: Unfortunately, none of them were available for comment.]

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