House of Cards postmortem: Neve Campbell on LeAnn's shocking [SPOILER]
Plus: The actress weighs in on filming amid the increasingly changing political climate
Warning: This post contains spoilers for season 5 of House of Cards.
R.I.P. LeAnn Harvey… or maybe not.
In the bonkers fifth season of Netflix’s House of Cards, many powerful characters suffer personal, professional, and/or deadly consequences at the hands of Frank (Kevin Spacey) and Claire Underwood (Robin Wright). One of the most notable is Neve Campbell’s LeAnn Harvey.
Originally recruited by Claire to run her campaign for a House seat in Texas, LeAnn was brought into the fold at the White House. As all past Underwood employees would confirm, the new role came with unique challenges, including rigging an election and leaving a friend out to dry. LeAnn’s relationship with hacker Aidan Macallan (Damian Young), which it’s revealed was previously much more than just professional, puts her in the middle of the latest scandal.
In the end, she chooses the Underwoods, resulting in her promotion to chief of staff… for a day or so. After being dismissed, she takes her gun (the one used to kill Aidan) and is headed to see Doug, who has gone from rival to lover. She never makes it there, instead being run off the road as Frank watches and turns to the camera. “Sometimes you don’t have to watch the whole movie to know how it ends,” he says. While we do see LeAnn’s wrecked car, we don’t see her body.
EW talked to Campbell about filming the latest season in the current political environment, delving into LeAnn’s past, and if the character is gone for good.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I’m sure you’re getting this a lot, but I have to ask the obligatory question about filming this season in the wake of the events surrounding the new administration. Did it feel strange acting out these plotlines that went from seemingly ridiculous to borderline real life?
NEVE CAMPBELL: Watching this election in the real world has been exhausting emotionally and scary and challenging in a lot of ways for everybody. And I don’t think you had to be on the House of Cards set to feel those emotions. But then for us, we were going to set and shooting scenes that were similar to what’s going on in the real world, which certainly was very surreal.
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Now onto the fun stuff. Did LeAnn have the shortest tenure of all time for a chief of staff?
[Laughs] I think it was less than half a day.
So, is LeAnn dead? It sure seems that way, but unless I missed it, we didn’t see a body.
Well, I don’t think I can answer that question. I’m sorry.
If you are back, what role do you see LeAnn playing moving forward? Could she be the one to finally take down the Underwoods? She sure seemed ready to do something drastic.
Truly, I have no idea what their plans are. We get excited about the scripts every time they come in and we’re always sort of blindsided by things that occur in them. But I couldn’t tell you what the plan will be.
She’s obviously a strong woman of power, but she had long resisted coming to D.C. before Claire convinced her. Was she fully prepared for the jump or was she just the latest to underestimate the Underwoods and their complete obsession with coming out on top?
I think LeAnn is the kind of person who is willing to take on whatever comes to her. Whether she knew of the challenges with the Underwoods or the extent to which their moral compasses can be off, I don’t know about that [Laughs]. But she was ready to come in and fight.
Last season, most of your screen time was spent with Robin, but this season, while you still shared scenes with her and Kevin, you were primarily paired with Michael Kelly. What did you enjoy about working with him and the evolving dynamic between LeAnn and Doug?
I love Michael Kelly. He’s just such a pleasure to work with, such a great guy. So we had a blast together and became good friends. I thought the dynamic between the characters was fantastic because here are two people vying for the same position and looking for the gratitude and acceptance of two people who can be very challenging and very dark. So that dynamic between the two of them was intriguing. And I think the direction it went and the surprise that will be there for the audience is fun and makes sense.
We get a bit of a tease of a personal life with LeAnn from the relationship with Aidan, which was slowly teased out over the season. What did you like about pulling the curtain back a bit on her past?
What I love about this show is that the characters unfold very, very slowly. What’s intriguing about the show is that you just never quite know who it is you’re watching. So I think it’s great that we reveal some things about LeAnn and it helped me establish more of her personal journey and where she came from. And the dynamic with her and Aidan MacAllan, while certainly is a fascinatingly strange story, it comes through in a good and entertaining way on the show.
While LeAnn isn’t shy about operating in gray areas, we see that with the election rigging, she also struggled with many of the events of the season, most notably the ordeal with Aidan. In past seasons, the show has had at least one person in the Underwood’s circle who was conflicted and acted as a bit of the moral conscious, whether it be Peter (Corey Stoll), Remy (Mahershala Ali), or Jackie (Molly Parker). Do you think that LeAnn took on that role this year?
Yeah, I think you do see some of that. You see someone who is questioning the journey they’re on. You see that she struggles a little bit with some of the choices that are being made around Aidan and around someone she cares for. So you see her struggle with her commitment to her work and her personal viewpoint.
The fifth season of House of Cards is now streaming on Netflix.
House of Cards
Ballots, betrayal, and barbecue combine in Netflix’s original drama, which stars Kevin Spacey as cunning congressman Frank Underwood and Robin Wright as his equally ruthless Lady Macbeth. Based on a 1990 BBC serial of the same name.