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Chris Matthews got ‘House of Cards’ assist from actress Robin Wright

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Robin Wright attends New York Women In Film And Television's 33rd Annual Muse Awards at New York Hilton on December 12, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images) Robin Wright directed the “House of Cards” scene with Chris Matthews. (Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Chris Matthews generally knows how to play Chris Matthews. A cameo by the MSNBC newsman has given many a Hollywood production a certain note of Washington authenticity (see political flicks “State of Play,”  “Dave,” etc.).

But for his turn on “House of Cards,” Matthews tells us he had an expert director to help him along. Robin Wright, the actress who plays the scheming wife of the equally crafty congressman-turned-Veep Frank Underwood, coached him through his scene, a brief glimpse of which made it onto the trailer for the  eagerly anticipated Netflix show.

They filmed the scene, in which Matthews interviews Penn’s Claire Underwood, at the Washington studio where he tapes “Hardball.”

Matthews is a fan of the show (he confesses to binge-watching two or three episodes at a time with his wife, Kathleen), and appreciates the way it dramatizes the sometimes-dirty business of politics. “House of Cards captures the two raw emotions of Washington: envy and fear,” he said in an e-mail. “Revenge is of course the fellow traveler to both.”

And even though he was privy to one scene in the upcoming season, he doesn’t have spoilers (so stop asking!). His assessment of the upcoming plot line comes from the same preview that the rest of us have seen. ” You can tell from the trailer that the show is going big time – right to the presidency.”

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.
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