Actress Molly Parker admits she doesn't know why she was invited to appear on this week's episode of SundanceTV's The Writers' Room. "But I'm happy to be here," she says, eager to celebrate the creative minds behind Netflix's House of Cards.
Parker, who joined the second season of House of Cards as Congresswoman Jackie Sharp, says she was drawn to the show because of executive producer Beau Willimon, who adapted the series for U.S. audiences. "Clearly not all television is created equal," Parker says. "To have the opportunity to work on a show that the writer-creator has such a strong vision and is just so talented, it's an honor."
Parker was a fan of Season 1 and says she watched the first 13 episodes in three days. "Television is indeed different from film," says Parker, who first started in the indie feature world. "Television is a writer's medium. My primary collaborative relationship is with the writer."
And that's why Parker is here on the set of The Writers' Room, sitting down with host Jim Rash to recount her experience on the show's most recent season. The House of Cards-centric episode, which airs Friday at 9/8c, also includes Willimon, writer/co-executive producer John Mankiewicz and writer/story editor Laura Eason. Additionally, Yahoo News columnist and political consultant Matt Bai (who cameos on House of Cards as himself) takes part in the discussion.
This episode of The Writers' Room was taped on Feb. 5, nine days before Netflix uploaded Season 2 House of Cards. Willimon discusses plenty of details about the show but manages to avoid spilling any secrets.
Mankiewicz lauds Willimon's "vision at the top. He pushes back at anyone who threatens that vision. I think Beau would be successful with any background he has."
Bai, meanwhile, enthuses at how authentic House of Cards' set looks. "The feel of those Congressional offices are so bizarrely realistic," he says. "We marvel at it. I think House of Cards catches the extreme doubt about the political process at this moment. It's dark but it's also cathartic."
Even though he's an Oscar-winning writer, Rash admits he was a touch intimidated by interviewing the intense Willimon. "He clearly knows more than me," Rash says. "It's not even a politics thing. Maybe it's that he's a playwright, and the fact that all of his writers are playwrights."
Here's a first look at the House of Cards episode of The Writers' Room.