Kate Mara lit up the screen on House of Cards as the devious journalist, Zoe Barnes, who played with fire until she finally incinerated in a shocking murder scene that put an end to her character. After finally getting around to watching Season 2 of House of Cards this week, seeing Mara’s departure from the show left me with heavy heart and eagerly looking for what’s next.
Mara held her own on House of Cards—not an easy feat when starring with heavy weights Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. But she more than proved her talents go far beyond a pretty face and brains. While there’s no question the writing for House of Cards is exemplary, Kate Mara took a character who, on paper, looks to be a naïve though ambitious newbie journalist, and polished her into a determined, manipulative chess piece who knows every potential on the board. The strategies of an operator couched in the demeanour of a smart but slightly innocent young girl, Mara never overplayed it. You can see the swirling calculations in her mind every time a challenge is encountered. Every time she lies, you can’t hate her because she simply does it so well it’s an art form. Mara has the ability to hone a character’s edge until it gleams.
We’ve known for a while now that she’s been tipped to play the Invisible Woman on a couple of upcoming Fantastic Four movies, which should be the movies’ saving grace. If anyone recalls the last plastic Fan Four Marvel production, I am sorry. For those of you who don’t remember it, that’s fine—just go down to the toy store, pick up a couple of action figures and role play the story yourselves in the privacy of your own homes. You’ll do a better job of it.
As for the upcoming productions, Mara has said that these Fantastic Four reboots will be “more grounded”. I know, right? They’re superheroes. How grounded can they be? But if she meant better screenplays and dialogue—coupled with her depth, I can’t wait to see what she does with that.