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There’s no shortage of things to like about Netflix’s new original series House of Cards, but so far our favorite part of the new show is (surprise, surprise) actress Kate Mara.

The 29-year-old hottie portrays Washington, D.C. reporter/ blogger Zoe Barnes – a feisty up-and-coming journalist who is every bit as ambitious and unscrupulous as the politicians she writes about/ sleeps with. In fact Barnes’ secret alliance/ love affair with scheming South Carolina Congressman Francis Underwood (portrayed by two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey) is one of the central themes of the series’ first season – which was uploaded in its entirety to Netflix earlier this month.

A native of Bedford, New York, Mara is the elder sister of actress Rooney Mara – a.k.a. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

Kate has plenty of prior experience on top television shows (network, cable and pay-per-view) as well as the silver screen, but this could be the role that catapults her to the next level of stardom … and Netflix to the “next level” of entertainment providers.

Why? Because House of Cards is that good … and Mara is one reason why.

Speaking of “levels,” Mara’s character has plenty of them.┬áIn fact it’s this very depth/ mutability of character – i.e. power-hungry sex kitten meets vulnerable lost daughter – which makes Zoe Barnes stand out in a series dominated by Spacey’s portrayal of Underwood (which we’ll be writing on more extensively later this week).

In the meantime, enjoy …

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