Kevin Spacey – Frank Underwood
Season five sees Frank (Spacey) joined by his wife Claire (Wright) on the ballot ticket, as the Underwoods aim to cement their power by becoming President and Vice President.
The first episode deals with the aftermath of Frank’s declaration of war on terror group ICO, and as Spacey explained, the couple are “using fear to get votes”.
Speaking to US chat show host Set Meyers, Spacey said: "What's interesting is that there are people who watch the show and even that, as an example, last year and thought, 'Oh that's crazy. That could never happen.'
“And then suddenly 18 months later it's like, 'Oh, wait a second. That actually could happen.' Or it is happening.
He added: ”I think that we're scarier than we've ever been before."
The new season will see Frank come up against Republican rival Will Conway, while trying to douse the fire sparked by journalist Tom Hammerschmidt’s explosive allegations.
Spacey has been the star of House of Cards since it began in 2013 and also serves as executive producer.
House of Cards cast: Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood and Robin Wright as Claire
Robin Wright – Claire Underwood
The First Lady looks set to take on an even greater role in season five, with a sneak peak at episode one showing her apparently breaking the fourth wall solo for the first time.
“I’ve been meaning to talk with you,” she says. “It’s terrifying, isn’t it?
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“The President and I have a simple request. Tell us what you see. My husband and I… want to protect you.”
Claire forced Frank into taking her on as his running mate in season four, and in Wright’s eyes, she is already his equal and partner.
House of Cards: Most shocking moments Tue, February 7, 2017
House of Cards: Here are Frank and Claire's most shocking moments.
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The most shocking moments in Netflix drama House of Cards
“Claire and Francis are equivalent as far as their power, their union and the plot,” the actor told The Edit.
“I may not have as many scenes or words as Francis, but Claire doesn’t need to verbalise as much.
“Francis is an orator, a poet, a demonstrator. Claire is an [ego] that sits in the back and directs him, but they are partners on the same plane.”
Wright cited the character’s parity while discussing the fact that her salary remains lower than Spacey’s – despite assurances that she was receiving the same figure as her co-star.
“I was told that I was getting equal pay and I believed them, and I found out recently that it’s not true… so that’s something to investigate,” she said.
House of Cards: Patricia Clarkson as Jane Davis
Patricia Clarkson – Jane Davis
Patricia Clarkson is one of two veteran actors joining the cast for season five.
Although Netflix are keeping details of her character secret, first-look pictures suggest that she is playing an aide to the First Lady.
Clarkson is best-known for her roles in films such as The Green Mile, High Art and The Maze Runner series. On television, she has had recurring roles in Six Feet Under and Parks and Recreation.
House of Cards: Campbell Scott as Mark Usher
Campbell Scott – Mark Usher
Like Clarkson, Campbell Scott will play a major, mystery role in season five.
Pictures show his character speaking with Republican Will Conway, hinting that he will be an enemy to the Underwoods.
Scott appeared in the recent Amazing Spider-Man movies, and is also known for his roles in TV series Royal Pains and Damages.
Joel Kinnaman – Will Conway
Joel Kinnaman proved a successful, if unnerving addition to the cast in season four, and returns again this year as Republican presidential nominee Will Conway.
Season five appears to be framed around the Conway vs Underwood election race, which judging by a poll which flashes onscreen during the trailer, will be a close result.
Conway proved to be a formidable match for the Underwoods in season four, using his beautiful wife Hannah and their children, his military history and links to search engine Pollyhop to his advantage.
Kinnaman, who was born in Sweden, has in recent years transitioned from Nordic drama to Hollywood thriller, with parts in DC blockbuster Suicide Squad and soviet mystery Child 44 opposite Tom Hardy.
House of Cards: Neve Campbell as Leann Harvey and Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper
Neve Campbell – Leann Harvey
Scream queen Neve Campbell also joined the show in season four as Claire’s campaign manager Leann Harvey, and returns for the latest batch of episodes.
Harvey is a hard-nosed, ruthless politico who effortlessly joins the Underwood’s dark, twisted world.
Campbell told the Daily News: “I played some dark roles, some manipulative roles, when I was younger, but I think this is different because I’m a grown-up.”
Michael Kelly – Doug Stamper
Michael Kelly has been a mainstay of the series since its inception as Frank’s aide Doug Stamper.
The actor says that Stamper is loyal to a fault.
“At his core, he is a guy who just battles massive addiction,” he told Deadline. “He was addicted to Rachel. He was addicted to Frank. He’s addicted to the job.”