Frank and Claire Underwood (Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright) are back and more ruthless than ever in the latest season of Netflix’s hit political drama.
Season five follows the couple as they vie to become president and vice president of the United States, using a new war on terror to cement their power.
The ensemble cast includes Michael Kelly and Neve Campbell – but sadly not Mahershala Ali, who has left his role as Remy Danton.
Joining the familiar faces is Campbell Scott as Mark Usher and Patricia Clarkson as Jane Davis.
Who is Jane Davis?
Early reviews for season five have revealed tidbits of information about the mysterious Jane Davis.
The new addition to the Underwood team is “a Washington insider who seems to have phenomenal connections and inside knowledge on all things Russian”, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“Clarkson is a superb actress, and she plays her character on a razor’s edge so that you can never truly get a fix on her as friend or foe to the Underwoods,” the newspaper adds.
“This might be the best supporting performance of the year. Clarkson presents her character outwardly as a helpful, feminist aide to Claire, even as she sends subtle signals to the audience that she is capable of a treachery as great as that of the Underwoods.
Patricia Clarkson as Jane Davis in House of Cards
“She gives you the creeps, but you cannot take your eyes off her when she is onscreen.”
It’s hard to nail down exactly what Jane Davis (Patricia Clarkson) does
Melissa James Gibson, House of Cards showrunner
Melissa James Gibson, who along with Frank Pugliese replaces Beau Willimon as showrunner, has teased that Clarkson’s character is difficult to pinpoint.
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“With Jane Davis, there’s a real fluidity to her portfolio,” she told The Fuss.
“It’s hard to nail down exactly what it is she does. She has her fingers in a lot of pies, but at the same time doesn’t leave fingerprints.”
Patricia Clarkson joins House of Cards as Jane Davis, an aide to Claire Underwood (Robin Wright)
Who is Patricia Clarkson?
Clarkson is regarded as an actor’s actor – one who while never quite achieving lead woman status, has had many memorable supporting roles in films such as High Art, Easy A and Pieces of April.
Television fans will recognise Clarkson as Sarah O’Conner, Ruth’s younger sister in Six Feet Under. The part won Clarkson two Emmy Awards for outstanding guest actress.
The 57-year-old joins House of Cards in the fourth decade of her career. She cites her “pickyness” for fuelling her longevity.
“I'm picky at times," Clarkson told The Guardian in 2013. “I have sometimes tried to battle the system by saying no to parts I found unbearable.
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Patricia Clarkson began her acting career in the 1980s.
“Parts that are desexed, matronly – to just put me in a couple of scenes and have me be the older, you know, dead character, is not gonna fly with me.”
One of Clarkson’s most recent gigs was in the 2014 Broadway production of The Elephant Man, which transferred to London’s West End in 2015.
Clarkson was nominated for a Tony Award for her turn as Mrs Kendal, which required full nudity.
She followed the theatre stint with parts in The Maze Runner and its sequels, and in the British comedy film The Parry.