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'House of Cards' casualty Kate Mara is the subject of Playboy magazine’s latest 20 Questions column. In it, Mara opens up about her famous NFL family, her famous Oscar-nominated sister, and her family’s reaction to all those dirty 'House of Cards' sex scenes.
On her lack of sibling rivalry with Oscar-nominated sister, Rooney: We’ve never had any kind of competitive thing between us, thank God. We’re really close. Would I love to earn an Oscar nomination someday? Of course. But we were all together when we learned Rooney had gotten the nomination, and we all celebrated together. We went to the Oscars together. She and I have auditioned for some of the same parts, and we’ve actually checked with each other, like, ‘What time is your audition?’ because it would be just awkward to see each other there.
On being mistaken for other actresses: As a redhead, I’ve been confused with other redheads like Amy Adams—but hey, I’ll take that. She’s amazing. I had someone come up to me for an autograph and say, ‘I loved you in The Devil Wears Prada,’ but no, that’s not me either. I’ve signed autographs, and when I realized they thought I was someone else, I’ve actually called the other actor to tell them. Maybe I need to start asking who people think I am before I sign.
On her sex scenes with Kevin Spacey: From day two of working with Kevin, I found him just as playful as I am. He would definitely up my game. I tried to get him to laugh by wearing pasties with his face on them. Of course, because Kevin wants to win whatever the game is and because he always wins, he did not laugh. He waited until the director said, ‘Cut’ and then he laughed. Kevin has an amazing sense of humor, but he’s also a great professional and he’s really f**king good at it.
On her family’s reaction to those racy sex scenes: They have a sense of humor about it. They were very upset when I was 19 and had a scene in 'Nip/Tuck' that showed only my back but suggested nudity. I tried to explain that it’s acting and part of the craft, and if it’s important to the story and tastefully done, I will choose to do certain things. By the time 'House of Cards' came along, my family had dealt with plenty of other difficult things to watch with my career and my sister’s career.
On attending NFL games growing up: Going to a football game in sneakers and jeans, getting drunk with friends—that was so not the experience I ever had. We’d go into the box and sit with my grandma, dressed as nicely as if we were going to church. It was very much a place of business.
On her love of football: I love the Giants and Steelers so much that I sort of have an agreement on the set that if either team is in the Super Bowl, I have to be off the next day.