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Mara says House writers were on the right track

House of Cards actress Kate Mara says that knowing her character Zoe Barnes would come to a gruesome end was a major factor in her taking on the role in the hit American political drama.

The 32-year-old's portrayal of a hard-nosed journalist in the Netflix series came to an end after her character was thrown in front of a train by the married politician she was having an affair with, played by Kevin Spacey.

While the plot twist shocked fans of the show, for Mara (inset), who says she loves the "unpredictability" of a career in acting, the shocking ending was the perfect way out.

"I knew from the moment I accepted the role that I was only contracted for 14 episodes and would have a grisly death at the start of the second season," she said.

"I probably wouldn't have signed on otherwise.

"Kevin Spacey is amazing and hilarious. "I adored working with him and the show is genius.

"I still binge-watch it just like everyone else, but I was ready to go and liked that I got such a definitive ending."

Kate, the older sister of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo actress Rooney, will next star in the upcoming superheroes blockbuster Fantastic Four, playing Sue Storm - the Invisible Woman.

She said she is occasionally happy to stay out of sight herself, to help her cope with her innate shyness.

And she said she was "so relieved" when she did not win after being nominated for an Emmy for House of Cards.

"I was sitting there in the audience panicking, thinking, 'Oh help, what if I win? Please don't make me have to go up there'," she said.

She also revealed that she and her sister are keen to work together on a project - something their filming schedules have not yet allowed - and that they are "casually looking around for something we could do".

"So far, nothing has been quite right, but we want to do it," said Mara.