Production was based in a 300,000+ sq. ft. warehouse in the fashion industrial district in Joppa, MD. The set is actually part of an older Macy's distribution center, and all the driving scenes were performed in a green screen room, which served as a refrigerator for fur coats. Inside the building the following sets can be found: Oval Office, the Underwood home (upper lower and main levels), House of Congress, various state representative's offices, South Carolina governor's office, various plush hotel suites.
Production of this original Netflix series is virtually unique for the extraordinary creative freedom permitted filmmakers to write/direct/produce without undue supervision or second-guessing, major factor that drew Oscar nominees like David Fincher to the project.
The "king of barbecue", Freddy, portrayed by Reg E. Cathey has appeared in a recurring role in four of the five television series that are or have been filmed in Baltimore, Maryland. Besides House of Cards he has appeared in Homicide: Life on the Street, The Corner, and The Wire. The only show that he has not been part of is Veep.
Most of the characters incorrectly pronounce Xander Feng's family name as "Fang". Only Raymond Tusk pronounces it correctly as "Fung" which makes sense since he is the only western character who speaks Chinese. Xander, however, would not be his given Chinese name, but it is common for Chinese people to select western names.
David Fincher offered the role of Claire directly to Robin Wright, with whom he have just worked on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011). He convinced her by promising she would have input in the creation of the character.
During a meeting with Peter Russo, Francis Underwood offers him a drink. Peter accepts the drink and asks Francis if he is going to have one, to which Francis responds that it is too early to be drinking. Kevin Spacey's plays Dave Harkin in Horrible Bosses, where he does the same thing to Jason Bateman's character.
In 2015, Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich launched his campaign to become Missouri's Republican gubernatorial candidate with a speech exposing what he characterized as corruption among the state's Republican Party establishment. That establishment responded with a subtle and not-so-subtle smear campaign against Schweich; tactics included spreading the (incorrect) rumor that Schweich was Jewish and airing an advertisement in the style of "House of Cards," complete with narration by a southern-accented Kevin Spacey sound-alike that smeared Schweich's character, called him "a weak candidate for governor," and sneered that "he could be easily confused for the deputy sheriff of Mayberry." Not long after this smear campaign started, Schweich committed suicide by self-inflicted gunshot. After Schweich's suicide, his campaign's media director, Robert "Spence" Jackson, again denounced the corruption in the state Republican Party that he said was partly to blame for Schweich's death; about a month after that, Jackson also committed suicide.
Lead characters in British and American versions share the same first name, Francis. While the American surname Underwood has a similar meaning to the British protagonist Urquhart's surname, which has been translated from Gaelic as "near the thicket."
In May 2015, the Kansas City Star reported that Missouri House Speaker John Diehl, a 49-year-old conservative Republican with a wife and three sons who ran on a platform of "family values," had been engaging in an exchange of sexually explicit text messages with a House intern who was a college freshman. Various sources also reported that the intern saved Diehl's number in her phone's contact list under the name "Frank Underwood."
In Season 2, Episode 5 (chapter 18) you see President Walker travelling in what looks like the presidential limousine, then when it shows the side window of the vehicle you can clearly see that it isn't the presidential limousine, as the glass is too thin.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Kate Mara was told from the beginning that Zoe was going to die eventually, but to keep the secrecy before the second season premiere, Mara couldn't tell anyone that she wasn't part of the show anymore, so she would lie when someone asked how was the shooting going.
The first Congressional Democratic Party Whip (Frank's position) in U.S. history also had the surname Underwood, and also hailed from a Southern state: Oscar Underwood of Alabama, in 1899. Also, the U.S. Senate's first Democratic Whip, John Worth Kern, had the same surname of the character selected for Secretary of State over Frank.
Members of the Russian punk rock/political activist group Pussy Riot have a cameo appearance in the third season to protest against (fictional) Russian President Viktor Petrov. In real life, the group has protested against the actual Russian president, Vladmir Putin, with whom Petrov shares the initials VP.