A highlight of Season 4 of House of Cards was the return of Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), who was presumed left for dead at the end of Season 3 or at the least on his way out.
Doug is very much part of Frank's (Kevin Spacey) inner circle and through the latest chapter his loyalties were only strengthened.
In a recent interview with IndieWire, Kelly dished about his character arc and the weaknesses of Doug which might play into Season 5 of House of Cards.
Even after four seasons, Kelly believes getting the part of playing Doug is one of the best things that happened to him.
Kelly revealed that portraying Doug was "hands down, the greatest gift I have ever been given as actor."
"Here's a total gem: I get to play this guy and say these words. To know that I love going to work every day... after four years! It's the greatest job I've ever had," he said.
Kelly went on to talk about what motivates Doug to do what he does and his "serious addiction issues."
"Doug is so much based on addiction," said Kelly, "from alcohol to Rachel to Frank, it's something he has to have: tunnel vision. His loyalty to Frank is a byproduct of his loyalty to his job. When he failed, he saw another life he could have with his family and his brother, with a job that would take him elsewhere and Hawaii, to an easier life. He could do it, but it didn't make him tick."
He also went on to defend his character's actions, saying that Doug was "not a bad guy. He does bad things. He's a complicated guy with serious addiction issues."
Finally Kelly also weighed in on the fact of showrunner Beau Willimon leaving, and shared his experience of working with him.
"Beau Willimon is a genius writer and friend," said Kelly, "with a tireless work ethic. He looks like hell at the end of the season. You can't drink that much coffee and not sleep." Willimon starts in January and goes through June, checking out the first rehearsal or first take, returns to his trailer to write, then back to the set. Each night Willimon and the cast get together for dinner at a local pub and then he returns to his room to write and sleep. Every Friday he returns to his wife, to be back on Monday. This goes on for six months. "With a leader like that, you can't complain about anything."
Season 4 of House of Cards premiered on March 4.
Watch the trailer: