House of Cards season 3: Claire Underwood is based on an eagle, says Robin Wright

Actress was inspired after watching National Geographic

Robin Wright gives a wonderfully still, stoic and stalking performance in House of Cards, befitting of the inspiration for her character, which wasn't Hilary Clinton or any other First Ladies but a bird of prey.

Talking to independent.co.uk about how she moves and emotes in the role, she said: "I went with an animal, the American Eagle.

"I saw it on National Geographic, and observed how that bird flew higher than everybody else and looked down on everything and calculated strategy. Very stoic. Very quiet. Closed mouth. Steady neck. Fierce eyes.

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"I basically just emulated it," she said, drawing her arms up above her head. "I was like 'I don't know where else to pull from', I'm not going to go to D.C. and interview somebody because I'm never going to get the truth, and it helped so much in believing that is your environment and your wingspan is broader than everybody else's and you know how to attack your pray without being caught."

The world is currently chewing its way through the third season of the Netflix original, which sees Frank and Claire struggling to retain control of the White House.

As for which of the pair is the more maniacal, Wright said: "I think they're equal and balance each other beautifully. When one starts to crumble a bit or God forbid fear something, they pick the other up. It's a beautiful partnership. They work well together in that context."

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