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The second season of the Emmy Award nominated political drama, House of Cards, premieres today on Netflix! The show has been an instant hit since it made its debut a year ago due in part to its high caliber writing and stellar cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, and Kate Mara. Unknown to many, however, is that the prominent role of Linda Vasquez, the White House Chief of Staff, is played not by a Latina but by Indian American actress, Sakina Jaffrey. Here are ten things we found out about the under the radar actress.
1. Sakina Jaffrey was born in Manhattan, New York on February 14, 1962, which would make today her birthday!
2. She is the daughter of actor and acclaimed cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey and actor Saeed Jaffrey.
3. As a child she danced with the Joffrey Ballet in New York City.
4. She graduated from Vassar College with a degree in Chinese Language and Literature, thinking she would become a translator.
5. She began her acting career in New York City after she graduated from Vassar, taking acting lessons and going to auditions and supported herself by working as a waitress.
6. She is an accomplished theatre, television and film actress having starred in movies like The Indian in the Cupboard, Raising Helen, The Truth About Charlie and Definitely, Maybe.
7. Is married to journalist Francis Wilkinson, a former political consultant, and has two children.
8. Was Executive Producer David Fincher’s first choice for the role of Linda Vasquez on House of Cards.
9. Her initial audition with the show’s casting director led to a half-hour “work session” with Fincher. That tape was then sent to Netflix executives and House of Cards producers and a short time later, she was notified that she had landed the part.
10. Recently revealed that the second season of House of Cards is as thrilling as the first. “Surprisingly thrilling. I thought we’d have to keep the pace slow just because it’s so mind-boggling what happened last year, but it’s just as crazy. Oh my God. The first episode I said ‘What? No way.”
Image courtesy of: Netflix