It’s hard to watch a House of Cards scene featuring a cute guinea pig without focusing all of your attention on that cute guinea pig. Even if you know you should be listening to what the human actors are saying because one is a reporter (played by Sebastian Arcelus), the other is a hacker (Jimmi Simpson), and they are discussing things that might be vital to the plot (though who really knows). Arcelus himself understands your predicament. “Cashew is the breakout star of season two, for sure,” he told Vulture at last night’s premiere of Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me. So what was it like to shoot with him? There were three guinea pig actors on set (one shared his character’s name, Lucas, which he found “disturbing”) and “when one got cranky, we’d just pop another one in.” (Aw, cranky Cashew.) “There were many times when Jimmi and I would crack up because in the most intense of scenes, you’d hear this little chirp, chirp, squeak, squeak.” (Aw, chirpy Cashew.) “Jimmi was the guinea pig whisperer.” But onto the important question: Will Cashew be back for a third season? We’ll have to wait a million years to find out.
Sebastian Arcelus. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images