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Robin Wright Hits a Groove, from 'House of Cards' to Upcoming 'Congress' and 'Most Wanted Man'

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 19, 2013 at 6:17AM

After three strong supporting roles in 2011 ("Moneyball," "Rampart," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"), Robin Wright returned with headliner power in Netflix's "House of Cards." Much has been said about how the show (reviews: TOH, Indiewire) heralds the new post-TV era (as of February 12 it was the most-streamed title on Netflix). But for many observers, the big reveal of the series (available in its 13-episode entirety on Netflix) is not the always showy Kevin Spacey, or yet another wily Mara sister, but scene-stealer Wright as Washington powerbroker Claire Underwood.
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Robin Wright

After three strong supporting roles in 2011 ("Moneyball," "Rampart," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"), Robin Wright returned with headliner power in Netflix's "House of Cards." Much has been said about how the show (reviews: TOH, Indiewire) heralds the new post-TV era (as of February 12 it was the most-streamed title on Netflix). But for many observers, the big reveal of the series (available in its 13-episode entirety on Netflix) is not the always showy Kevin Spacey, or yet another wily Mara sister, but scene-stealer Wright as Washington powerbroker Claire Underwood. Now 46, one-time Wright-Penn (she was married to Sean Penn for 14 years) has consistently delivered creme de la creme performances, from "Princess Bride" and "Forrest Gump" to "The Conspirator," just not in flashy lead roles or widely-seen tentpoles.

As The National Post writes, "Wright is the revelation." Her career has not only picked up speed, but now that she's strutting her steely talent and glorious presence (she's only grown more beautiful) we can look forward to more leading roles. More on "House of Cards" and Wright's upcoming slate below.

house of cards
'House of Cards' promo

Washington power-wife Claire Underwood:

"She's a marble bust, you don't know anything about her, she's an enigma--she, the woman, is going to start to crack through this marble, she's going to emerge, and that fascinated me. I thought that this was going to be a fun arc to play for 13 hours."

Resemblance to real-life political wives:

"I don't know and it would be so presumptuous for anyone to say unless they're close friends with Tipper Gore or Hillary Clinton. We only know what we're fed by the media--in any country--and I have to say hands down I'm sure half of that is complete bullshit--so I didn't want to use that as a template in any form, because that's just speculation."

Why she signed on to "House of Cards" with Spacey:

“Everything now is escapism, because that’s where the money is. There is a vacuum for serious drama. The mid-budget serious drama is something you don’t experience anymore.” Series writer and exec producer Beau Willamon boasts that Netflix didn't interfere "in any way" with his or director David Fincher's creativity. That's rare. Willamon adds: “TV will not be TV in five years from now…everyone will be streaming.” [THR]

The Congress
"The Congress."
Wright stars in Ari Folman's upcoming live-action/animation hybrid "The Congress." The "Waltz With Bashir" director has been working on the film for years. It's based on the Stanislaw Lem short story, "The Futurological Congress." Read more here. The film may turn up at Cannes.

Wright and Naomi Watts costar in Anne Fontaine's "Two Mothers," which was acquired by Exclusive Releasing following its Sundance debut. The women play a pair of mothers who have affairs with each others' sons. Yes, really. Watch the trailer below.

She also stars in Anton Corbijn's thriller "A Most Wanted Man" (based on John le Carre's novel) with Rachel McAdams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Willem Dafoe; it's currently in post. Wright has been developing a project to possibly direct: "The Archivist."

Wright is also participating in Jason Reitman's popular Film Independent script-reading series; she, Catherine O’Hara and Allison Janney will do an all-female reading of David Mamet’s "Glengarry Glen Ross." The event will be held at LACMA on February 21.
 

This article is related to: Robin Wright, Television, TV, Career Watch, Kevin Spacey, David Fincher, Netflix, Digital Future


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.