‘NO CON­TACT WITH KEVIN SPACEY’ House of Cards star Robin Wright opens up

Robin Wright opens up about lead­ing the way in Sea­son 6 of ‘House of Cards’

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Chief Claire, Robin Wright, is back to take over the reins as pres­i­dent of the United States in Sea­son 6 of House of Cards – and she tells WHO fans they can ex­pect many more power suits, sharp one-lin­ers and an in­ter­est­ing mys­tery sur­round­ing the death of Fran­cis Un­der­wood.

It’s won­der­ful to see a woman as pres­i­dent of the United States. Why is it not hap­pen­ing in re­al­ity? Be­cause the elec­tion was fixed [ Laughs]. I mean, that’s just spec­u­la­tion but it is in­ter­est­ing be­cause there’s so many other coun­tries that have fe­male lead­ers, right, and we are the land of op­por­tu­nity. I mean, I just have one word for what’s hap­pen­ing to this coun­try. It’s dev­as­tat­ing. It re­ally is.

How was it com­ing back with­out Kevin Spacey?

We had a lot to con­sider and the fi­nal de­ci­sion came about be­cause we had to think about the fans of the show and kind of hold­ing up that le­gacy, like why are we go­ing to pre­ma­turely end when we just close out as in­tended with the same story we al­ways in­tended to fin­ish with, which is she was al­ways go­ing to be the fe­male pres­i­dent. How she was go­ing to get there is what was al­tered over the six years, so it re­ally didn’t change the arc of the show and the only thing that changed when we re­sumed shoot­ing was I had more scenes and I was much more in­volved with the writ­ers, and it was ac­tu­ally great to be more in­clu­sive with the build­ing of a new sea­son.

Have you kept in touch at all with Kevin?

No, no con­tact. What’s the show’s take on the #Metoo move­ment? I think it was de­lib­er­ate, to say ‘ What are the key com­po­nents of hav­ing this op­por­tu­nity to have a fe­male pres­i­dent of the United States?’ [ We thought] ‘ What can we do?’ And I said ‘OK, I have two things. Let’s def­i­nitely make a de­ci­sion to have her pass a bill that’s never been passed in this coun­try that is very fe­male-cen­tric’, which you’ll find out and yes, check, we did that and then the writ­ers said, ‘why don’t we make all of her cab­i­net fe­male and see how they work with one an­other’ and I can’t say how they work with one an­other. You’re go­ing to have to see but it’s in­ter­est­ing to ob­serve 25 women in a con­fer­ence room [and] how dif­fer­ently they com­mu­ni­cate.

You’ve been play­ing this char­ac­ter for six sea­sons – how much play is in­stilled in you as an ac­tress and how much have you learned by play­ing Claire?

It’s such a phys­i­cal ne­ces­sity for me as an ac­tor. I need the clothes and the shoes and the wig and the makeup, and that is when you feel you’re em­body­ing the per­son more – it’s so in­ter­est­ing the way you put a char­ac­ter to bed, but if some­body said ‘get up and do a scene right now as Claire’ I could do it, no prob­lem. It’s like rid­ing a bike and the colours within that, that you take with you; it’s re­ally mem­o­ries and how hard it was to stand up so straight all day long, to tell you the truth.

Do you ever feel mis­un­der­stood by the pub­lic?

When some­body writes about you, they can choose the words they want and con­dense and ex­tract and [it] makes you sound and seem to be some­thing you’re not, so I’m learn­ing to shut my mouth more.

Did ev­ery­one al­ways plan for the First Cou­ple to get away with mur­der?

Oh, the writ­ers were very con­scious of build­ing not only the Lady Mac­beth part of it but be­ing mer­ci­ful about it, so it’s beau­ti­fully macabre and we were try­ing to de­sign that emo­tion and what that would mean, so we went through many dif­fer­ent machi­na­tions – ba­si­cally who would kill who and why. Yeah, some­body has to die, right?

Look­ing back, what were you hop­ing the show would ac­com­plish?

I was hop­ing it would ac­com­plish what it did, which was this busi­ness ar­range­ment cou­ple, this beau­ti­ful union of cor­rup­tion and ef­fi­ciency and that they would feed off each other be­cause they re­ally had a love for one [an­other] and a re­spect. What we didn’t know … is how were they go­ing to be­come ri­vals, how would she start to tran­scend, and we didn’t know how we were go­ing to do that in the be­gin­ning of this sea­son, and [ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer] David Fincher al­ways said this is an ex­plo­ration that we’re all go­ing to do to­gether. We’re go­ing to build her but she’s never go­ing to be the wife of a politi­cian.

Jenny Cooney Car­rillo

“It’s al­most as though [Claire] learned from the best [Fran­cis] and she took those skills and for­tu­nately had to use them be­cause she was up against all the men in DC.” “I don’t re­ally feel com­fort­able talk­ing about my per­sonal life,” Wright, who re­cently mar­ried Clement Gi­raudet, tells WHO.

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