Wright bangs the drum for women

Cannes star Robin talks equality, Wonder Woman and Trump.

by Richard Mowe

Robin Wright on House of Cards and the current White House: ' Trump has stolen all our ideas for the next season,”
Robin Wright on House of Cards and the current White House: ' Trump has stolen all our ideas for the next season,” Photo: Richard Mowe
With only seven per cent of directorial assignments among the 250 top grossing releases in the States going to women Robin Wright feels a duty to make the argument for more equality - on pay and opportunity.

She admits that feminism has accrued diva-like connotations. Wright who has made her name as Claire Underwood, the First Lady to Kevin Spacey’s President in the Netflix series House of Cards, suggests there is no need to yell to make a woman’s voice heard.

Robin Wright: 'Feminism means equality and that’s an end to it. Equal work and equal pay.'
Robin Wright: 'Feminism means equality and that’s an end to it. Equal work and equal pay.' Photo: Richard Mowe
"You just have to stand your ground, speak your truth and amplify your voice that way. Feminism means equality and that’s an end to it. Equal work and equal pay.”

Speaking at Variety and Kering’s Women in Motion talk at the Cannes Film Festival, she said felt that it is not just women who are lacking proper attention. Certain ethnicities also get ignored. “Changes will come,” she said, “but only if we act together.”

Wright branched into directing some of the episodes of House of Cards when Kevin Spacey said he was too busy to take them on. Producer David Fincher and the rest of the crew, who have known each other since it began, were around to support her.

Although the part in the original British series barely exists, she was given the opportunity to build Claire Underwood into a character that has been described as “Lady Macbeth to Richard III.” She added: “She’s just as fierce and evil but she doesn’t talk as much. I think she has the best of both sexes.”

The Dark Of Night
The Dark Of Night Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
With the fifth series already in the can, Wright admits that for the sixth series the writers were having difficulty outdoing the antics of the current incumbent of the Oval Office. “Trump has stolen all our ideas for the next season,” she said but declined to be drawn any further suffice to say she cannot wait for the next four years to fly past.

Who would she like to see in the White House. “My vote would go to Michelle Obama,” she said. “She would be a great female president.”

Meanwhile Wright puts in a shameless plug for her role as the heroine’s aunt in Wonder Woman to be released in the summer. “The message of the film is not just about female empowerment but also has to do with love and justice.”That’s a great message to give out to the kids,” she said.

Wright is in Cannes for a short film she has directed The Dark of the Night, made in the style of a 1930s thriller. She says it is “a female vigilante thriller” which was part financed by crowd funding and with help in kind of the crew of House of Cards. “It was amazing that people stepped up to help,” she said. Her confidence as a film-maker grew in House of Cards “because we were all in it together and we had no idea where it will all lead to."

Wright makes the sign of Wonder Woman: ' The message of the film is not just about female empowerment but also has to do with love and justice'
Wright makes the sign of Wonder Woman: ' The message of the film is not just about female empowerment but also has to do with love and justice' Photo: Richard Mowe
Without wishing to weigh in too heavily in to the Netflicks controversy whereby some Festival films may only been seen on streaming rather than the big screen, she affirmed that the best place to see films was in the movie theatre. “You know I think it’s just plain rude and unfair to film-makers for people to watch films on their mobiles.”

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