This week, Netflix released the first full-length trailer for Season Two of House of Cards. While trailer focuses on Kevin Spacey being evil, our eyes were fixed on Robin Wright, who stars as Spacey’s beautiful, clever, and calculating wife Claire Underwood.
Claire is Wright’s first role as a television series regular in 25 years. It’s not an accident. When Wright first appeared in Interview in July of 1987—somewhere between Patricia Arquette and Robin Givens—she’d had it with television. The Princess Bride was about to be released and the 21-year-old Wright was counting down the days left on her contract for the now-defunct soap opera Santa Barbara. Wright played Kelly Capwell, a rich girl with questionable taste in men (a serial killer, her sister’s ex-lover and his identical twin brother, her sister’s ex-husband, and her mother’s lover). After the actress left the show in 1988, her role was re-cast three times. Even then, Wright was irreplaceable.
“People who never see soaps—those with nine-to-five jobs—well, they ain’t missing a damn thing. I tell you, being on a soap is the hardest work, and it gets so old. Get on your mark, get in the light, don’t turn too far upstage—that’s all it is. It’s melodrama, it’s suck, it’s puke, it’s ughhhhh. Plus, you have to memorize 40 pages of script a night. Right now I’m really champing at the bit to leave, to do another movie, so that I can act again. In nine months my contract is up—I’ll be a free bird. Free to go to a place that’s been calling me for a long time—Brazil. It’s the center of the world, you know, a spiritual center. It’s where all the gurus are—the healers. After three years on a soap, I could use one.”
THIS ARTICLE INTIALLY APPEARED IN THE JULY 1987 ISSUE OF INTERVIEW.
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