Resolve, strength, practicality, vulnerability. Its all there in her eyes, her jaw, her smile. Its what makes her so compelling
My love of movies and television is matched only by my love of books, so nothing makes me happier than when screen and page collide. The other week, I found myself rereading one of my favourite books-turned-movies, William Goldmans The Princess Bride. I adore the film, which I watched as a child, as much as I adore the novel, which I discovered as a teen. And even though she is underwritten, Ive always loved the character of Buttercup. I suspect that was down to the actor who played her on screen, the luminous Robin Wright.
Today, the adjectives Wright conjures are earthy: flinty, stony, rocky. At 51, she looks as if she was carved from marble. But when I first saw her in The Princess Bride, she had the qualities of a Disney princess: soft, almost waifish. That was still in evidence when she played opposite Tom Hanks in the cloying Forrest Gump. But even when there is something helpless and brittle about her character, Wright always had a steely core.
There it is again when she plays a reformed woman in Shes So Lovely, a religious foster mother in White Oleander and, my favourite, a woman bumping into her past in Nine Lives. Wrights characters are like mirrors; she makes herself reflective, so audiences draw from her what they need to see: resolve, strength, practicality, vulnerability. Its all there in her eyes, her jaw, her smile. Its this that makes Wright so compelling as Claire Underwood in House Of Cards, now in its fifth season.