It’s one thing to play a washed-up, fading star; it’s quite another to play a washed-up, fading star who happens to share your name and career history.
But if Robin Wright, the star of new offbeat animated movie The Congress, is feeling insulted by her latest role as a grasping has-been Hollywood actress – called Robin Wright – she’s not showing it today.
If anything, Wright, who also stars alongside Kevin Spacey in the widely acclaimed political drama series House Of Cards, relished the chance to play a version of herself in the film, which sees her trade in the rights to use her image for a lucrative 20-year contract with a film studio who promise to make her forever young.
She is quick to point out, though, that the film, created by Waltz With Bashir director Ari Folman, “is not autobiographical in any way”. “Ari asked, ‘You’re taking a risk (with this role), can you do that?’” recalls Wright, laughing. “I said, ‘F**k yeah, let’s go!’”
“Thinking about the film, I always had the opening shot in my mind; where the actress is being crucified by her long-term agent,” the Israeli director explains.
Wright, who was raised in California, worked as a model during the early days of her career, before scoring her breakthrough role in eighties comedy adventure The Princess Bride.
It was 1994’s Forrest Gump, in which she played Tom Hanks’ love interest, the troubled Jenny – a role she’s still revered for – which really put her on the map.
But she’s always trusted her instincts when it comes to work, turning down parts so that she could devote more time to her two children, daughter Dylan and son Hopper, with ex-husband Sean Penn.
Looking back, Wright’s pleased she seized the opportunity to spend time with her young family rather than accept big-paying film roles.
“I’ve no regret about it,” says the 48-year-old, who’ll soon be seen in thriller A Most Wanted Man.
“When I had my kids, I always knew that was the priority, and career always came second.
“I knew making that choice to be a full-time mom, and turning down commercial movies, took me out of the game.
“I feel very blessed,” says the actress, who won a Golden Globe for her performance in House Of Cards earlier this year. “I’ve actually done more work in the last five years than I’ve done in my career.
“I usually averaged one [job] a year, because I was being a mom. So, knock on wood, the work’s coming still – the quality work.”
The Congress is released on Friday, August 15