There are a lot of twists on the new David Fincher-produced Netflix series “House of Cards,” which follows a devious, BBQ-loving congressman (Kevin Spacey) who looks to exact revenge upon the President of the United States after being instrumental in his election (and then passed over for a high profile cabinet position). But no one could have possibly imagined how wonderful Robin Wright, who plays Spacey’s wife (in a role that oscillates between Martha Stewart, Hillary Clinton and Lady Macbeth), really is. She’s sleek and sexy and absolutely lethal, but sympathetic and occasionally loving too. And the accomplishment hasn’t gone unnoticed. The night before the South by Southwest Film Festival kicks off, Wright will be honored at the Texas Hall Of Fame Awards, which is put on by the Austin Film Society (Wright was born in Dallas). We got to talk to Wright about “House of Cards,” the Texas Hall of Fame Awards, where the next “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is and, most importantly, her hair.
So what was your initial thought when you learned you would be a part of this awards ceremony?
Well, I met the guys on the set of “House of Cards” because they won an auction through the ACLU. And they said, “Why don’t you come down and be honored as part of the Texas trade?” And I said [adopts a thick Texas accent], “Hell yeah!” I’m a native and whatnot. So very happily I accepted.
I know you were born in Dallas. What elements of being a Texan have you applied to your career?
I’ve done many a-role using the accent and I’m furnished with those nuances that the south, I guess, they own it… It’s a cultural flair that they have that is unlike anybody else. And all my family’s from there.
On the subject of “House of Cards,” I have to ask you about your hair, because everyone loves it.
That is so sweet. I chopped my hair off pretty short right after David and I did “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” And I had been doing two or three movies at the same time, during the ‘Dragon Tattoo’ period – so I’d do a week on ‘Dragon Tattoo’ and it’d be completely bleached and then I’d do two days on this other movie and I had to go a little bit darker and then back to blonde… This is boring shit to you, but it was hair hell. So I said, “We’ve got to chop it off and start over.” It was pretty much grown out by the time we started the show, so it was short-short.
You’re shooting the second season right now, right?
We start shooting in the spring, yeah. I can’t wait. I’d never done anything, as an adult, on TV. I did a daytime thing years ago – that was my first gig, and it was cool for me.
Was it David that made you say, “Yeah I’d do that again.”
I mean David was definitely a big part of it. But to work with Kevin – I had known Kevin for quite some time. And you get to be my age, in this business for 25 years, and I’m liking nourishing and encouraging the relationships of business, with people who are smart and creative and innovative and strong. And David Fincher is all of those things.
I was going to ask you about your relationship with him – has he clued you into the status of the next ‘Dragon Tattoo’ movie?
You know, I’ve got to ask him. We’ve been so focused on “House of Cards” that I kind of lost track of that train. I’ve got to ask!
Has he talked to you about being a part of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” or “Gone Girl?”
No. I don’t think I could be a part of that anyway – I’ve got to do the show.
Is “The Congress” done?
Yes. “The Congress” is done. It’s taken two years. But it’s finally completed. And I hope to see it in the next month.
What can you tell us about the next season of “House of Cards?”
Nothing. Completely sworn to secrecy.
What does your hair have in store for this season?
You never know… There’s always wigs… My hair is two inches short right now – it’s pretty buzzed!
Were you happy with how the show was received and the way it was released?
Yes. I was very pleased that everyone was enjoying it. Much better than being slammed. You know, this is what the viewers do on a regular basis anyway – i.e. “Let’s get the box set of ‘Breaking Bad‘ or ‘Mad Men’ and sit in bed for the weekend and watch on our computer, all the episodes, back-to-back.” So this is the new medium, this binge watching – and people are binging.