Robin Wright’s Journey From Princess Bride to Directing Her First Feature

Wright’s feature directorial debut, ‘Land,’ is now available to watch on PVOD.

Robin Wright’s accomplished quite a bit over the years and she’s hitting yet another major milestone in her career right now. She’s received three Daytime Emmy nominations, eight Primetime Emmy nominations and 10 SAG nominations, and now she’s busy celebrating the release of her feature directorial debut, Land. Wright also stars in the movie as Edee Holzer, a woman who decides to completely disconnect from society by purchasing an isolated cabin in the Wyoming wilderness.

With Land now available to watch on PVOD, Wright took the time to join us for an episode of Collider Ladies Night to break down how the steps she took in her career paved the way to this new release, beginning with her early admiration for Meryl Streep:

“When I first got the bug to want to pursue [acting] after being petrified at the notion of it, it was after watching Meryl Streep’s work. Like Kramer vs. Kramer, she was in Deer Hunter. When I saw these films, I was like, ‘That’s inspirational!’ That kind of talent and range, so yeah, she was definitely an inspiration.”

Cary Elwes and Robin Wright in The Princess Bride
Image via 20th Century Fox

While it’s very understandable to have a great deal of nerves when first committing to pursuing a career in acting, it might come as a surprise to hear that Wright still has some of those feelings today, even after everything she’s achieved. Here’s what she said when asked what petrified her about the field:

“It kind of still does for the same reason, [laughs] which is, I don’t like getting emotional in front of a huge crew of people. That just doesn’t feel comfortable to me. Now, I think for some people it is very liberating because they are performing. I don’t know, I kind of go insular. I do the inverse. So that fear of, I guess, maybe it’s a fear of being judged! If you’ve got all these people, you don’t really know your crew and it makes you nervous. It’s strange to still have that feeling, you know what I mean?”

If Wright still harbors those feelings, they’re certainly not apparent in her work. And that’s the case of her work on screen and behind the camera as well because Land does feel like an especially confident first feature. Having directed the award-winning short film, “The Dark of Night,” and a number of episodes of House of Cards, Wright had been receiving material for potential feature debut for some time. What made the Land script stand out from the pack? Here’s how Wright put it:

“It was the time in which I received the script. It was about three years ago when we were all witnessing and many experiencing a lot of loss and grief with these random shootings that were going on, almost bi-weekly. And I just couldn’t stop thinking – everyone morning I woke up [thinking], ‘How do these people get through?’ How do they find their way when everything they knew and that existence that they lived in is gone forever? Life will never be the same again. How do you retrieve yourself or find a new self? So I really wanted to delve into the phases of trauma, frankly, and how we need to re-remind ourselves, and that’s what this movie does, that there is hope and the power of human resilience is incredible and it generally takes the kindness of another person, the compassion of another person that pulls you through when you’re faced with adversity. And the uplifting and empowering feeling that you get at the end of this movie about hope, a renewed sense of faith, I feel like people want that positivity right now.”

RELATED: Robin Wright on ‘Justice League’ and How She Feels About the Snyder Cut

Robin Wright on the Set of Land
Image via Focus Features

If you’d like to hear more from Wright on her experience making Land, how the ending of that movie changed, what she admired most about Patty Jenkins’ work on Wonder Woman, how David Fincher convinced her that Netflix would be big and more, you can watch our full chat in the video at the top of this article or listen to it using the podcast embed below:

Robin Wright:

  • 00:30 – How Meryl Streep served as an early inspiration; why the thought of pursuing a career in acting was petrifying at the beginning – and still is now.
  • 02:56 – Wright revisits working on the soap opera Santa Barbara so early on in her career and the job security it offered.
  • 03:39 – What sparked the interest in producing and directing?
  • 05:22 – Even though Wright already had a Daytime Emmy nomination to her name, The Princess Bride still felt like her big breakout role.
  • 06:41 – What was Wright’s first impression of Netflix when she signed on to do House of Cards?
  • 09:21 – Figuring out how to work both behind the camera and in front of it on projects like House of Cards and Land.
  • 10:46 – Wright revisits stepping up during House of Cards Season 6.
  • 12:28 – Wright discusses returning to Netflix to direct some of Ozark Season 4.
  • 14:32 – Why Wright decided to jump into the DC film franchise for Wonder Woman; what she admires most about Patty Jenkins as a leader.
  • 17:26 – Wright weighs in on Justice League and how she feels about the release of Zack Snyder’s cut of the film.
  • 18:35 – Wright highlights a film she made that she thinks deserves a wider audience.
  • 19:25 – Why Land was the right project for Wright to make her feature directorial debut.
  • 21:13 – Wright discusses the appeal of movies that address healing with characters who turn to the land and nature.
  • 23:40 – If Wright could go back to the beginning of production and give herself one piece of advice for filming in that terrain, what would it be?
  • 24:31 – Wright originally hoped to cast someone else in the role of Edee; making the most of the resources they had.
  • 26:00 – At one point, the ending of Land was actually at the beginning of the film.
  • 27:28 – On being harder on herself as a director than when she’s directing other actors.

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