Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of ruthless politician Frances Underwood might get the majority of the attention when it comes to Netflix’s House of Cards, but anyone who watches the series will tell you that Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood is just as much a force to be reckoned with. Her steely and complex portrayal of Claire has rightly been compared to a modern-day Lady Macbeth, with terrifying undercurrents that sometimes give way to a fragile core. Needles to say, the role isn’t a simple one and Wright is nominated for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series” for a second year in a row in as many tries because of it.
Wright’s role on House of Cards represents the actress’ first major role on a television series since she first got her start on the soap operas The Yellow Rose (1983-1984) and Santa Barbara (1984-1988.) Since then, her career has overseen a series of ebbs and flows that began when she was cast as Buttercup in 1987′s The Princess Bride. From there, well-received roles in films like Forrest Gump, Moll Flanders, and She’s So Lovely soon followed, but a true breakout role alluded her throughout the 2000s, despite a series of strong turns in independent films. But now, Wright’s star has catapulted to the top of the A-list as she continues to match Spacey on one of the country’s most talked about shows.
Additionally, the second season of House of Cards saw Wright move behind the camera for the first time in her career, directing the well-received tenth episode of the second season, “Chapter 23″ — and according to Wright, the experience was positive enough that she’s already starting to look past acting. “I have the bug. I love it,” Wright told a group of reporters at a House of Cards press day earlier this year. “I wanna keep doing it. Kinda wanna stop acting … not kidding.”