Chief Claire, Robin Wright, is back to take over the reins as president of the United States in Season 6 of House of Cards – and she tells WHO fans they can expect many more power suits, sharp one-liners and an interesting mystery surrounding the death of Francis Underwood.
It’s wonderful to see a woman as president of the United States. Why is it not happening in reality?
Because the election was fixed [Laughs]. I mean, that’s just speculation but it is interesting because there’s so many other countries that have female leaders, right, and we are the land of opportunity. I mean, I just have one word for what’s happening to this country. It’s devastating. It really is.
How was it coming back without Kevin Spacey?
We had a lot to consider and the final decision came about because we had to think about the fans of the show and kind of holding up that legacy, like why are we going to prematurely end when we just close out
as intended with the same story we always intended to finish with, which is she was always going to be the female president. How she was going to get there is what was altered over the six years, so it really didn’t change the arc of the show and the only thing that changed when we resumed shooting was I had more scenes and I was much more involved with the writers, and it was actually great to be more inclusive with the building of a new season.
Have you kept in touch at all with Kevin?
No, no contact.
What’s the show’s take on the #MeToo movement?
I think it was deliberate, to say ‘What are the key components of having this opportunity to have a female president of the United States?’ [We thought] ‘What can we do?’ And I said ‘OK, I have two things. Let’s definitely make a decision to have her pass a bill that’s never been passed in this country that is very female-centric’, which you’ll find out and yes, check, we did that and then the writers said, ‘why don’t we make all of her cabinet female -centric’, which you’ll find out and yes, check, we did that and then the writers said, ‘why don’t we make all of her cabinet female and see how they work with one another’ and I can’t say how they work with one another. You’re going to have to see but it’s interesting to observe 25 women in a conference room [and] how differently they communicate.
Do you ever feel misunderstood by the public?
When somebody writes about you, they can choose the words they want and condense and extract and [it] makes you sound and seem to be something you’re not, so I’m learning to shut my mouth more.
Did everyone always plan for the First Couple to get away with murder?
Oh, the writers were very conscious of building not only the Lady Macbeth part
of it but being merciful about it, so it’s beautifully macabre and we were trying to design that emotion and what that would mean, so we went through many different machinations – basically who would kill who and why. Yeah, somebody has to die, right?
Looking back, what were you hoping the show would accomplish?
I was hoping it would accomplish what it did, which was this business arrangement couple, this beautiful union of corruption and efficiency and that they would feed off each other because they really had a love for one [another] and a respect. What we didn’t know ... is how were they going to become rivals, how would she start to transcend, and we didn’t know how we were going to do that in the beginning of this season, and [executive producer] David Fincher always said this is an exploration that we’re all going to do together. We’re going to build her but she’s never going to be the wife of a politician.