Robin Wright has rightly won plaudits for transforming the role of Claire Underwood in House of Cards from the “arm candy” she was originally written as into one of the strongest female leads seen on TV in recent years.
As the fierce, ambitious First Lady to Kevin Spacey's Frank Underwood, her sharp persona is reflected in her much-envied style, with pin-sharp tailoring and a chic cropped hairdo.
But while we'd struggle to now imagine Claire with soft, flowing, princess-like locks, Robin has revealed in a new interview with Vanity Fair that the chop was actually was what she describes as a “mercy killing”.
She said of the iconic style, “I was just cutting off damaged hair - too much bleach over months of [appearing in] different movies.
“It was a mercy killing, but it works for the character.”
With a straightforwardness echoing Claire's, but perhaps an honesty not often seen in the House of Cards antihero, Robin also opened up about life with her fiancé, actor Ben Foster - saying she's “never come more” than with Ben.
“I’ve never been happier in my life than I am today. Perhaps it’s not ladylike [to say], but I’ve never laughed more, read more, or come more than with Ben,” she told the magazine. “He inspires me to be the best of myself. There’s so much to learn. It’s endless. How great! It took me a long time to grow up. Love is possible as life is possible.”
Robin, 48, started seeing Ben, 34, in February 2012, though they split up last November before getting back together early this year.
Robin also briefly discussed her marriage to actor Sean Penn, from whom she filed for divorce in 2009, though explained she didn't like to dwell on the past.
“I’m not in the business of talking about what ‘isn’t',” she said. “My eyes are set forward and I’ve never been happier. I have too much respect for Sean and our two extraordinary children to sell our past joys and woes for public consumption and fodder.”
However she did say she'd learnt lessons from the on-off relationship, which lasted two decades, telling the magazine, “I believe we were together not only to have our beautiful children but to learn how to love… for the next time around, the right way. And then, what I’m looking for in people now is kindness.”
She's previously said of their split: “Divorce in and of itself, and with children, is devastating. Worst than that. One of the reasons why we got back together and broke up so much was trying to keep the family together. If you've got kids, it's a family, and you try again, and you try again. We did that for a long time.”
The pair had two children together, model Dylan, 23, and Hopper Jack, 21, both of whom she revealed were “getting their feet wet in the biz” and starring in films this year.
Robin, who had big screen success as Jenny in Forest Gump, also discusses how she feels she has “arrived” later in life. “I feel as though I’ve just graduated. I mean, I never went to college. I was pregnant at 23. You hear people say how they have ‘arrived,’ but it was just always there, waiting to come out. For me, it just took a long time. I’m 48. I’m finally a person. I think I’m finally ready.”
The full interview is available in the April issue of Vanity Fair, on sale 17th March.
Images: Rex Features / Vanity Fair