Houses of Cards star Robin Wright – who plays a quietly Machiavellian First Lady in the hit Netflix series – said on Thursday that Michelle Obama should be the next US president.
The actor told reporters at the Cannes Film Festival that Donald Trump “has stolen all our ideas” for the next series of the drama about a villainous head of state who stops at nothing to stay in the White House.
Wright, a prominent activist, said a leader like Michelle Obama could galvanise liberals to get through the Trump years. “We gotta see the hope somewhere, even if it is out there in the future,” she said at a ‘Women in Motion’ talk in Cannes. “Everyone is talking around the (water) cooler saying, ‘We have four more years of this! What are we going to do? In 2022, I want Michelle Obama there. She would be a great female president. It does take time to break the mould and change the psychology. Maybe it’s going to take a little more time for Michelle to get that message through.”
Wright, 51, who is starring this summer in Wonder Woman, which she called the “first female superhero movie,” also said, “It’s time the film industry addressed its gaping gender imbalance.”
With only 7% of films directed by women, according to estimates, she said the problem was obvious. “There are women CEOs who are making billions and billions for their companies. Why can’t we just implement that in the (film) industry? It’s time,” claimed Wright. “The problem today is that feminism has become a derogatory, diva-like word. Feminism means equality, period. Equal work for equal pay,” the actor told the ‘Women in Motion’ talk organised by the luxury group Kering.
She said she first experienced blatant sexism early in her career. “When I was 17, in Paris, I went for a ‘go see’ (audition). I thought they were just looking at my face, but the guy told me to lift up my top. I did, and he said, ‘No, I like the other one better’.”
But Wright said feminism was about more than calling out crude discrimination. “It is not just about ‘Yeah, girl power!’ but love and justice, and that is a great message to spread to our little women.”
Wright, who has also directed House of Cards episodes while starring alongside Kevin Spacey, said she decided to ask to direct herself after Spacey was offered the chance, which he turned down. “We are like brother and sister on the show. It is like, ‘What are you doing? I want a bit of that’.”
She ended up directing seven episodes in the last season. Her first short film, The Dark of Night, a “female vigilante movie set in the 1930s” is having its premiere at Cannes this week.
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