After over 30 years of acting experience under her belt, Robin Wright has stepped behind the camera for her first directing project, Land. The drama was shot on location in Alberta, Canada in under a month, with a small cast primarily consisting of Wright and Demián Bichir. Wright was introduced to directing during her time as Claire Underwood on House of Cards, but this new release really allowed her to truly helm her own project for the first time.
Robin Wright has an incredible body of work, having worked with legendary directors such as Forrest Gump’s Robert Zemeckis, Princess Bride’s Rob Reiner and Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins. When CinemaBlend spoke to the actress, I asked if there was a specific on-set experience with a director that influenced her as a director on Land. In her words:
There are many, many great inspirations. The one that always comes to mind is having had the opportunity to work with the late Anthony Minghella and watching him direct, how eloquent he was, the way he gave direction was not just a descriptive word. It wasn’t just ‘walk in the room and have more energy,’ he would build a story, give you a little vignette around the word energy without using the word energy and you would think ‘well this has nothing to do with the scene?’ He would walk away and all of a sudden you manifested something differently as an actor instead of just repeating the same take over and over again and I really honed in on that. That’s how I love being directed. Give me a story and let me imbue the meaning through the take.
Robin Wright worked with Anthony Minghella back in 2006 for Breaking and Entering, a romantic drama that had Wright playing the girlfriend of Jude Law’s lead character as they deal with relationship strains relating to the struggles of raising an autistic child; Law's character turns to an affair and small-time crime. The movie was written and directed by the Oscar-winning director, who's better known for his work on The Talented Mr. Ripley, The English Patient and Cold Mountain.
Breaking and Entering was Anthony Minghella’s final film before he died suddenly from a fatal hemorrhage at the age of 54 in 2008. The movie was not as well received as his other movies and made less than $9 million at the box office, but as Robin Wright told us, the experience had a massive impact on the way she saw acting and what kind of director she has become. She specifically connected with the storytelling he connected with giving actors direction. It sounded like a really unique and inspiring atmosphere on set that Wright took with her fifteen years later for Land.
Land centers on Robin Wright’s character of Edie, who decides to live in an isolated cabin off the grid in Wyoming after suffering an insurmountable loss in her life. She is faced with the harsh reality of surviving in harsh conditions and finds a friend and “Yoda” in Demián Bichir’s character, who joins her during her healing journey. Land has received predominantly positive reception from critics, with Wright most certainly being commended for simultaneously taking on a grueling role and first movie to helm. Land is playing in select theaters now.