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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

B-Movie Actress Feature Spotlight: Robin Wright





Current Net Worth: $65 million 

Robin Gayle Wright was born in the South Central of Dallas, Texas on April 8, 1966, but was raised in San Diego, California and of whom started out as a professional model at the age of 14, travelling around the world, whilst she was still in high school. Upon graduation, she focused on becoming an actress and doing TV and film work. Four years later, Wright made her onscreen debut on the NBC daytime soap, Santa Barbara as a TV star through the character of Kelly Capwell from 1984 to 1988, and all despite not having any formal training or acting experience. She was rewarded with 3 Daytime Emmy nominations.
   
From there onwards, after her feature film debut in the seedy Hollywood Vice Squad by playing the heroin addict prostitute daughter of Carrie Fisher's character, she made her first real transition as a film actress by kick-starting her launch on Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride: a fantasy romantic comedy opposite Cary Elwes, WWE wrestler Andre The Giant & Billy Crystal as the heroine, Buttercup. The success of the movie launched Wright to stardom and her performance drew appraisal from critics and even screenwriter, William Goldman who in his book, ''Which Lie Did I Tell? Further Adventures In The Screen Trade'' touted Robin Wright as one of the industry's best and most popular actresses of her generation. By 21, she first stamped her mark as a Hollywood actress. Ambitious she turned down numerous typecast roles and roles wherein more focus was placed on her appearance and looks, rather than her acting ability. She met her then actor-hubby Sean Penn on the set of State of Grace and they fell in love. They have one daughter, but they divorced in 2007, only to reunite, but then 3 years ago they broke up and divorced again. Only this time, this was for good and Robin changed her name from Robin Wright Penn to Robin Wright. 


In 1992 came Toys, which came out during the Holiday season and was notoriously panned and ripped apart by critics, but one of the highlights was Robin Wright as a fellow worker & kindred spirit, Gwen Tyler at Zevo Toys, who brings forth that down-to-earth and sweet charm as the love interest to Robin Williams's Leslie and his occasionally amusing, yet somewhat restrained performance. Wright's portrayal as Gwen won over admirers of this movie and it even snagged a best-supporting-actress nomination at the Saturn AwardsPeople and critics love to trash talk Barry Levinson's Toys (me formerly one of them per se), but in my eyes, it was watchable in places, especially in due to Robin Wright who impressed as Gwen. 

After the negative thrashing of 1992's box office flop, Toys, her Hollywood status briefly skyrocketed after starring alongside headliner Tom Hanks in the Oscar-nominated Forrest Gump, 2 years later as Jenny, Forrest's first true love. Following on from Toys, she gained 2 further nominations as Best Supporting Actress for her role in the romantic comedy-drama at the Golden Globe, Saturn and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Robin Wright followed this up with the romantic weepy drama, Message In A Bottle opposite Kevin Costner, political thriller State of Play and the little- known Money Ball with Brad Pitt. 


Wright was on the cusp of becoming a huge star, and yet and curiously enough, this didn't fully materialise. She took time out to raise her children and it was known that she had a reputation for being a 'diva' and as a difficult and demanding person. She also turned down roles in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Firm with Tom Cruise, Jurassic ParkBatman Forever and Sabrina, although looking back she says she has no regrets. In recent years, Wright has made her comeback in successful projects and ones of which have been eluding her over the 2000s, 1990s and 1980s. Through Netflix's House of Cards, Wonder Woman as the sword-wielding Amazon warrior, Antiope & Blade Runner 2049 - so-called big-hitters that attract millions of viewers - the older Wright has become, the stronger the roles became. The role of Antiope draws parallels with Sarah Connor of Terminator 2 and Aliens's Ellen Ripley: so-called action heroine types that were simply not made available to Robin during the earlier years, as she was pretty much saddled with love interest roles and roles in movies that were either financial failures or not that well known, opposite main stars such as Tom Hanks, Kevin Costner and Robin Williams.   

Which, as great as it is to see with her career renaissance and resurgence coming in full circle, it has also taken that long for her talents to be fully recognised because I have enjoyed her performances in Toys, Forrest Gump, She's So Lovely, The Princess Bride. But hey, better late than never. Plus, she is and can be a terrific actress, especially as demonstrated in Forrest Gump

She's a very curious person and can be outspoken at times, doesn't hold back and isn't afraid of speaking what's on her mind. One time her agent said to her, ''how great that you didn't become a celebrity & sell out and do every movie you were offered & do every big studio movie & burn yourself out''. Which was never in my nature anyway''.  

Throughout her long and varied career, that whilst it hasn't had obtained more of the box office multi-million successes, Robin Wright has proven she is not one of those starry-eyed actors who choose to eat up the Hollywood-esque flash & razzmatazz, but at the same time, never choosing to settle for second best. Rather she is and has always been an actress who shows her versatility through her movie choices and roles and more importantly, she has avoided being typecast in a particular sub-genre or genre. 


''I'm not up there with Kate Winslet and Julia Roberts. I don't sell tickets. I've known that for a long time'' - Robin Wright

Robin is one of those actresses whose name doesn't get the popular crowds buzzing, and yet she has proven several times throughout her career how good she is. She has long been underrated, overlooked far too often and that had she been offered more populist mainstream commercial movies when she was in her 20s and 30s, it would have propelled her career in terms of success. Wright never achieved A-list stardom, not that it bothers her one bit and that it is something she cares about, anyway. 

Many older Hollywood actresses have fallen into one of 3 brackets: 1) those who were huge and popular in their heydays but not anymore, 2) those who appeared in a one-hit wonder, only never to be seen or heard of that much.... and 3) there are those whose careers never took off in the late 1980s into the 1990s - and yet it is only when they are older and wiser that they are finally seeing some success and are given a new lease of life. Robin Wright is the latter. 

Her story so far and as of late has been a good and intriguing one, seeing as very few Hollywood film actresses, especially those in their 50s and were born in the 1960s and of whom were hugely prominent or somewhat notable in the 1980s and 1990s, get a second or even third crack at the whip these days, as Hollywood tends to focus on the younger crop and the current generation of actresses. 

Luckily, that has happened with Robin Wright - and she has relished it, even more so. 



Notable Favourites:

Forrest Gump, Toys, The Princess Bride, Nine Lives, State of Grace, Wonder Woman

Notable Non-Favourites:

Hollywood Vice Squad, Adore, Beowulf, Message In A Bottle


Sources:

Robin Wright - Wikipedia 

Robin Wright Film Actor/ Film Actress, Actress - Biography

Robin Wright: As An Older Actress, I Have Finally Found Creative Freedom - SMH.com

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