‘In a Wild Place’ marks the filmmaking debut of actress Robin Wright (Dallas, 1966). While she has already directed episodes of ‘House of Cards,’ this film about a grieving woman living alone in the mountains of Wyoming is another step forward in her already memorable career.
– What did you find in this narrative to want to approach it as your first feature film behind the cameras?
–The world has been experiencing a pandemic that has caused the loss of many lives; I wanted to send with this film a message of the resistance capacity of the human race. I started filming at the beginning of the pandemic and ended up discovering a fabulous team that showed me the importance of trusting others. This film highlights the enormous need we have for each other.
– Was it difficult to find the balance between the emotion of the performance and the concentration required of a director?
– When I promised to direct it was not my intention to star in the film. But, due to the pandemic, we had a very short time to start production and I couldn’t find any actress to work with. I took a risk by offering to star in it and it turned out well.
-He had to overcome the inclement weather.
–Living in the mountains taught us to wake up in nature and take advantage of its daylight hours, its space, its tranquility. We tune in with the wind, the rain, the sound of the water, the animals. This shoot was therapeutic for me and for the whole team.
Review ‘In a wild place’:
– Most of the people have passed the quarantine inside their houses. This trip is the opposite, facing pain in the middle of nature
-Exactly. Nature is one more character in the film. When a person experiences a grief, a trauma, he chooses his own terms to negotiate with the pain. After what we have experienced in the pandemic, I think we need to be kinder to people who suffer, because each one faces pain and loss in a different way. I loved how we dealt with a person’s journey through the phases of grief until it was remade again with the help of a stranger. We all need other humans to help us through difficult times. She honors her son’s wish, his dream, to live in the mountains with her family, and honoring that gives her the strength to fight.
– Why has it taken so long to assume this role behind the scenes?
“I didn’t think I could do it.” It was always in the back of my mind: ‘My God, one day I would love to direct something.’ But I just didn’t think I was capable. It’s a big challenge in the sense that you can’t just look through the lens and observe the evolution of what the actors are doing. You have to stop the camera, go back, watch the playback, and make sure you’ve achieved what you wanted. Also, I was facing the actress, which is emotional work because you have to focus on each emotion; you have to create images in your mind to achieve that emotion. And that’s the hardest part of acting. For each scene I needed silence on the set for a minute in order to prepare, because I was also directing. Pausing allowed me to jump from actress to director and vice versa.
– When did you decide to become a filmmaker?
-It was the producers of ‘House of Cards’ who encouraged me to direct. They were my film school. When you direct you have a title, it is an alpha position because you are in charge. As a filmmaker I like to leave the actors free to play and get used to the atmosphere that we have created for them.
– Do you miss working on television?
-When they offered me ‘House of Cards’ I had my doubts. I had worked on the small screen and knew the strict schedule of their productions. But I ended up giving in to the idea of developing my own character, of helping to create and shape a woman like Claire, who has the best of both sexes. Francis, her husband, annihilates people, devours them, because he is too effusive. He is a direct and verbal man while she represents balance. She is a woman capable of creating bridges with her stoic attitude, with her silences, with her ability to observe. She is like Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s play.