It’s a good time to be Robin Wright. The actress is on an upswing in both her personal life and her professional life, with a new engagement to actor Ben Foster and a Golden Globe-winning role on the critically acclaimed Netflix hit House of Cards. Three years ago, though, she was in a very different place. In a new interview with the U.K.’s Telegraph, Wright, 47, reflects on her life now versus her life then, when she was getting over a “devastating” divorce from second husband Sean Penn. Click here for the 10 most shocking Hollywood breakups.
“Divorce in and of itself, and with children, is devastating. Worst than that,” she says of her tumultuous romance with the Gangster Squad actor, with whom she has two kids, Dylan, 22, and Hopper, 20. “One of the reasons why we got back together and broke up so much was trying to keep the family together,” she explains. “If you’ve got kids, it’s a family, and you try again, and you try again. We did that for a long time.”
Indeed, Penn and Wright separated and reconciled multiple times over their 20-year relationship (and 14-year marriage) before finally divorcing in 2010. Now, she says, “Sean sees the kids. They see him. They see me. We’ve all got our own lives.”
A big part of Wright’s life these days is her romance with Foster, 33, whom she met on the 2011 movie Rampart. The Princess Bride star even has a tattoo of her fiance’s first initial on the third finger of her left hand. “I’ve been so anti-tattoos my whole life,” she notes in the Telegraph interview. “But doing this felt right because we’re not that traditional.”
That may be why Foster’s proposal earlier this year came as “such a shock” to the actress. “But we felt married anyway,” she says. “We’ve been together ever since the first date.”
Their first date, in fact — which involved going to a poetry recital — is the only first date Wright has ever been on. “I’d never, ever been asked out on a date before,” she shares. “Never. I was frickin’ married my whole life, and even before that I hadn’t been asked out.”
Divorced twice — from Penn and first husband Dane Witherspoon — Wright once said she’d never marry again. But she has since changed her tune. “Never say never,” she quips. “Ben and I have a connection between us that just feels right. I don’t know any other word for it.”
That connection is what keeps the couple close even when they find themselves on location in different parts of the world. “You’re never really home if you work in this industry,” she explains. “I have a house here in California and come back every month and a half to see my kids. And they come to New York. Ben and I fly to each other. We make it work.”