Robin Wright stars as an animated version of herself in new film The Congress, about a 40-something actress whose career is on the slide.
The House of Cards star plays the lead role in Israeli director Ari Folman's surreal, part animated film, who agrees to become a "scanned actor," a digital avatar owned by her studio. The digital Robin can be endlessly, agelessly used in new movies - the studio makes her "Agent Robin" in a sci-fi action series - while the flesh-and-blood person grows old in obscurity.
Robin has been called brave for taking on issues of ageing and image so directly. But Folman said he didn't see it that way when he offered the role to the actress after sitting across from her at an awards ceremony and thinking she looked sad.
"I think it's a great role," he said. "She is Robin Wright, she is Agent Robin in the movie, she's an animated character, she's an old Robin at the very end, she sings two songs - it's a great role.
"Although Harvey Keitel told me one day on the set, 'Man, she is so brave. You could have offered me the world, I would never do what she does in this movie'."
The director revealed he came up with the inspiration for the film when he was at the Cannes Festival a few years ago. He was walking through the bustling movie marketplace at Cannes when he saw an elderly woman.
"And my sales agent asked me, do you recognise this lady? And I said no," Folman said. "And he told me her name and I was shocked, because she was this goddess American actress from the 70s. She was in her 70s, and no one recognised her. And this is Mecca for cinema, this place!
"And I thought, she's got in front of her, everywhere, the image of her young, stolen forever in the movies. And here she is and she has to live with her image forever young, but she's getting old."