Wright said she was initially approached by director David Fincher to play the part while she was filming her role in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in Stockholm.
She initially wasn't interested in doing television, a "pompous misjudgment," she told Town and Country magazine. Wright also didn't want to play a wife.
"I'd rather go work at a menial labor job, where I can actually get my hands dirty," than play a character that didn't have somewhere to go, she said.
Fincher told her the character would be a modern-day Lady Macbeth and she'd have the freedom to help create the role.
"David assured me that this would be a collaboration, that I could help create the character as we went along, that we would make discoveries together," she says. "And David and [creator] Beau [Willimon] stuck to their word."