She burst onto the scene as a manipulative wife in The Wolf of Wall Street, inspired a million Halloween costumes with her seductive realistic portrayal of Harley Quinn, and then… disappeared. Now she’s hitting the interview circuit once again with a sle
Margot Robbie delights in throwing herself into her performances. She once smacked Leonardo DiCaprio in the face while auditioning for
The Wolf of Wall Street, revelled in her character Harley Quinn’s wicked behaviour on the set of
Suicide Squad, and recently got caught up in a violent argument with co-star Sebastian Stan while shooting I, Tonya, a biopic about the notorious American figure skater Tonya Harding, and how her husband Jeff Gillooly (played by Sebastian) arranged to have someone break a rival skater’s leg prior to the 1994 US Figure Skating Championships. Margot became so overwrought
“She was a single mother raising my brothers, sister and me by herself, and we didn’t make life easy for her. We were always fighting...”
while filming the scene that she stormed off the set screaming at Sebastian.
“We got so carried away in this scene where we’re having this massive fight, and he slammed my hand against a door and I think I even punched him in the side of the head,” Margot says. “It was such an incredibly intense argument that, for a moment, I forgot I wasn’t Tonya and he wasn’t Jeff and I wasn’t on a film set. Sebastian came running after me and asking me where I was going and I said I was going to the hospital because he had broken my hand in the fight... I forgot I was acting and nothing makes me more exhilarated than when I genuinely forget where I am.”
I, Tonya premiered to rave reviews at the recent Toronto International Film Festival, and is due to be released in December this year. In the meantime, Margot will be appearing in Goodbye Christopher Robin, the biographical drama about acclaimed children’s author and Winnie-the-Pooh creator A.A. Milne. The story focuses on his relationship with his son, Christopher Robin, who became the inspiration and namesake for the child in the stories and his world of animal creatures. Margot plays his wife Daphne de Sélincourt, who has a complicated relationship with the troubled author, who struggled with PTSD after serving as a Captain in the British Army during WWI.
Tweeted Margot about her experience on the movie: “Had the most magical time shooting this. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it.”
Margot has also recently completed work on Mary
Queen of Scots, in which she plays Elizabeth I opposite Soairse Ronan as Mary Stuart. Amidst her busy schedule, the 27-year-old native of Queensland, Australia found the time to get married to English filmmaker Tom Ackerley. They tied the knot in December last year after they began dating in 2014 when they met on the set of Suite Francaise.
Q: You’ve been playing a lot of intense characters lately, particularly in Suicide Squad and now in I, Tonya. Where do you get that strength from?
My mum has been a great example for me. She was a single mother raising my brothers, sister and me by herself, and we didn’t make life easy for her. We were always fighting, and my mum had to be a very strong woman to hold things together. She’s an amazing woman.
Q: What was it like growing up on a farm in Queensland?
It was perfect for kids. My siblings and I went boar
hunting and surfing, and I grew up learning more about agriculture and animal husbandry than you could imagine. It was not the kind of upbringing that you’d expect would lead anyone into acting.
Q: So, what inspired you to be an actress?
I’ve always had a wild imagination and loved watching videos and pretending to be a part of the kinds of adventures the characters would get to go on. I was always play-acting as a kid. I would watch the same movies on video over and over again and then re-enact the scenes in front of my mum. She was a great audience and would wonder how I managed to remember all the lines! I would also put on these little plays for my family and force everyone to pay $1 for each performance! So I always understood the business angle of things. But even after taking an acting course, the idea of becoming an actress would have struck me as being just as likely as becoming an astronaut.
Q: How did you get started in the business?
I had a job in a surf shop and around the corner, a couple of guys were shooting this movie. By coincidence, one of them introduced me to an agent and that led to a few guest roles on TV shows. And then I was cast in Neighbours straight out of high school. That [Aussie soap opera, which launched the careers of Kylie Minogue and the Hemsworth brothers] was my acting training camp. I would often have to learn up to 60 pages of dialogue in a week by heart, work five days a week and do 16 or 17 hour days. But it was the kind of experience I needed and it was a very important step for me.
Q: Your colleagues have often said that even though you can be very light-hearted and congenial, you take your work and career very seriously?
I’ve always put a lot of effort and thought into the kinds of roles and projects I’m a part of. I’ve had a very good team behind me and it’s always been important for me to be very strategic about my career. There’s a lot of luck involved, but you also need an idea of what kind of career you want to pursue.
Q: You work a lot and have been living in the UK and the US for many years now. Do you ever get homesick for Australia?
I’m always homesick. But it’s not the same as when I was 17 and moved to Melbourne and didn’t tell anyone. Now it’s this feeling of not being part of all those crazy dinner conversations we would have. Whenever I go back home, we get right back into it and trade stories about what’s going on in our lives. It’s surreal.
“I’ve always had a wild imagination and loved watching videos and pretending to be a part of the kinds of adventures the characters would get to go on.”