VARIETY – Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”) and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Stronger”) sat down for a chat for Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” presented by Google Home, which airs Jan. 2 to Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. on PBS SoCal KOCE.
Margot Robbie: You’ve been in the business a lot longer than I have. Your first job was when you were 11?
Jake Gyllenhaal: Eleven.
Robbie: Was there a conscious choice to become an actor? If no one in your family was in the business, do you think you would have found your way into the business anyway? Or do you ever wonder what you’d be doing if you weren’t doing this?
Gyllenhaal: Absolutely. You ask those questions at different times. But I think that it’s this crazy blessing that is really a lot about luck, and that makes me feel very grateful. But being around this business my whole life, I think there are a lot of aspects that feel like family. I think we all come to this space one way or another to find different families. It’s interesting in thinking about these two characters [Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding and Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman]: They were both kind of thrust into the spotlight in a particular way — for your character, because of her choice and then also because of the event that happened.
Gyllenhaal: You have always been very clear about that. Separating those two.
Robbie: It’s bittersweet living outside of Australia, because I miss everyone so much, but the fact that they are so removed from it helps me keep my life and my work separate — even though they are intrinsically linked, because all I want to do is work all the time. But becoming famous at [Tonya’s] age without a support network around her, and without a clear distinction, I think would have been incredibly difficult.
Gyllenhaal: I think that’s true. I learned from Jeff that he didn’t ask for those things — he didn’t ask for the attention and to become that thing, but he has slowly evolved into being able to hold that idea for people.
Robbie: I was in tears in the moment when he’s at the Red Sox game and you can just see that he suddenly realizes the responsibility he has and the positive impact he can have on the people around him by just listening to their story and shaking their hand. And I was bawling by that part.