DEADLINE – It has been a dizzying ascent for Margot Robbie, from the Australian soap opera Neighbours to Hollywood, with roles in the TV series Pan Am and in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. But she truly announces herself as an actress with chops, and a chance to medal this awards season, with I, Tonya. In the Craig Gillespie-directed film, Robbie soars as the scandal-scarred US Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding. She turns an historically vilified white trash tabloid figure into a defiant underdog antihero, who threw up a finger to skating judges when they ignored her superior physical skills and resisted Harding as the image of their sport.
Pushed as a child by a hard-edged mother as stingy with praise as she was generous with open-hand slaps (played hilariously by Allison Janney), Harding’s story previously belonged to the gossip hounds in the tabloids. Despite winning the 1991 US Championships when she became the first woman to successfully execute the gravity-defying triple axel, Harding’s place in sports history is one of ignominy because of her suspected complicity in the clumsy attempt by her abusive husband Jeff Gillooly (played by Sebastian Stan) to hobble her elegant rival Nancy Kerrigan before the 1994 Winter Olympics. Harding received a lifetime ban by the US Figure Skating Association, after pleading guilty to a charge of hindering the prosecution in the attack on Kerrigan.
Despite the string of roles that have followed Wolf—such as her turn as Harley Quinn, the bright spot of Suicide Squad, which she will reprise in sequels—I, Tonya is the first film to rest solely on Robbie’s shoulders. She plunges into the portrayal of an unglamorous, dirt-poor and defiant woman, who sewed her own costumes and applied her own makeup (harshly) for the sport she believed in. And Robbie captures the frightful intensity—and the ultimate tragedy—of the character she plays. It’s this kind of expert understanding of character that may have prompted Quentin Tarantino to pursue Robbie for the role of Sharon Tate in his next film, and it puts her squarely into the Oscar conversation this year.
Gold may have eluded Tonya Harding on the ice, but she may have one more shot on Oscar night.
(Read the rest of the interview at the source!)
In the gallery you can find an outtake from the Deadline Contenders portraits session, and digital scans from Deadline Oscar Preview: Actresses Issue! Enjoy 🙂
Magazine Scans > From 2017 > November 29: Deadline Magazine Oscar Preview: Actresses Issue [+6]