VOGUE – MARGOT ROBBIE ALWAYS thought that once she was a good enough actor, she would write Quentin Tarantino a letter. Just to get on his radar. Or at least to let him know how much his movies meant to her. She was sure people must tell him that all the time. But still. “I’ve always been a huge—huge—Tarantino fan,” she tells me one afternoon in Los Angeles. “I love his movies. Love them.” After Robbie watched the first cut of I, Tonya, the 2017 biopic about figure skater Tonya Harding, which Robbie produced and starred in, she decided she was finally good enough. (The performance would earn her an Oscar nomination.) “So I wrote him and said, ‘I adore your films, and I would love to work with you in some capacity. Or any capacity.’ ”
When Tarantino received Robbie’s letter, he’d recently finished the script for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a romp through the movie industry of the late 1960s, which opens this month. Friends who’d read the script had already asked if he’d be casting Robbie in the role of Sharon Tate, the actress, wife of Roman Polanski, and most famous victim of the Manson murders. Then Robbie’s letter arrived. The timing was spooky enough that Tarantino thought they should meet. Soon Robbie was sitting at the director’s kitchen table, reading the script. Robbie is a careful reader; it took her four hours. Tarantino would occasionally pop in to offer her food or a Victoria Bitter, an Australian beer. When I later ask Tarantino what made Robbie right for the role, he tells me, “Margot looks like Sharon Tate. . . . And she can convey Sharon’s innocence and purity—those qualities are integral to the story.”
Tarantino’s film is about the end of Hollywood’s Golden Age, but Robbie, who is 28, has come to represent so much of what’s new. As an Australian soap actress, she entered Hollywood being typecast. She played the bronzed, gold-digging beauty in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, the hot blonde explaining mortgage bonds from a bubble bath in 2015’s The Big Short, and Jane following Alexander Skarsgård’s Tarzan into the Congo. But it turned out Robbie wanted more than these roles. It turned out she wanted to put on a fat suit for I, Tonya and to cover her face in boils for Mary Queen of Scots and to produce female-driven projects via her production company, LuckyChap Entertainment. Part of the charm in Robbie’s Tarantino story is that it—like the film itself—sounds very old Hollywood: An aspiring actress writes a fan letter to an auteur director in hopes of getting cast in one of his nostalgia-loving films. But Hollywood is changing, and while Robbie may have arrived at the end of an era, she is now among the women ushering in a new one.
Today we’re on the set of Birds of Prey, a spin-off of 2016’s Suicide Squad that Robbie developed and pitched to Warner Bros. as an R-rated, female-led superhero action film—a commercialized product of new Hollywood if ever there was one. “I think there’s a perception that a PG female-led action film is kind of considered a chick flick,” says Robbie.
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W MAGAZINE – Margot Robbie and Michael B. Jordan seem to effortlessly check all the movie star boxes: Megawatt charm? Check (those smiles!). Actor clout? No problem (having Martin Scorsese and Ryan Coogler launch their respective careers can’t hurt). Lucrative blockbuster movie franchises? Yep, that too (Robbie in Suicide Squad and Jordan in Creed, with a memorable detour into Wakanda). So, as it turns out, they have a lot to talk about—and not just about fame and their good fortune. Here, as part of our annual Best Performances portfolio, Robbie, who starred in the recent palace-intrigue period drama Mary Queen of Scots, and Jordan, who returned in Creed 2 and dominated the screen in Black Panther this year, sit down with W’s Editor at Large Lynn Hirschberg to share not only how it is they make morally questionable villains like Harley Quinn and Killmonger into magnetic antiheroes, but also their totally embarrassing early email addresses, their most memorable red carpet fashion faux pas, and their frankly amazing first kiss stories.
So Michael, what’s the first album you ever bought?
Michael B. Jordan: First album? Ah, man, that’s a good one.
Margot Robbie: Oh, that is a good one.
Jordan: I want to say, on cassette tape… um, Usher’s My Way.
Robbie: That’s a good answer.
Jordan: You’re taking me back. I want to say I rode my bike to the music store that was, like, down the street.
What was the first album you ever bought, Margot?
Robbie: I think the first album I bought was, um, AFI’s Sing the Sorrow. I was in a bit of a heavy metal phase. But I think the first single I bought was Blink 182, “All the Small Things.”
Jordan: Okay. So the heavy metal. Are you still in that phase or did you pass that?
Have you ever gone through a heavy metal phase, Michael?
Jordan: I have not.
Jordan: But electric guitar solos are my thing. Like, I love, the Ernie Isleys of the world, the “Who’s That Lady” solo is pretty incredible. [Michael Jackson’s] “Dirty Diana” is pretty good.
Do you play air guitar?
Jordan: Air guitar? All day. [Laughs.]
Robbie: I can air guitar. That’s about the extent of my musical prowess, really.
Michael, did you box before Creed?
Jordan: I never officially boxed but karate, martial arts, and stuff like that. And then I kinda segued into boxing.
And you, Margot, have you ever boxed?
Robbie: I’ve done a bit of boxing, yeah—mainly to prepare for fight training, like stunt work. And I really, really like it. I have stupidly long arms, like, they’re too long for my body. So actually it’s kind of good when you’re boxing.
Jordan: The reach is incredible.
Robbie: An extra long reach. And it looks good on camera. Having long limbs on camera makes your punches—
Jordan: Your punch is a little wider, yeah, yeah, yeah. She knows what she’s talking about.
PORTER MAGAZINE – From the moment Margot Robbie walks into République on South La Brea in Los Angeles – speeding through the early-morning crowd like a blond bullet – it’s clear who rules her roost. Maybe it’s her age, a millennial 28. But there’s more. The messages I get from her team asking what I look like, what I’m wearing, where I’m sitting, if I’m OK waiting a couple of minutes longer than scheduled, coupled with her immediately apologizing for the delay, even before she sits down, and then apologizing again how she feels terrible she won’t be asking me any questions – as in, having a normal conversation like regular human beings do – is unusual. It turns the attention onto you, the interviewer, rather than Robbie, the star, and in Hollywood, that is as rare as rocking-horse manure.
Robbie tucks into my breakfast. It’s OK, I tell her she can. I had half-offered to pick hers up from the counter when she arrived (we are at the very back – as requested by her team – of a very large space that used to be Charlie Chaplin’s studio, and where there is no table service), but because she’s a millennial she can hear my thoughts and says absolutely not. And because I am not a millennial I immediately push my plate of ricotta French toast with seared peaches, pomegranate and toasted nuts, towards her. Eat mine, I say. I like that she’s eating my breakfast. Not many actresses would.
There is something very sweet-natured and endearing about Robbie – the way her demeanor rearranges itself into ‘serious Margot’ when my questions start; how she sits up straighter and eagerly looks me in the eye. “You are here to do your job,” she says, “and I respect that.” She’s also a natural grafter. When she was growing up in Gold Coast, Australia, young Robbie, like children the world over, sold lemonade on the street with her friends. Unlike most kids, she was fierce with the pricing. When I ask her how her mother would describe her, she says “determined”. I would also add, ridiculously pretty. But leaving it at that doesn’t paint the whole picture of someone who also unexpectedly oozes class. There’s nothing specific – she’s in a loose pale-beige linen salopette, white vest and patterned damask slippers with two thin gold chokers, wound tightly around her neck, and twisted hoop earrings – she just possesses that undefinable, un-buyable, it.
Looks aside, few would disagree that she is an exceptional actress, who increasingly surprises with her role choices – her comic and satisfyingly satirical take on US figure-skater Tonya Harding in 2017’s I, Tonya (which she also produced) scored her the trifecta of Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for Best Actress. And she surprises again with her new movie, Mary Queen of Scots, in which she plays an initially thoughtful but increasingly hardened and uncompromising Elizabeth I, to Saoirse Ronan’s softer and more renegade Mary. As with I, Tonya, her MQOS character is ugly-fied to a degree that will enrage those viewers who still haven’t recovered from that scene in The Wolf of Wall Street, where, sitting on the floor of a child’s nursery with her legs slowly parting, she exquisitely taunts Leonardo DiCaprio with the words: “Mommy is just so sick and tired of wearing panties.”
Margot is featured in the December/January issue of Harper’s Bazaar. We have added beautiful outtakes from the issue along with the cover to the gallery! We will add scans as soon as we get the issue! Enjoy!
Photoshoots & Portraits > 2018 > Session 14 | Harper’s Bazaar
HARPER’S BAZAAR – There were days when Margot Robbie would walk out of the makeup trailer on the set of her new film, Mary Queen of Scots, and castmates couldn’t bear to look at her. I’d say, ‘Hey, how’s your weekend?’ ” says the 28-year-old actress, in her best exaggeration of her native Australian Gold Coast accent. “But they wouldn’t even get close to me. It was very alienating. And I felt very lonely. It was an interesting social experiment.”
Her transformation into Queen Elizabeth I, who was scarred by smallpox as a young woman, took three and a half hours of intensive hair and makeup every day. “They’d start with a head wrap,” says Robbie. “Gelling and pinning my hair down. Then we’d do a bald cap.” There were different wigs for different stages of the story and her illness, one that was very thinning, and prosthetic scarring applied to her face. “Surprisingly, the quick part was the white makeup,” she says. “And the heavily drawn-on blush, eyebrows, lips.”
Such a transformation was no small feat, considering that the actress got her big-screen break playing a character described as “the hottest blonde ever” in Martin Scorsese’s 2013 drama, The Wolf of Wall Street. But Robbie, who currently serves as a face of Chanel, refused early on to be typecast by her beauty. “When I was trying to make my name as an actress, creative roles for women were limited,” she says of her decision to form her own production company, LuckyChap Entertainment, in 2014. “I didn’t want to pick up another script where I was the wife or the girlfriend— just a catalyst for the male story line. It was uninspiring.”
Interestingly, Mary Queen of Scots isn’t the first time Robbie has taken on a role that required her to actively make herself look worse on-screen. After all, who can forget the curled bangs, black eyeliner, and braces she donned to play disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in I, Tonya? “Margot is a very, very good actor who takes her work incredibly seriously,” says costar Saoirse Ronan, who plays Queen Mary in the film. “I don’t think looks even factor into it. Even when she has a glamorous role, she’s got this brilliant, strong presence, and part of that is because she’s a very sincere and authentic person. She’s very open. What you see is what you get.” (Read the rest of the interview at the source)
Margot is featured in the March issue of the German magazine Zeit – Issue 10. Digital scans from the issue together with outtakes from the photoshoot have now been added to the gallery, be sure to check them out!
THE ENVELOPE – “I, Tonya,” the Craig Gillespie-directed biopic about Tonya Harding, the figure skater banned from competition for life for her connection to a 1994 attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan, has brought its stars — Margot Robbie, who plays an unsinkable Harding, and Allison Janney, as her sharp-tongued mother, LaVona — Oscar nominations, critical acclaim and, not surprisingly, a newfound love for the Winter Olympics. “We’re watching men’s half-pipe,” reports Robbie, jet-lagged and talking via speakerphone while sitting alongside Janney in a London hotel room. “We’re just mesmerized.”
The pair were in town to attend the BAFTAs, where they were both nominees. Before heading off to a party, they took time out to talk about the film’s more nuanced examination of Harding’s life (domestic violence, the skating world’s contempt for her working-class roots), Janney’s annoying parakeet costar and the reaction Robbie, an “I, Tonya” producer, had during her initial reading of Steven Rogers’ script.
“It’s so easy to dismiss these characters and their feelings. But by the end of it, I was devastated, angry and frustrated for them. I’d laugh out loud at something, then immediately feel disgusted with myself that I found it funny,” says Robbie. “To be able to let those feelings creep up on you, instead of being told to feel them? That’s a real art form.”
HARPER’S BAZAAR AUSTRALIA – You couldn’t imagine two more opposite characters than Margot Robbie and Tonya Harding.
However the BAZAAR Australia March cover star was so convincing as the bad girl of ice skating that she hasn’t just floored critics and fans, she’s now also up for an Oscar.
No mean feat for an actress and producer who took on the project that had a small budget and an even smaller production schedule.
But I, Tonya is the little passion project that could for Robbie.
“As a producer I’m looking for amazing female roles,” she tells BAZAAR. “People in Hollywood are now making a conscious effort to provide female characters and female-driver content. But the next step is having female voices telling those stories, through female directors and writers.”
For her part as the leading lady and to morph into the first American woman to land a triple axel jump in competition, Robbie spent hours on the ice with choreographer Sarah Kawahara, who has, coincidentally, previously worked with Harding’s nemesis, Nancy Kerrigan. Despite also spending hours in the gym, Robbie was unable to push her petite frame to resemble Harding’s athletic form.
She also ages 29 years over the course of the film.
“We didn’t have a ton of money or time, so going down the prosthesis route daily to make my face shape and hairline resemble hers wasn’t an option,” she says. “So we altered our mindsets. We needed to embody her spirit.”
For Robbie that involved even more hours of training and studying with a movement coach and learning the Alexander Technique and the Animal Exercise, which focused on posture.
“Rolled shoulders, jutted jaw, heavy feet; Tonya was someone always on the defensive, but also searching for validation and affection, and she cared what people thought. Even though she pretended she didn’t,” Robbie says. (source)
Some outtakes from the beautiful Harper’s Bazaar Australia photoshoot have now been added to the gallery! More to come together with the scans as soon as we’ll get the issue! Enjoy for now 🙂
Margot is featured on the cover of the February issue of Elle. Outtakes have now been added to the gallery. Stay tunes for HQ scans!
ELLE – Margot Robbie is, yes, a knockout. But like the women she’s portrayed in her decade-long career—a trophy wife on a mission in The Wolf of Wall Street; a balls-to-the-wall war reporter in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot; the feisty, feminist Jane in The Legend of Tarzan; and, of course, Suicide Squad’s lovable lunatic criminal, Harley Quinn—the Aussie stunner is so much more than an ingenue. Below, find a preview of Robbie’s February cover interview with her I, Tonya co-star, Allison Janney, where she discusses her future as a director, the highlight of her career and what it was like playing Tonya Harding:
On fear of playing a real-life character: “…playing Tonya [Harding], who’s very much alive and is widely documented, can be more intimidating.”
On directing: “I still love acting. But I’ve spent the last 10 years on a film set, and I realized that if I am pouring my heart and soul into a film, I want to be one of those voices in the conversation making decisions.”
On the first highlight of her career: “When I got to New York for the first time, I took my first paycheck, walked straight into Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue, and bought an airplane charm that goes on my bracelet. It was the best feeling ever. I got my little blue box, and I got it for myself.”
On which skill she wants to master: “I recently bought fire-twirling poles, because I really want to get good at it. When I was backpacking in the Philippines, there were heaps of fire twirlers on the beach, and it was so cool. I was like, Wow, I really want to do that!”
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Figure skating’s most notorious character shares memories of the scandal that ended her career with the star who plays her — and reveals she’s back in training.
Margot Robbie waited until filming was just about to begin before she and director Craig Gillespie took a trip to Portland to have lunch with the woman she was about to play. Their second meeting came nearly a year later, when Tonya Harding joined Robbie on the red carpet for I, Tonya‘s Hollywood premiere. The following day, on Dec. 6, Robbie sat down with Harding, 47, for a wide-ranging conversation about the disgraced Olympian’s life now with her current husband, Joe, a heating and air conditioning specialist, and their 6-year-old son, Gordon, as well as the highs and lows of her days on the ice.
While Robbie switched between roles as interviewer and interviewee, Harding spoke candidly about her fraught relationships with both her ex Jeff Gillooly, who spent six months in prison following the 1994 assault on Harding’s then-rival Nancy Kerrigan, and her mother, with whom she’s been estranged since the early 2000s. At one point in the hourlong discussion, during which the former competitor revealed that she was back in training (she’s set to skate in an exhibition at Rockefeller Center in late January), a teary Harding thanked Robbie for not only telling her story but also providing her with closure. (Read the rest of the interview at the source)
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER An ingenue turns indie producer with the figure skating biopic ‘I, Tonya’ as she opens up about the downside of starring in ‘Suicide Squad’ (“Now you have to be able to afford security”) and maps out a plan for career longevity: “I don’t want to burn hard and fast and then disappear.”
Before Margot Robbie set out for Hollywood, an agent in her native Australia advised her to prepare to answer a question she’d inevitably be asked when she arrived.
“What do you want out of your career?”
Robbie, then 20 and starring in a local soap opera, took the advice seriously. She began scribbling pages and pages of notes before ultimately whittling her answer down to just three words: “Quality, versatility and longevity.” Nail the first two, she thought, and the third will follow.
Not a half decade later, Robbie had exploded into Hollywood with her breakthrough performance as the fiery wife of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort in the 2013 box-office smash The Wolf of Wall Street. She’d taken what could have been a forgettable role — described in Terence Winter’s script as the “hottest blonde ever” — and made something memorable out of it. She was promptly deluged with offers to play the “hot wife” or “hot girlfriend” of other A-list actors. Flattered as Robbie was by the sudden attention, such inessential characters didn’t fit into her career plan, and she turned nearly all of them down. “You could read a script and almost pull them out and nothing else would be affected,” she says now, between sips of tea on her back patio in Los Angeles. “Like if you pulled out that card, the card castle wouldn’t come tumbling down, and that’s not that exciting to me.” (Read the rest of the interview at the source)
Check the beautiful cover and photoshoot Margot (and Tonya) did for this Golden Globes 2018 issue of The Hollywood Reporter!
BRITISH VOGUE – Photographed by Juergen Teller and styled by Edward Enninful, the portrait of the duo sets the tone for the 20-page Hollywood portfolio within the editor-in-chief’s third issue of #NewVogue. Entitled “Best Performances”, the shoot celebrates the stars whose Oscar-worthy roles embody cinema’s new mood and Hollywood’s reevaluation of itself.
“When I first decided that Vogue should put together a star-filled portfolio featuring the biggest names in current cinema to mark the exceptional 2017/18 awards season,” Enninful said, “who knew Hollywood would soon be top of the global news agenda? It was clear to me that the mood needed to change. That it was time for honesty. Enter photographer Juergen Teller, my long-time collaborator and the world’s most gifted documenter of celebrity at its most intimate and off-duty. Over four days in Los Angeles, it was great to spend time with him and some of today’s amazing talents as they look to reshape how Hollywood does business in a post-Weinstein world, including cover stars Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman – two of the most straight-talking professionals I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.”
Of her ascendant career, Robbie told interviewer Lynn Hirschberg: “My family has no connection to the entertainment industry whatsoever, so when I started acting, everyone was like, ‘That’s fun, but when are you going to actually get a real job?’ And that went on for years. They’re impressed for five seconds, and then they’re, ‘So anyway, the dog threw up today.’”
W MAGAZINE – “When I was 6, my favorite film was Robin Hood: Men in Tights. It’s got a lot of adult jokes, and it was really inappropriate for a child to see. In school, they asked us, ‘If you were to make a potion, what would you put in it?’ Even then, I could recall lines of movies, and I said, ‘The testicles of a newt!’ I got called up to the front of the class and was asked why I put testicles in my potion. I had no idea what testicles were—I just loved the film.” (source)