The Evolution Of Margot Robbie Is Something To Behold

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Twenty-four years following a scandal that rocked the world, Margot Robbie takes on the role of figure skater Tonya Harding in a behind-the-scenes story that will have you questioning what’s real, what’s fake, and how much we truly know about the controversial figures who become cultural lightning rods. I, Tonya hits theaters January 5. Grab your tickets HERE.
You wouldn’t discover much about the Margot Robbie by scrolling through her Instagram account. Over the past five years, she’s posted only 112 times. Traces of her personal life are scant. What we know of Robbie, instead, comes through her acting oeuvre, and her candid, personal interviews.
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Robbie’s ascent to fame has been rapid and unforgettable. After appearing alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street in 2013, it seemed suddenly, the Australian actress was everywhere. With I, Tonya, Robbie’s career has reached new heights. Not only did Robbie produce I, Tonya – she also garnered a Golden Globe nomination for her work playing disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding.
Here’s how Robbie has gotten to a place in her career in which she's not just starring in great films — she's controlling the direction of the films, too.
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She started off in an Australian soap opera — just like many of your other favorite Aussie actors.

Robbie grew up on a farm on Australia’s Gold Coast. At 17, she moved to Melbourne to pursue her acting career. Robbie’s first significant role was playing Donna Freedman on Neighbors, an Australian soap opera that centers on residents of a Melbourne suburb. Robbie landed the role by boldly calling the casting agent and introducing herself — and the risk paid off. She was on Neighbors for three years and appeared in over 300 episodes. In 2011, Robbie departed in order to elevate her career to the next level. “I want to go to America; it's always been my goal to work in Hollywood. It's the one stage in my life where I have absolutely nothing holding me down,” she told TV Week.

Since its inception in 1985, Neighbors has established a reputation as a launching pad for Australian talent. In addition to Robbie, Russell Crowe, Liam Hemsworth, Chris Hemsworth, Guy Pearce, Natalie Imbruglia, Alan Dale, and Kylie Minogue all appeared on the show before achieving more widespread fame.
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Her first American role was in a critically acclaimed, but quickly cancelled, show called Pan Am.

In 2011, Robbie was cast as Laura Cameron in Pan Am, an ABC drama about 1960s airline stewardesses. The show was poised to be an intelligent addition to the the many period shows cropping up in the wake of Mad Men’s success. Ratings quickly dropped, however, and ABC decided to pivot hire a new crew of writers and give the show a soapier tone. “You’re like, ‘What? That’s so not what the show was going to be,” Robbie told the Washington Post of the experience, years later. The series was cancelled after only 14 episodes.
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Her career in film kicked off in a big way in 2013, when she starred in two movies.

The first was About Time, time-traveling romantic comedy directed by Richard Curtis, and you should watch it.

The second, you probably know: Robbie played Naomi Lapaglia, Jordan Belfont’s second wife, in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street. Robbie received wide acclaim for her work. Richard Brody of The New Yorker said her Brooklyn accent deserved an Oscar.

Robbie has continued to be a part of Wall Street-centric pop culture projects since. She had a cameo in The Big Short, and in December 2017, Robbie’s production company, LuckyChap Entertainment, sold a TV show about three women working on Wall Street to NBC. Shattered Glass is described as “House of Cards meets Revenge.”
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Ever since Wolf of Wall Street, Robbie has had steady roles in big Hollywood films.

After Wolf, Robbie was swarmed with offers to play similar characters. She turned them all down. "You could read a script and almost pull them out and nothing else would be affected. Like if you pulled out that card, the card castle wouldn't come tumbling down, and that's not that exciting to me," she told The Hollywood Reporter.

Instead, she diversified, and chose roles based on her mantra for her career: "Quality, versatility and longevity." In the past few years, Robbie has covered almost every genre. She's been in sweeping WWII period pieces, like Suite Francaise (2014), where she met her husband Tom Ackerley. She's been in post-apocalyptic survival thrillers, like Z for Zachariah (2015). She played a con artist in the crime comedy Focus (2015), which starred Will Smith.

2016 was a particularly big year for Robbie. She was in three high-profile movies, including Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, The Legend of Tarzan, and mostly notably, Suicide Squad. Robbie played Harley Quinn, inspiring half of the Halloween costumes you probably saw in 2016.
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Suicide Squad elevated Robbie to fame — which, for Robbie, hasn't always been pleasant.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Robbie told a hypothetical actress about how her life would change after starring in a comic book film as big as Suicide Squad, revealing her own experiences in the process.

"You're about to be in a comic book film; now here's the worst-case scenario of how big and scary it can get. There's just all this stuff you learn along the way, like, when you get those death threats, it's [smart] to have a security team do a background check on whoever sent them to see if there is any past history of violence because you'll need to know whether you need security to go to certain events. And every time you do a background check, it's going to cost $2,000, so take that into consideration when you're getting yourself into this," she said.

After Suicide Squad, Robbie had to consciously choose roles that could support the security that was now necessary. "You need to always do a job that can financially support that lifestyle; you can't just do indie films for the rest of your life because that film back there changed everything and now you have to be able to afford security," she continued.
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Robbie has been involved in I, Tonya from the very start.

I, Tonya was actually produced under Robbie's own production company, LuckyChap Entertainment, which she founded with her husband and a few other friends in 2014. LuckyChap has about 12 more film and TV projects in development.

Allison Janney, Robbie's co-star in I, Tonya, explained why Robbie's career ambitions align with Katharine Hepburn's more than anyone else. "Katharine put together The Philadelphia Story because she wasn't getting the parts that she wanted, and that's what Margot did. She was going to be typecast as this beautiful young thing, and she wanted to find interesting roles for herself and for other women, so she took the bull by the horns and she formed this company," she told The Hollywood Reporter.
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Robbie had experience ice skating long before I, Tonya.

Robbie is actually obsessed with ice hockey. Growing up in Australia, she always wanted to play — but there was no ice in her coastal town. When she moved to the U.S., she joined a team and began to support the New York Rangers.

“I’m definitely the worst on the team. I’m not so good at the ice skating part. The hockey is good, but the ice skating I need to work on,” she told Film.com.

Robbie’s ice skating skills have probably improved since I, Tonya, given that she trained with Harding herself for the role.
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So, what's next?

Harley Quinn will probably take up a lot of Robbie's time. There's the Suicide Squad sequel, and then the Harley Quinn spin-off that Robbie has been working on herself. The sequel will be far more woman-centric than the original movie. "I want to see her with other women," Robbie explained to MTV. "I kept saying when we were shooting Suicide Squad, ‘She needs her girlfriends. She needs other girls around her because she loves that.’ And you see it in the comics, she loves meeting people, any people, but she needs a little girl gang.”

Robbie has many upcoming film projects. She'll be in the thrillers Dreamland and Terminal. She'll also be playing two iconic figures: Marian of the Robin Hood legends in the movie Marian, and Queen Elizabeth in the 2018 movie Mary, Queen of Scots.

In far-off 2019, Robbie is rumored to be appearing in a Quentin Tarantino project set during the Charles Manson murders in 1969 L.A.
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