Margot for gold | HuffPost



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NEW YORK – When Margot Robbie read the script for "Yo, Tonya," she badumed it was a work of fiction.

"I never heard of the incident, I never heard any of their names," he told HuffPost during an interview at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York earlier this month. "[It was] just written as if it were a false documentary style, then I discovered that it was a true story, completely true, and that surprised and captivated me".

How Robbie missed the international coverage of American figure skater Tonya Harding, who was accused of being involved in a vicious attack on her skater Nancy Kerrigan before the 1994 Winter Olympics – is anyone's guess. But then, she was 3 years old at the time, growing up in a small town in South Queensland, Australia. That could explain why she was surprised by the real-life plot of her new buzzing movie.

The producer and actress is earning praise for her crude portrayal of Harding, who was described as a ruthless rival after the horrific incident in Detroit. "I, Tonya" narrates the scandal of Kerrigan, although with the objective of showing viewers who is really Harding and what kind of life he led during the height of his career.

Robbie was comfortable in a chair when I walked into his hotel room at Crosby last week to talk about Craig Gillespie's movie. His big blue eyes looked at me to greet me before quietly alerting his publicist of an incoming threat.

"There's a kind of paparazzi taking pictures down there," he said, pointing to the floor to ceiling windows of the room. I looked outside with the group, and, in fact, a paparazzi lurked on a staircase across the street. We closed the curtains and moved the chairs to the other side of the room, where Robbie could not be captured by a long lens.

"My friends will not walk with me through the airports," he said as we settled into our conversation. "You can see them a mile away, I can be walking somewhere and say there's a paparazzi behind the tree, and everyone says, 'No, no,' and I think, 'Trust me.' ; ".

Robbie has endured this kind of attention since moving to New York from Australia after landing a role in the short ABC series "Pan Am" in 2011. She was already a television celebrity in her home country, playing Donna in "Neighbors" for three years, so she badumed that she knew what was waiting for her in the Big Apple. She was wrong.


"[‘Pan Am’] was my first job in the United States, and it was very different from how television works in Australia." She recalled being particularly surprised by the "segregation between the cast and crew" of the program and the fact that the actors had their own trailers.

In "Vecinos", "we all had a big green room with the 30 cast members, we were together, 17 hours a day, day after day, all year long, we would make our tea where the team prepared their tea. It was never someone who came to you saying, "What can I bring you?" And suddenly there was an omelet chef in the United States and a chair with your name on it. 39; I do not want to sit alone, I want to sit down with everyone else! "# 19659002 After the cancellation of" Pan Am, "Robbie went to an audition after the audition, and eventually got a meeting with Martin Scorsese for his 2013 movie "The Wolf of Wall Street". She nailed "by dragging and giving Leonardo DiCaprio a slap in the face," Scorsese told Time of Robbie, who became the fierce wife of DiCaprio on the screen. "[It was] an improvisation that stunned us all"

"Obviously I was trying to make the transition to the world of roles, and I never went to that audition baduming I would get the part," Robbie told me. "I did not even like [Naomi Lapaglia] as a person when I auditioned for her, I did not understand her, she was a bit more two-dimensional on the page, she was written to be a kind of ruthless gold digger, cut when I actually got the paper and really I was seeing this character as someone to play with and with someone I needed to relate to: there was a lot of work to be done. "

Portraying dynamic and difficult women like Naomi is Robbie forte. Take Harley Quinn, for example. His turn as the supervillain "Suicide Squad" was a slight flash in an exaggerated movie that, well, failed. "Although there were still large parts that I had to fill myself, there was a lot of material to explode, and she was already quite multifaceted and multidimensional," he said of the character.


Before playing Harding in "I, Tonya", Robbie decided to immerse himself in old skating sequences, books and documentaries about the athlete from Portland, Oregon, in order to find a new angle in a story that the general public He badumed that he had resolved.

"I had an incredible amount of information to explode, but everything was seen through a very specific look, the challenge of this story was to try to turn it around and see the other side." I was on the side of the mirror seeing everything, I had no idea what was on the other side, and nobody seemed to be asking those questions. "

In January 1994, Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (played by Sebastian Stan) conspired with his friend Shawn Eckardt (Paul Walter Hauser), who hired Derrick Smith and Shane Stant to "eliminate" Kerrigan from the competition of skating. "Two days before the Olympic trials, Stant used a cane to hit Kerrigan off the ice in the knee before fleeing, and in the following months, Gillooly was charged with racketeering and Eckardt, Smith and Stant were charged. Of conspiracy to commit an badault in the second degree, and were sentenced to prison, meanwhile, Oregon judge Donald H. Londer charged Harding $ 160,000 in fines, donations and special costs for obstructing the investigation. of service to the community, she was sentenced to three years of probation and was forced to resign from the U.S. Figure Skating Association.

With this in mind, "Yo, Tonya" delved into Harding's forecast -scandal days; the story ranges from ages 15 to 44.

Robbie met Harding a week before filming began, and the actress made sure to reiterate that the person she created had no intention of imitating or undermining her. "She was incredibly understanding," Robbie said. Oddly enough, Harding was much more concerned about the actress' well-being, asking him about his ice skating training and how he was dealing with fame at such a young age.

"Suddenly seeing that person in real life in front of me was really strange, it was so surreal I spent six months preparing this character, I did nothing but think about Tonya, I saw each interview, each documentary a thousand times more. I had her playing constantly on my iPod, I had her voice in my head 24 hours a day. "


Robbie says that Harding finally gave his approval to the movie, but his mother, LaVona, who played Allison Janney beautifully, did not.

The mother-daughter relationship presented in the film sheds light on the abuse that Harding faced throughout his life and his skating career in the hands of LaVona. When I asked Robbie if LaVona had seen or shared his thoughts about "I, Tonya," Robbie revealed that the producers did not even know if Harding's mother was alive until recently.

"We could not find her, and Tonya did not know if she was still alive," the actress said, adding that Janney de LaVona's "genius" portrait was based on Harding's own memories and experiences. "Since then, Tonya's mother recently appeared on television and is doing interviews, and suddenly we realized that she is very much alive, but no, I have not met her yet and I do not have any contact with her."

The movie is not kind to LaVona or the way she treated her daughter. He is not necessarily kind to any of the characters.

"We went through a hundred directors," Robbie said. "We had our eyes on Craig for 'Lars and the Real Girl' and he really had achieved a specific tone in that movie, that dark comedy but you care"

For reference, "Lars and the Real Girl "follows a delirious young man (Ryan Gosling) who engages in an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet.

"He never approached the characters in the film like they were fools or tried to make a joke, even though they may have been doing something that, to us, seemed like a kind of madness." That was important, "he added. Robbie, "that someone approaches these characters as real people without judgment"


"Yo, Tonya" has already gained prestige, and Robbie's performance will surely continue to be celebrated in this awards season. When asked what she thinks of the whole rumor, the actress was as focused as they came.

"I just want people to watch our movie and listen to what they think of it, even if they do not like it, if they understand what we're doing, then I'm happy and I'm happy we did it. If it makes them question themselves, then that's all that matters, but really, the rest I just try to take with a grain of salt. "

Robbie's main goal these days is to find, produce and distribute films about women, for women, starring women and created by women. His production company, LuckyChap Entertainment, also aims to promote first and second time directors, with men in the equation as well.

After "I, Tonya," Robbie is producing and starring in "Terminal" and "Dreamland," both set for the 2018 releases. He also appears alongside the beloved prize-winner (and his "love for the lead actress") Saoirse Ronan in "Mary Queen of Scots" in 2018, in which Robbie plays Queen Elizabeth I.

"I was worried about playing Queen Isabel recently, too, because, again, a real life person , someone that everyone knows and who has already been portrayed by so many actresses. "I was terrified," he said.

Fortunately, someone gave him the advice he needed: "Forget about you," they said. "It's not about you, you're a vehicle for this character."

"That's exactly what you have to do," he told me.

Robbie wants to share that kind of lesson with newcomers trying to find their niches in the industry. Through LuckyChap, he has been meeting with younger actresses, proving what stories they want to tell.

"You do not have to wait until you've been doing this for 20 years before you can make a movie yourself, I like it, I'm 27. Do it, nobody will stop you."

"I, Tonya" is in theaters starting Friday.

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