Margot Robbie, Babylon Star: “A wild freedom…” – Technikart

Playing superheroes badass while pinning roles with Tarantino or Scorsese on her CV, the Australian has become, in just ten years, THE most exciting Hollywood star. Today, Queen Margot returns with a crazy and immense film which should earn her a coronation at the Oscars. Interview.

Like Botticelli’s Venus, she arrives after 50 minutes in The wolf of Wall Street, and drives Leo DiCaprio’s character crazy. The Australian actress is 22 years old, and has made a few appearances in the cinema and in local series. Martin Scorsese’s film propels her into the stratosphere and Margot, very intelligently, refuses all the roles of sexy blondes that Hollywood tries to give her. She replies to Will Smith for Diversionthen explains in 68 seconds flat the principle of “securitized mortgages” in the financial crisis of 2008, all in a bubble bath, an uncredited appearance in the excellent The Big Shortbefore dismissing the viewer from a “Now fuck off! » If she accepts big things like Tarzan Where Suicide Squadshe excels in Me Tonya, about skater Tonya Harding, a funny and wicked killing game, with Margot as brilliant on skates as touching in her interpretation. A film she produces because in 2014 she founded her production company, LuckyChap Entertainment, with friends, including Tom Ackerley whom she married in December 2016. Taking her role as a producer very seriously, she does not just put her name on the credits and follows her films from A to Z, from conception to marketing (like Promising Young WomanOscar nominee).

The sequel is part of the story. Margot Robbie has a blast spinning guys in the Harley Quinn series Suicide Squadand continues with Quentin Tarantino (Once upon a Time… in Hollywood), where she finds Leo DiCaprio, then Scandalwith Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, and shows the immensity of her talent in an anthological scene, when the boss of Fox News asks her to raise her skirt, and we discover her destroyed face, her lost gaze.

After Quentin Tarantino, Margot Robbie returns to Hollywood. But this time, she is learning talkies.

We will find it in 2023 in Barbie, which she saved after the defection of Anne Hathaway, a film which she produced, and for which she hired Greta Gerwig for the screenplay and the direction. Then in a new pane ofOcean’s Eleven. But today she’s back in babylon, monster film on the beginnings of cinema. There’s Brad Pitt, a crazy cast, hundreds of extras, and yet, we only see her. It is hard to imagine how the Oscar could escape him in 2023.

Margot Robbie: Hi Mark!
Hello Margot. Let’s talk about babylon. On her first day on set, your character, actress Nellie LaRoy, jumps on the bar, sticks her hand down a cowboy’s pants, throws punches, and cries at will. Do you remember what you did for your first scene in vigilantyour first film in 2008?
wow (she is laughing) ! Before this one, I played at 17 in another small independent film, ICU, a serial killer story and like vigilant, it was never released theatrically. But I absolutely don’t remember what my first scene was. My God ! I only remember that I was incredibly happy to be on a movie set. It was a very small film, with even less means than a student film. And to think that today, I find myself in this huge machine, I shot on the biggest set imaginable. I have already acted in big super hero movies (she plays the Joker’s bride, Harley Quinn, in the Suicide Squadeditor’s note) and they were really big productions, very big sets, but babylon is beyond anything, in terms of production and ambition.

In the film, you constantly swear, you take handfuls of cocaine, you even fight with a rattlesnake: weren’t you afraid of tarnishing your image with such a wild character?
No, I loved that. She’s so spontaneous, she lives in the moment. She screams, she talks and laughs very loudly, she does a mano a mano with a rattlesnake, she takes tons of drugs: it’s incredibly funny, enjoyable to play, in fact, there is nothing cooler. But you know, when I found the script, I had no idea how I was going to play this. Even the day before the shooting of certain scenes, despite my preparation, I didn’t know how I was going to play the situation and I racked my brains to know how I was going to get out of it. How do you confront a rattlesnake, how do you throw yourself into the crowd, all without looking ridiculous? But when a scene is creepy, I go for it 150%, I totally go for it, it’s my method and it’s easier that way. Besides, for Nellie, you have to go all out. Anything less than 150% is just ridiculous.

Do you have anything in common with Nellie?
(She laughs) When I started preparing for my role, I saw no common point with her. But when my friends discovered the film, they found that there were quite a few similarities, probably because I put a lot of myself into my characters. But I assure you, we are still VERY different, thank God!

How did you prepare to play this character inspired by silent actress Clara Bow?
I spent quite a bit of time watching his films, but also watching the films that Damien advised me to see. And he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of cinema… I read everything about Clara, about the era of silent cinema, the 1920s. I also worked and rehearsed with several coaches. A coach for playing technique, a coach for accent, and I worked on the clown, to train myself to convey emotion without the use of words. It was very reassuring and it helped me a lot. And of course, for the first part of the film, I took dance lessons. Not just for the huge choreography at the start, I really spent a lot studying African dance. And that was fun!


Do you think that babylon about the 1920s or today?
It is of course a film about this era of Hollywood, with the desire to discover the Roaring Twenties as we have never seen them on screen. But babylon also talks about today; besides, I think that all period films also talk about the present, and deal with current issues.

Is it still so hard to be an actress in Hollywood these days?
It’s difficult in many ways. Was it harder back then, easier? There was an attitude, techniques and a freedom that we definitely don’t have anymore. But there was also a lot of horrible stuff going on, so… The industry has changed, it’s become less dangerous, extras don’t die anymore when you shoot a war movie (laughter). But what I regret, what is lost forever, is this freedom, a wild freedom of creators that we no longer have.

Damien Chazelle told me that you were ready for anything for the film, that you weren’t afraid of anything, that it was a dream to work with you.
How nice! But you know, it’s a dream to work with him. He encouraged me so much and gave me a lot of leeway to play Nellie. I was going all out and constantly, he was telling me to go even further, even harder. What joy !

You set up your production company, and you financed Me Tonya, Promising Young Woman, Barbie or the new Ocean’s Eleven… Is it to have total control over your career?
I started producing films in 2014 with a friend. It was not a question of producing films that would be “vehicles” for me, but rather of financing films with better female roles for all the actresses, films with female screenwriters, female directors. So it was a way to promote women in the film industry. I love every aspect of making a film, from pre-production to post-production, not to mention distribution and marketing. I love cinema, imagining, creating films. And doing this with friends, there is nothing better. It’s really hard work, extremely difficult, but it makes my brain work at full capacity, and I’m involved in the projects from writing to theatrical release, over several years. In short, I love to produce.

After your two Oscar nominations for Me, Tonya and Scandalare you ready for the Oscar next March?
(Laughter) I hope the film will work, attract attention, and the Oscars could do him good, that would be fantastic. But I think viewers are going to be bowled over by this film.

Interview Marc Godin
Pictures Scott Garfield

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Margot Robbie, Babylon Star: “A wild freedom…” – Technikart