Happy birthday, Margot Robbie! As Margot turns 33, and with the nationwide hype surrounding her upcoming Barbie movie, now is the perfect time to celebrate one of our generation’s most iconic actresses.
Born in Dalby, Queensland, Australia, Margot started out her performing arts career in a different way than you’d expect: she attended circus school, receiving a certificate for trapeze at the age of eight. After graduating college, she moved to Melbourne where she pursued professional acting. With some independent films, commercials, and soap opera roles under her belt, she made her way to Hollywood.
Margot’s debut feature film was About Time (2013), a film about a young man who finds out he can time travel and hopes to change his past in order to live a happier future. Margot played his teenage love interest, and though the role was somewhat small, she captivated the screen with her brightness, beauty, and charm.
Her breakthrough role came later that year: Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street, in which she played Naomi Lapaglia, the wife of Wall Street maverick Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Seductive and flirtatious with big, bouncy blonde hair and a consistent lip-full of gloss, Margot easily could have resorted to a male-gaze-fabricated archetype in this role. Instead, she is unbelievably powerful, completely holding her own in a male-dominated narrative, at times literally bringing Belfort to his knees. She is also endlessly funny. In a film with Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s not often that someone else steals the show. Leave it to Margot to do so.
In a film with Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s not often that someone else steals the show. Leave it to Margot to do so.
Margot’s next role, which cemented her as a nationwide favorite in Hollywood, was Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. It’s been established that Margot is filled with endless charisma and charm, an element of Harley Quinn that she easily brought to life.
However, she also expertly portrayed the complexities of a woman teetering between madness and vulnerability. It only takes a quick tally of the sheer number of Harley Quinns on Halloween that year to establish how beloved Margot was in this role.
Margot later reprised that role in a film which starred Harley Quinn as the central character, Birds of Prey. It was in this film that Margot was able to fully display Harley’s zany humor as well as enter into a deep, nuanced exploration of her psyche.
In a review of the film, FF2 contributor Katusha Jin says: “Margot Robbie is absolutely ‘fantabulous’ and entirely convincing as this Phd ex-psychiatrist from the mental asylum. The way she embodies this crazy role is incredibly entertaining to watch, and the boldness is refreshing.”
Perhaps Margot’s most challenging role to date has been in I, Tonya. In the film, Margot plays the controversial figure skater Tonya Harding, taking us through her challenging life circumstances, from her humble beginnings, an abusive relationship with her mother, and the scandal which ultimately led to her downfall.
Margot’s Tonya is strong, tenacious and fiercely determined. Yet, at the same time, the sheer amount of raw emotion and vulnerability that Margot brings to the screen in this role has been matched by very few. Margot’s Tonya allowed the audience to empathize with a figure that had been so often vilified by the media. Not only that, but she actually trained in figure skating to play the role. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for this role.
Queen Elizabeth I was another role that showcased her tremendous range once again, this time shedding all notions of youth and beauty usually present in her on-screen appearances.
In 2018, Margot played Queen Elizabeth I opposite Saoirse Ronan’s Mary Stuart in Mary Queen of Scots. This was another role that showcased her tremendous range once again, this time shedding all notions of youth and beauty usually present in her on-screen appearances. In a review of the film, I stated that Margot plays a woman who is “at times, actually rather ugly.” Not a critique of the hair and makeup team, this is rather a testament to Margot’s ability to completely transform into a role.
These are only a few of the iconic roles that Margot has played over the last decade: some other films include Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Bombshell. She has racked up a total of two Academy Award nominations, five British Academy Film awards nominations, four Golden Globe Award nominations, and five Screen Actors Guild awards.
On July 21st, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie comes out in theaters, and no one could be more perfect than Margot to play the titular role. As always, she is sure to dazzle and amaze us, surprising us in ways we can’t even anticipate. Happy birthday Margot, there’s truly no one like you!
© Julia Lasker (7/2/2023) FF2 Media
LEARN MORE/DO MORE
Read Katusha Jin’s review of Birds of Prey here.
Read Julia Lasker’s review of Mary Queen of Scots here.
CREDITS & PERMISSIONS
Featured photo: MARGOT ROBBIE as Barbie in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “BARBIE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures. Copyright: © 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.