Whose that girl? Margot Robbie

ShoesandDrama.com | Who's that girl: Margot Robbie

YOU know you’ve hit the acting big time when Martin Scorsese asks you to sit next to him at his 70th birthday party, which is exactly what happened to Margot Robbie – the leading lady in the director’s critically acclaimed The Wolf of Wall Street.

“I remember getting there and his assistant told me, ‘You’re sitting right there, next to Marty.’ This is a room filled with people like Daniel Day-Lewis and Spielberg,” Robbie told us. “I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’ I have an irrational fear that I’m going to have a gruesome and untimely death because so many wonderful things are happening to me. It’s almost too good to be true; maybe I’ll die in a year’s time and I’ll think, ‘Oh that’s why I won the lotto so early, I had to get the good stuff out of the way.”

Robbie’s ascent to cinema stardom has been a relatively quick ride. Born in Australia, the 23-year-old has been professionally acting since 2008, starting out on Australian television – mostly notably in Neighbours - before landing a part on retro-chic television show Pan Am. Next up was a role in Richard Curtis’s latest rom-com About Time, then arose an audition for Scorsese’sThe Wolf Of Wall Street - a biopic about infamous American banker Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), whose money laundering and fraud saw him become one of the world’s most successful traders, but eventually led to a prison sentence, drug addiction and two divorces. With about as much moral fibre as a Nineties version of Dorian Gray, Belfort spends his ill-gotten money on coke, hookers and wild parties. Robbie was asked to play Belfort’s second wife, a seductive character with a taste for money, who in the film uses her sexuality to control and manipulate her husband. It has been well-documented that, initially, Robbie didn’t want to even audition, because she didn’t want to play a role that she couldn’t understand or relate to.

ShoesandDrama.com | Who's that girl: Margot Robbie

ShoesandDrama.com | Who's that girl: Margot Robbie

“I tried to find the justifications for her behaviour,” said Robbie. “You have to like your character, which was my biggest problem when I first read the script – I didn’t like her. I sat down with Jordan’s real second wife, who was called Nadine, and told her that,  although I wasn’t basing the character on her, I wanted to hear her version of events. I asked her what they fought about; did you get upset about the hookers? She was very straightforward and she said, ‘I didn’t give a shit about the hookers – having sex with me was always going to be better.’ So I went on, ‘Fair enough, but if you weren’t fighting about the hookers then what were you fighting about?’ She said, ‘The drugs. He was a drug addict and I had babies in the house. Why would I want him round my kids?’ Then something just clicked, that’s my motivation – she would do anything for her kids.”

ShoesandDrama.com | Who's that girl: Margot Robbie

Robbie describes filming as “a never-ending party and you never wanted to go home”. She stars in some candid sex scenes, including one where she provocatively teases her husband in their baby’s nursery, while calling him Daddy – which was also her audition scene.

“Can you imagine how awkward that was? I had to rehearse the scene with my manager, poor poor Dylan, before the audition – that must have been a gruelling day for him,” she said. “I was in his office for hours asking to do the take again, while he was probably thinking, ‘Dear God, this is so uncomfortable.’ Then walking into a room, meeting Leo and saying, ‘Hi, it’s nice to meet you, let’s do the nursery scene.’ By the time we got round to shooting that scene, we knew what we were doing, but it was always going to be a daunting scene to shoot.”

So far The Wolf Of Wall Street has been nominated at the BAFTAs and was celebrated last night at the Golden Globes, when Robbie’s co-star DiCaprio won Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. The actress herself presented the Best Motion Picture for a Musical or Comedy award with Jonah Hill, and both were forced to improvise after the teleprompter broke (the prize went to the cast of American Hustle). Her life is set to change in a drastic way, as her name becomes more well-known, but she doesn’t seem concerned just yet.

“I feel as if I’ve stayed the same, but everything around me changed,” she says. “I don’t know why, but I expected to wake up in a different body – thankfully that hasn’t happened. Doing this film was a big career decision to make – once you go down this path you have to take the good and the bad. You can’t just be an indie actor after that and be anonymous, but I’ll never regret making this decision.”

Vogue UK