Bryan Cranston, Armie Hammer, Robert Pattinson, Diane Kruger, Margot Robbie and Octavia Spencer sat down before a studio audience for The Hollywood Reporter’s inaugural movie star summit about their craft, the cons of social media and how one ended up with a severed human foot.
After two decades of awards-season roundtables gathering Hollywood’s top creative talents for frank, funny and memorable conversations, THR this year decided to throw out the rule book for the final star-studded sit-down of 2017: Instead of splitting up male and female actors (as almost all honors do, from the industry-establishment Oscars to the indie-minded Spirit Awards), the Dec. 7 discussion at West Hollywood’s Quixote Studios was a co-ed affair. And instead of taking place in a clinically silent, closed studio environment, it was conducted before a live audience of Hollywood insiders who took in the proceedings with laughs (especially at 61-year-old Last Flag Flying star Bryan Cranston’s impish one-liners), sighs (at the cautiously hopeful comments about sexual harassment in Hollywood from In the Fade’s Diane Kruger, 41, and The Shape of Water’s Octavia Spencer, 47) and a few gasps (mostly to do with I, Tonya’s Margot Robbie, 27, and a severed foot — read on). These stars, together with Call Me by Your Name’s Armie Hammer, 31, and Good Time’s Robert Pattinson, 31, didn’t let the 200 people watching cramp their conversational style — they’re actors, after all — as they animated one of the most competitive awards seasons in memory with a lively back-and-forth about the craft that unites them and the kind of artists, leaders and mentors they want to be.
This is the first time THR has mixed male and female actors on the same roundtable. So what is an issue that you have always wanted to discuss with actors of the opposite sex?
BRYAN CRANSTON Have you worked with someone you’ve despised?
OCTAVIA SPENCER I have. But I was only on the set for one day so … (Laughter.)
ARMIE HAMMER ’Cause you got fired?
SPENCER When a person looks past you and doesn’t address you and they close the door in your face, it’s like, “I hate you with all of my heart.” And, you know, that person is a miserable person. Years later I met that person again.
DIANE KRUGER Did you tell him?
SPENCER No. They literally walked up to me as if they had been kind, and I’m like, “No.”
MARGOT ROBBIE I normally avoid conflict at all costs. I haven’t worked with an actor whom I’ve despised, but I have worked with someone on the production side who — I didn’t appreciate the way they spoke about me in front of groups. It took me a couple of months, but I plucked up the courage and pulled him aside and said, “You’re discrediting what I do when you speak to me like that.” He was really great about it.
CRANSTON “And you’re fired.”
ROBBIE And I never worked again.
ROBERT PATTINSON It’s a weird thing because as soon as you have to be asserting yourself to a director, it kind of breaks the fourth wall. It’s not supposed to be you when you walk on to set. So I always try and avoid [conflict], and hopefully they’ll just see what they’re doing is wrong. (Pauses.) It never, ever, ever works. (Laughter.) It just gets worse and worse. But it completely throws me off if I have to say, “Hey, this is my process.” It’s like, I don’t know what my process is, there just needs to be some kind of understanding that you’re trying to do something good, you’re not just messing around.
CRANSTON You know, it’s not imperative that you get along with your co-stars; it’s like your in-laws — it just makes things easier. And so you make an effort to get to know them and to know how they work, because every actor works differently.
HAMMER The longer I do this, the more I find that’s just as pivotal a part of doing your job as having your lines down, knowing your character. Because you can have your process, but if you can’t fit your process into the organic process that is the project, then it doesn’t do you any good. You have to figure out how to do what you want to do while also not fucking up somebody else’s process.
Full interview: hollywoodreporter.com
Jake Gyllenhaal compared his zany character Dr. Johnny from “Okja” to Margot Robbie’s take on the popular villain Harley Quinn in “Suicide Squad.”
“Can you imagine if Dr. Johnny met Harley Quinn?” he asked. “I feel like we wore the same shorts, maybe.”
“You stole my outfit? I knew this was going to happen, get your own outfit,” Robbie joked.
When Robbie asked Gyllenhaal if he thought of himself as a character actor, Gyllenhaal said that audiences’ polarized reception to his character is “exactly where I want to be.”
“I remember walking out in the outfit in New York City, because we had been shooting in Korea and I had been wearing the crazy outfit, and I remember walking out and everyone was like, ‘You know there are paparazzi out there,’” he said. “And I was like, ‘This is how I’ve always wanted to look in front of photographers.’ It just feels like you want to make bold choices that throw things off for yourself and you also throw things off for others.”
Robbie noted that she’ll reprise the role of the Joker’s crazy girlfriend next year and said that she loves the role and other characters because “every character I play, I don’t feel like myself and that’s why I like doing it.”
“It’s so weird when people want to know about you because you’re like, wait, my whole job is not being me. Me? I don’t know, I’m boring. But, like, these characters are amazing, ask about them,” she said. “Harley’s one of those insane characters and people do seem to really like her, so I hope I get to keep playing her.”
Robbie also pointed out that they shared a connection in that both actors have worked with director David Ayer and told Gyllenhaal that “End of Watch,” which Ayer directed and Gyllenhaal starred in, is one of her favorite films.
“The reason I signed on for ‘Suicide Squad’ was because I love ‘End of Watch’ so much and I saw it about four times at the cinema,” she said.
Margot Robbie and her husband Tom Ackerley sure do make a dreamy pair. When Vogue Australia’s deputy editor Sophie Tedmanson travelled to New Mexico to interview Robbie for the December 2017 issue, the close bond between the couple was obvious. Now based in Los Angeles, they had decamped to an Airbnb mansion in Albuquerque while their production company, LuckyChap, was filming in the area.
Last December, Robbie and Ackerley exchanged vows before 50 of their closest friends and family in an intimate ceremony in Byron Bay. To mark the occasion—and probably diffuse the many rumours around the nuptials—Robbie posted one of the cheekiest celebrity wedding Instagrams ever. Not surprisingly to us, the photo of her sticking her ring finger up to the camera went viral.
“It’s crazy,” Robbie says in the new interview. “I’ve seen so many other people on Instagram announce their engagement that way now. It’s kind of funny, so bizarre.”
Opening up about married life, the Australian actress reveals that not much has changed now that she can call the British director, who she met on the set of Suite Française, her husband. “We were best friends and roommates before and now we’re like best friends and roommates still, so nothing’s really changed at all,” she says.
“Other than the fact that I get to wear this on the weekends,” she adds, speaking of her pear-shaped diamond ring. “I can’t obviously wear it during the week when I’m working–I don’t want to lose it on set.” And when she can’t wear her ring, at least she and Ackerley can wear matching pyjamas. Couple goals indeed.