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Margot Robbie‘s Harley Quinn was the unequivocal breakout from 2016’s infamously troubled Suicide Squad. David Ayer‘s 2016 antihero team-up movie took heat from fans and critics alike, but if there was one thing everyone agreed on, it was that Robbie stole the show as the fan-favorite Harley Quinn in the character’s long-awaited big-screen debut.

With next year’s Birds of Prey And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn Robbie’s scene-stealer shakes off the Skwad entirely — not to mention her powerfully terrible paramour Mistah Jay — with an R-rated girl gang movie that takes us back to Gotham through Harley’s eyes, in what director Cathy Yan describes as a “parallel timeline.” But she’s not forging ahead on her own. This time, Harley’s got a new squad; the Birds of Prey, and her on-screen team includes Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) for an adventure that teams the former villainess with some of Gotham’s most famed good guys for a battle against the nefarious Black Mask.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit the set of Birds of Prey at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, California, where I had a chance to glimpse the heightened, hyper-colorful world of Harley Quinn’s Gotham through the soundstage-spanning sets and the glitz and glammed up new costumes for the character (who’s become something of an icon of self-reinvention in the comics with her frequent makeovers). We also had a chance to sit down with Robbie during a break in filming, and as both star and producer on the film, she had plenty of insight into how the film was made, from her initial pitch to the studio on the Suicide Squad set, why she decided to bring in the Birds of Prey, settling on Yan as the right director, and embracing the female gaze. Plus, why it was liberating to bring Harley Quinn into an R-rated movie and breaking her free from the Joker.

You’re wearing so many hats with this, what was it about this story that really made you guys want to make this the Harley Quinn movie?
MARGOT ROBBIE
: Well, I first actually pitched the notion when we were actually still shooting Suicide Squad, cause I kept saying like, ‘Oh, Harley does so much better when she has people to play with.’ I kept thinking that in real life I had such a girl gang, like my group of girlfriends, and I just want Harley to have a girl gang. I just want it to be like a girl gang for Harley to be a part of. And then obviously I’d been reading a ton of the comics, anything involving Harley, and one of the separate line of comics is the Birds of Prey, which I started reading. And Harley’s not a traditional member of the Birds of Prey, but it was a fun kind of girl gang to kind of dip in and out of, I suppose.

We saw that Harley is going to have a hyena in this one, you talked about going into comics – so with the hyena and everything else, were there other things from the comics that you dove into that you wanted to make sure you brought into this one?
ROBBIE
: Yeah, there were a couple of like specific images I suppose that always stuck with me from the comics. I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say… Can I mention skates?… Her in a roller derby, for example, I was just like, ‘Ah!’ There’s a couple of visuals I was like, ‘If we could just incorporate this in some way, that’d be great.’ And yeah, her babies, her pet hyenas, definitely, and B.B. of course. I just love how she has such an eclectic group of friends, or loved ones, which I wanted to incorporate.

Can you talk about how this movie is a little bit of an emancipation for your character, to kind of breakaway?
ROBBIE
: Yeah. Yeah. So it’s always a question of what’s… something I explored a lot in Suicide Squad, the first film, was Harley’s co-dependence with The Joker, and obviously he has a huge influence on her. But obviously, she was very much in a relationship with him when we first saw Harley on screen in Suicide Squad. I did want to explore what is the version of Harley out of a relationship, and whether she’s out of the relationship on her own accord or if he kind of kicked her to the curb. It still affects her, but in a very different way, and I thought we’d see a very different facet of her personalities. ‘Personalities’ I would say, cause I think she has multiple.

Full interview: collider.com

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Margot Robbie took to Twitter to prepare for her role as a conservative news producer and aspiring broadcast journalist for Fox News in “Bombshell.”

Understanding her upbringing and her point of view on politics in the world, that really took me a minute,” Robbie says on today’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast.

She added, “Twitter was extremely helpful. I would follow these young, conservative girls who are very vocal with their beliefs and their political points of view. And that was fascinating because they’re my age. In some ways, we’d have a lot in common. And then, in other ways I was like, ‘We are living on totally different planets.’

While Charlize Theron stars in the Jay Roach-directed movie as Megyn Kelly and Nicole Kidman portrays Gretchen Carlson, Robbie plays Kayla, a composite character who represents all the women who were victims of sexual harassment and misconduct by late Fox News boss Roger Ailes. Robbie’s work could land her a second Oscar nomination after garnering her first nom for last year’s “I, Tonya.”

I was pretty rattled by the time I got to the end of [Charles Randolph’s] script, to be honest,” Robbie says. “And I knew long before I finished the script that I wanted to do it and be a part of it, just because I thought it was important to tell, and be a part of, and support in any way that I can. I hadn’t, for once, thought of the character first. I thought of the content and the messaging before kind of aligning myself with the character. That came next, was starting to understand Kayla.”

And then there’s Theron’s “insane” physical and vocal transformation to become Kelly. “The voice changed everything. It’s like she almost sat lower in her body with that voice. It altered everything and…you just lose her,” Robbie says, adding, “I really saw her disappear and she did … And she was producing at the same time. It’s not like she didn’t have one sole focus. She was being pulled in a million different directions and just handled it like a boss. She’s so impressive.

Robbie is currently shooting writer-director James Gunn’s “Suicide Squad” sequel in Atlanta, reprising her role as Harley Quinn. When I mention that her “Suicide Squad” co-star Joel Kinnaman raved about how funny he thinks the movie is going to be when he was a guest on “The Big Ticket” last month, Robbie says, “He’s right… You’re going to be laughing a lot. It’s going to be good is all I can say for now. It’s going to be very, very good.

But the next time fans will see Robbie as Harley is in her standalone movie “Birds of Prey.”

The story in ‘Birds of Prey’ is told from her point of view, so you have an insight into Harley’s world in a way that you didn’t in the first ‘Suicide Squad’ film, nor that you’ll have in the next ‘Suicide Squad’ film,” Robbie says. “It’s a little bonkers. It reflects her personality. It’s heightened. It’s poppy, it’s fun, it’s violent, it’s crazy. It’s absurd. It’s kooky. It’s hilarious. It’s a little heartbreaking.

Source: variety.com

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MARGOT ROBBIE ALWAYS thought that once she was a good enough actor, she would write Quentin Tarantino a letter. Just to get on his radar. Or at least to let him know how much his movies meant to her. She was sure people must tell him that all the time. But still. “I’ve always been a huge—huge—Tarantino fan,” she tells me one afternoon in Los Angeles. “I love his movies. Love them.” After Robbie watched the first cut of I, Tonya, the 2017 biopic about figure skater Tonya Harding, which Robbie produced and starred in, she decided she was finally good enough. (The performance would earn her an Oscar nomination.) “So I wrote him and said, ‘I adore your films, and I would love to work with you in some capacity. Or any capacity.’

When Tarantino received Robbie’s letter, he’d recently finished the script for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a romp through the movie industry of the late 1960s, which opens this month. Friends who’d read the script had already asked if he’d be casting Robbie in the role of Sharon Tate, the actress, wife of Roman Polanski, and most famous victim of the Manson murders. Then Robbie’s letter arrived. The timing was spooky enough that Tarantino thought they should meet. Soon Robbie was sitting at the director’s kitchen table, reading the script. Robbie is a careful reader; it took her four hours. Tarantino would occasionally pop in to offer her food or a Victoria Bitter, an Australian beer. When I later ask Tarantino what made Robbie right for the role, he tells me, “Margot looks like Sharon Tate. . . . And she can convey Sharon’s innocence and purity—those qualities are integral to the story.”

Tarantino’s film is about the end of Hollywood’s Golden Age, but Robbie, who is 28, has come to represent so much of what’s new. As an Australian soap actress, she entered Hollywood being typecast. She played the bronzed, gold-digging beauty in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, the hot blonde explaining mortgage bonds from a bubble bath in 2015’s The Big Short, and Jane following Alexander Skarsgård’s Tarzan into the Congo. But it turned out Robbie wanted more than these roles. It turned out she wanted to put on a fat suit for I, Tonya and to cover her face in boils for Mary Queen of Scots and to produce female-driven projects via her production company, LuckyChap Entertainment. Part of the charm in Robbie’s Tarantino story is that it—like the film itself—sounds very old Hollywood: An aspiring actress writes a fan letter to an auteur director in hopes of getting cast in one of his nostalgia-loving films. But Hollywood is changing, and while Robbie may have arrived at the end of an era, she is now among the women ushering in a new one.

Today we’re on the set of Birds of Prey, a spin-off of 2016’s Suicide Squad that Robbie developed and pitched to Warner Bros. as an R-rated, female-led superhero action film—a commercialized product of new Hollywood if ever there was one. “I think there’s a perception that a PG female-led action film is kind of considered a chick flick,” says Robbie.

At $75 million, this is LuckyChap’s largest project to date, but Robbie seems unperturbed. “Well, we’re on schedule and on budget, which is a wonderful place to be.” In Birds, which is due out next year, Robbie will reprise her role as Harley Quinn, the Joker’s ex. But today she’s primarily a producer. Wandering the set in jeans and a smiley-face T-shirt with two hearts for eyes, her cell phone suspended from a rope in place of a purse, she introduces me to the women who work with her: Cathy (Yan), the director; Jody, the script supervisor; Sue, a producer. We run into Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who has spent the day performing stunts as Huntress, a crossbow wielding vigilante. Winstead pulls down her track pants to reveal a bruise on her hip. “Shit,” Robbie says. “That looks legit.

The day’s shoot is at a medieval-style stone abbey in Highland Park. “Sorry I’m not taking you to paint mugs or something,” Robbie says. She’s referring to the tropes of celebrity profiles, the skydiving or skateboarding or whatever else actresses are supposed to do to charm writers. When I say that it is nearly impossible to find a story in which she’s not described as a “bombshell,” Robbie suppresses an eye roll. “I hate that word. I hate it—so much. I feel like a brat saying that because thereare worse things, but I’m not a bombshell. I’m not someone who walks in a room and the record stops and people turn like, ‘Look at that woman.’ That doesn’t happen. People who know me, if they had to sum me up in one word I don’t know what that word would be, but I’m certain it would not be bombshell.

Full interview: vogue.com

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Quentin Tarantino was six years old and living in the Los Angeles area when, in the summer of 1969, hell broke loose. You know this story: five people murdered over the course of two days that August, shot and stabbed by a clan of hippie impressionables in anticipation of Helter Skelter, Charles Manson’s idea of holy terror. It’s a Hollywood tale—not least because its most famous victim, the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, was the wife of director Roman Polanski, which put the terror square in the back lot’s backyard.

But it’s a Hollywood story for bigger reasons. This was an era, not merely an event; a lifestyle, a people, a widespread obsession—not merely a spot on a timeline or map. The city is a sprawl. So was 1969. And so is the work of Quentin Tarantino, whose last three movies were violent but (mass Nazi execution notwithstanding) playful excursions into history, all of them riffs on the deviant style and rough talkiness of the Westerns Tarantino loves, even the Dirty Dozen-esque World War II picture Inglourious Basterds, in which a motley troop of American badasses, a mock-Tennessean Brad Pitt at its helm, takes its grievances out on Nazi skulls.

Now he’s back with a Western of a different stripe: an old-school L.A. story à la Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, the kind of city epic only a nostalgic of Tarantino’s wit and peculiarity could attempt to really do justice. Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a faded TV Western star and Pitt as his stunt double, is, as its sand-battered title suggests, a throwback. For Los Angeles, sure, but also for Tarantino, who, after traveling as far and wide as the Third Reich and the Shaolin Temple, is bringing it home.

Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood will be released July 26.

Source: vanityfair.com

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Margot Robbie and Michael B. Jordan seem to effortlessly check all the movie star boxes: Megawatt charm? Check (those smiles!). Actor clout? No problem (having Martin Scorsese and Ryan Coogler launch their respective careers can’t hurt). Lucrative blockbuster movie franchises? Yep, that too (Robbie in Suicide Squad and Jordan in Creed, with a memorable detour into Wakanda). So, as it turns out, they have a lot to talk about—and not just about fame and their good fortune. Here, as part of our annual Best Performances portfolio, Robbie, who starred in the recent palace-intrigue period drama Mary Queen of Scots, and Jordan, who returned in Creed 2 and dominated the screen in Black Panther this year, sit down with W’s Editor at Large Lynn Hirschberg to share not only how it is they make morally questionable villains like Harley Quinn and Killmonger into magnetic antiheroes, but also their totally embarrassing early email addresses, their most memorable red carpet fashion faux pas, and their frankly amazing first kiss stories.
So Michael, what’s the first album you ever bought?

Michael B. Jordan: First album? Ah, man, that’s a good one.
Margot Robbie: Oh, that is a good one.
Jordan: I want to say, on cassette tape… um, Usher’s My Way.
Robbie: That’s a good answer.
Jordan: You’re taking me back. I want to say I rode my bike to the music store that was, like, down the street.

What was the first album you ever bought, Margot?
Robbie
: I think the first album I bought was, um, AFI’s Sing the Sorrow. I was in a bit of a heavy metal phase. But I think the first single I bought was Blink 182, “All the Small Things.”
Jordan: Okay. So the heavy metal. Are you still in that phase or did you pass that?
Robbie: Occasionally.
Jordan: Occasionally?
Robbie: Occasionally.

Have you ever gone through a heavy metal phase, Michael?
Jordan: I have not.
Robbie: [Laughs.]
Jordan: But electric guitar solos are my thing. Like, I love, the Ernie Isleys of the world, the “Who’s That Lady” solo is pretty incredible. [Michael Jackson’s] “Dirty Diana” is pretty good.

Do you play air guitar?
Jordan: Air guitar? All day. [Laughs.]
Robbie: I can air guitar. That’s about the extent of my musical prowess, really.

Michael, did you box before Creed?
Jordan: I never officially boxed but karate, martial arts, and stuff like that. And then I kinda segued into boxing.

And you, Margot, have you ever boxed?
Robbie: I’ve done a bit of boxing, yeah—mainly to prepare for fight training, like stunt work. And I really, really like it. I have stupidly long arms, like, they’re too long for my body. So actually it’s kind of good when you’re boxing.
Jordan: The reach is incredible.
Robbie: An extra long reach. And it looks good on camera. Having long limbs on camera makes your punches—
Jordan: Your punch is a little wider, yeah, yeah, yeah. She knows what she’s talking about.

What I love about both of your performances in different movies is that although you kind of play superheroes in both Suicide Squad and in Black Panther, you’re also kind of antiheroes at the same time. There’s a kind of dichotomy to the characters.

Robbie: A lovable rogue.
Jordan: That’s right. I like that. I mean, those are the most interesting characters to me sometimes, like when I’m watching films that, on screen, are the ones that you can empathize with. Like, they want you to root against ’em. They want you to not like them. But somehow you can still understand where they’re coming from and that’s important.

Do you have a favorite villain? Other than Killmonger.
Jordan
: Yeah, because he’s tough. I mean, honestly, it’s between [Michael] Fassbender’s Magneto and Heath Ledger’s Joker. Honestly. Those two are pretty up there for me. [To Robbie] What about you?
Robbie: I’m totally stealing someone else’s answer. I’ve heard someone else say this, but I do truly think this is a genius villain: HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Jordan: Ohhh. Man.
Robbie: It’s just such a cool villain. That was genius.

But it is also kind of weirdly sympathetic.
Robbie
: Totally. The best villains are sympathetic.

Full interview: wmagazine.com