Margot Robbie left jaws on the floor after her breakout performance in “Wolf of Wall Street”.
You know the scene. Pink dress. Long legs. Seductive purr. Leonardo DiCaprio hits the floor at the sight of her.
Since then, the Aussie actress has captured roles in major blockbusters, set to release over the next two years. In honour of her newfound success, we’re looking back at how Robbie became a Hollywood star.
Born in 1990, Margot Robbie grew up on her grandparents’ farm on Australia’s Gold Coast. A business-savvy child, she would make up magic tricks and put on shows, charging anyone who wanted to learn her tricks.
She bought her first surfboard at a garage sale when she was 10. ‘I’m happiest when I’m surfing or out on the farm hunting wild pigs … or riding around on motorbikes,’ she said in a 2008 interview.
As a teen, she worked as a subway artist at a Subway in Melbourne. (Six months after landing her first major acting role, Subway hired Robbie for a commercial. ‘I got paid like 20 times the amount I ever earned there,’ Robbie says.)
After graduating high school, Robbie cold-called producers of Australia’s longest-running soap opera, ‘Neighbours.’ The show follows the residents of Ramsay Street, a residential cul-de-sac in a fictional Melbourne suburb.
Robbie landed a guest role as Donna Freedman, a free-spirited and confident teenager, and charmed audiences immediately. She stayed on ‘Neighbours’ for three years.
When she wasn’t on set, Robbie took acting classes and worked with a dialogue coach to perfect her American accent. She found an agent and left for Hollywood in 2011.
Robbie touched down just as ‘pilot season’ began. She auditioned for every major TV network and won a central role on the one-season ABC drama, ‘Pan Am.’
Upon moving to the States, she joined an amateur hockey league, playing right wing. ‘I always wanted to play ice hockey back in Australia, but we didn’t have any ice where I lived,’ she told Film.com. ‘I’m definitely the worst on the team.’
Her love for the New York Rangers was born.
The month ‘Pan Am’ got the axe, Robbie received a script for ‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ an epic tale of sex, drugs, and greed based on the memoir of infamous stockbroker Jordan Belfort. Director Martin Scorsese reportedly sent a script to every unknown actress in Hollywood.
Much to her surprise, Robbie got called in to read lines with the film’s star, Leonardo DiCaprio. During the audition, DiCaprio started to improvise and Robbie floundered to keep up. ‘I thought, I’ve got moments left in the room, I’ve got to do something,’ Robbie thought. ‘So for the next scene, which was a fight, I got a little lost in the moment …’
‘At the end of the scene, I was meant to walk away but instead I slapped him in the face and said, ‘F— you!” Robbie remembers. ‘There was this stunned silence, which felt like an eternity, and then they all burst out laughing. I said, ‘I’m so sorry,’ and Leo said, ‘That was brilliant. Hit me in the face again.’ She got the part.
The movie catapulted Robbie’s career. The scene below, in which her character Naomi brings Jordan to his knees in agony by withholding sex, remains one of its most memorable moments.
‘Wolf of Wall Street’ racked up five Oscar nominations and more than $390 million worldwide, becoming Scorsese’s highest-grossing film.
Robbie followed up her blockbuster success with two indie flicks: ‘Suite Française,’ an adaptation of Iréne Némirovsky’s novel, and ‘Z for Zachariah,’ filmed in the close-to-home mountain ranges of New Zealand.
Her next big break cast Robbie opposite Will Smith in the dark romantic comedy, ‘Focus.’ The movie follows a veteran con artist (Smith) who takes an up-and-coming swindler under his wing, teaching her the tricks of the trade.
On wrap day, the pair cozied up in a photo booth, taking playful and racy photos arm-in-arm. The leaked images fueled rumours that the two were having an affair, which Robbie adamantly denied.
In fact, Robbie revealed to Marie Claire in this month’s issue that she’s sworn off dating actors. ‘People take such an interest in your love life when you have a profile, it puts a lot of stress on a relationship,’ she says.
For now, the only thing Robbie seems to be ‘focused’ on, is work. 2016 will be the Year of Margot.”
First on deck is the ‘Tarzan’ remake, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Waltz, ‘True Blood’ actor Alexander Skarsgard, and Robbie as Jane Porter. Robbie says she played up the character’s fiery spirit, adding, ‘I don’t do damsels (in distress).’
Robbie’s currently filming Paramount’s ‘Fun House,’ based on Kim Barker’s wartime memoir ‘Taliban Shuffle.’ Tina Fey stars as a war correspondent with a dark sense of humour and a thirst for adventure.
Last on the books for 2016 is Warner Bros.’ ‘Suicide Squad,’ a comic book film headlined by the most infamous supervillains in the DC Comics universe. While the movie’s plot remains unknown, we know it will star Jared Leto as the Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot, Cara Delevigne as Enchantress …
“… and Robbie as the cheery and psychotic Harley Quinn, Joker’s girlfriend and henchwoman. Robbie told MTV that she didn’t even audition for the role, ‘which is a real step up as an actor, when you get offered things.’
It’s clear Margot Robbie is a rising star to watch.
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