How Margot Robbie perfected Harley Quinn's voice in 'Suicide Squad'

Harley quinnWarner Bros.Margot Robbie stars as Harley Quinn in ‘Suicide Squad.’

While “Suicide Squad” has received its fair share of negative reviews, many have praised Margot Robbie for her performance as the Joker’s troublemaking girlfriend Harley Quinn.

While her look might have taken a few liberties with the famed comic book villain, perhaps the most essential thing that Robbie had to nail was Quinn’s signature squeaky voice:

“She’s got a very high-pitched voice, which for the lighthearted stuff, the crazy stuff, works really well,” Robbie told USA Today. “But when it’s a pretty raw emotional scene, you lose the gravity when you’re speaking in such a high voice.”

The Australian actress worked hard to make sure she got it right, and she found influence in many places. 

Margot robbie, wolf of wall street‘Wolf of Wall Street’/ParamountMargot Robbie wanted her character to have a ‘Brooklyn tinge,’ just like her character in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’

Robbie wanted to have a “Brooklyn tinge” to Harley’s voice, an accent she prevously perfected as “Duchess of Bay Ridge” Naomi Belfort in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” But she also found a point of reference in Lorraine Bracco’s performance as Karen Hill in “Goodfellas.” Bracco has a thick accent that you would find in New York’s outerboroughs, and she has to play some incredibly emotional scenes as the wife of a mobster.

Robbie would regularly listen to recordings of Bracco’s scenes on her iPod before heading to set.

Watch a little bit of Bracco and you’ll get an idea of where Harley’s voice came from:

And of course, there’s no better source than Harley herself: the character in “Batman: The Animated Series” was also a good guide for her.

“My spectrum goes from Lorraine Bracco to animated Harley, and it’s just a roller coaster between those two throughout the film,” Robbie concluded.

Read the full USA Today interview here.

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