Allison Janney: Margot, I just Googled your Queen Elizabeth look. My jaw is on the floor.
Margot Robbie: It’s gorgeous, isn’t it?
AJ: You are such a rock star. Do you feel intimidated by playing a real-life character?
MR: There have been so many other interpretations of Queen Elizabeth, so in some ways I feel intimidated. But I also feel liberated by the fact that she’s been ᴅᴇᴀᴅ for hundreds of years. Playing Tonya, who’s very much alive and is widely documented, can be more intimidating. But also, the character I’m playing now is fictionalized, and I feel just as intimidated to get her right.
AJ: And what character is that?
MR: It’s our third LuckyChap film, shooting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and it’s an indie film—like, really little. I’m playing an outlaw in the 1930s Texas Dust Bowl.
AJ: I’m totally impressed that you act and produce—it would be too
overwhelming for me.
MR: No! You would be a great producer! I love acting so much because I love movies. The second I first walked onto a set, I was fascinated by everyone’s department, asking a million questions: What’s this? What’s that? I love the process in its entirety, and I eventually realized that producers do that creative development. I don’t enjoy sitting on, like, seven-hour closing calls with bonding companies, but figuring out budgets and getting thrifty—to me, that’s exciting.
MR: I grew up Rollerblading, and when I came to America, I joined an ice hockey league for a season until I started working again. You did it heaps, didn’t you?
AJ: Yeah, I wanted to be an Olympic figure skater, but I was just too tall. It’s such an acrobatic sport, for God’s sake. You have to be compact and fierce. You are fierce, and pretty fucking fearless.
MR: Clearly, I don’t have boundaries.
AJ: You’ve played a flight attendant, a con artist, a war reporter, a criminal, an ice skater, and now a queen. If you could be any of those for a day, which would you pick?
MR: A war reporter. That world is fascinating, and I don’t feel like I got to explore enough of it.
AJ: A Christiane Amanpour type.
MR: Oh my God, yes. She’s incredible.
AJ: Do you have a mentor?
MR: I don’t really have a mentor, but I do have a lot of people that I seek advice from. I ask for advice from everyone, all the time. It’s safe to ᴀssume that every single person you meet knows something you don’t.
AJ: And what are you wearing right now?
MR: Right now? Oh, Allison! [Laughs] I’m wearing an Alice McCall jumpsuit, no shoes; I’ve got a scrunchie in my hair from Tonya. I stole so many scrunchies from that set!
AJ: Are you bringing the scrunchie back?
MR: My goal in life: Bring scrunchies back.
AJ: I’m in sweatpants and a “C’est la vie” T-shirt with a sweatshirt half on and half off my body. Which leads to my next question: the glitz and glam. You are ridiculously beautiful—that’s a fact. But the dressing up, the makeup—do you enjoy that part?
MR: It’s nice to do sporadically. The misconception is that we are always in glamorous places wearing glamorous dresses. A film set is really just a glorified construction site, and 98 percent of the time, I’m running around in the dirt. But the 2 percent of the time I’m able to get glammed up and put on a Dior dress or whatever, it’s really fun. Do you like it?
MR: I’ve always loved watching actresses onscreen who just do not give a fuck about how they look or what they’re doing. Juliette Lewis one of those women—I was just watching Natural Born Killers.
AJ: I ᴀssume you’ve been watching criminal duo movies to research your outlaw role. Did you watch Bonnie and Clyde?
MR: Yes, it’s so good. But it’s also hard to watch those older movies now. The misogynistic comments make my blood boil.
AJ: Speaking of that, how are you feeling now about what’s happening in our industry? Has anyone tried to abuse their power with you in a way you care to talk about?
MR: Not in the acting world. I’ve never had a casting-couch situation. But in the real world? Yeah. Someone asked me this the other day: “How do you find it, as a woman in the film industry, with what’s going on?” I was like, “How do I find it as a woman in this world?” I’ve had far, far worse things happen to me in just everyday-life situations.
AJ: This job certainly comes with a lot of highs and lows. What have been your big highs and lows in your career?
MR: The high was when I did Pan Am. Everyone was like, “You’re crazyto go to America! You’ll never make it!” But it happened. Growing up, I’dalways seen people get gifts from Tiffany & Co. in the little blue box. And I always wondered, Will anyone ever give me a little blue box? So when I got to New York for the first time, having wrangled my way into this industry, I took my first paycheck, walked straight to Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue, and bought a little airplane charm that goes on a bracelet. It was the least expensive thing in the store, but it came in a little blue box.
AJ: I love that!
MR: It was the best feeling ever. I got my little blue box, and I got it for myself.
AJ: Now I’m wanting to go get you a figureskating charm.
MR: Oh my God, I didn’t even think about that! I bet they have one!
AJ: So, Margot: You can hold your own in an ice-skating rink. You have some skills on the trapeze, I hear. What’s the next thing you’d love to have a go at?
MR: I recently bought fire-twirling poles, because I really want to get good at it.
AJ: Are you serious?
MR: Yes! When I was backpacking in the Philippines, there were heaps of fire twirlers on the beach, and it was so cool. I was like, Wow, I really want to do that! But beyond sports, I want to learn to play the banjo and make jam.
AJ: Well, I will happily make jam with you, Margot Robbie, but fire twirling—you’re on your own.