Australian actress and producer Margot Robbie star in the cover story of WSJ.magazine‘s November 2022 edition, shot by a fashion photographer Cassbird. Styling was done by Kaitlyn Grayset design by Patience Harding, and production by laura productionBeauty is the work of hair stylist Bryce Scarlett, makeup artist Patti Dubrow, and manicurist Bettina R. Goldstein.
On her character choice after breaking out in The Wolf of Wall Street:
On the set of Suite Française in 2013, “I play a French farmer. Trust me, I looked rebellious,” she says via Zoom. (Her screen name isn’t “Margot,” it’s her childhood nickname, “Maggot.”) By then, I thought I’d shown people.
On the origins of her production company LuckyChap:
Robbie befriended Josie McNamara and Tom Ackerley, assistant directors of Suite Française. Both became her business partners, along with her childhood friend Sophia Carr. She later married Ackerley.
“I remember saying, ‘Every time I pick up the script, I want to play that guy,'” recalls Robbie. She said, ‘Wouldn’t it be very cool if someone took the script we were making and wanted to play a female role all along?’
About launching LuckyChap with her partner:
“[We were] too young and stupid to know how scary it is [it would] ‘ she says. “When we started it all on the kitchen bench in London, everyone was like, ‘Oh my god they are so stupid… It would be a miracle if they did something.'”
Speaking of LuckyChap’s first project, I, Tonya, said:
“they [were] “You can’t make it…. There are like 200 scenes and some places.” It’s the best script ever, so who cares?” They’ve taken away the options.
About project selection:
Of the projects pitched to them, “only 1% said ‘f — yes'”
Emerald Fennel, Director of LuckyChap’s A Promising Young Woman, said of working with Robbie and the LuckyChap team:
“They’re not pandering to Hollywood or anyone else,” she says. “They stand behind you and don’t care if you get in trouble.” “They didn’t make me feel like a little girl. They believed in me and helped me.” Fennell says. “I felt safe with them.” And in Hollywood, “it’s no small thing,” she says.
Greta Gerwig, LuckyChap’s director of upcoming Barbie projects, said of Robbie:
“When they endorse a project, they endorse it all the way,” she says. As both an actor and producer, “Margot has a certain moment and she’s executing it,” Gerwig says, “she doesn’t have a waffle side to her psyche.”
On the challenges of funding women-led projects:
Today, studios and production companies are looking to hire more female directors and writers, says Robbie. “[But] It’s easy to put women’s names on the list,” she says. “Getting someone to fund it is the bigger hurdle. [a] business. There is still a long way to go in this regard. The ship takes much longer to correct its course. ”
On female creatives developing equally focused production companies (Eva Longoria’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, Ava DuVernay’s Array, Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine):
“It doesn’t feel like unhealthy competition,” says Robbie. “I’m excited to see more women-led and women-led companies. More is better.”
Babylon director Damien Chazelle said of Robbie:
Chazelle says she approached Robbie about playing the role of Nellie Laroy, Hollywood’s 1920s starlet who made a dramatic transition from silent films to talkies. Laroy’s role is “totally animalistic”.
“I needed someone… who was totally fearless. I had a feeling she was going to hit it,” he says. “She has this kind of voracious physical bravery. On the other hand, she’s also the most technically skilled actor you could hope to work with as a director.”
About her role in Babylon:
“I’ve never worked so hard in my life,” Robbie says of his role in Babylon. “[I was] Shattered by the end of the job.
On using animal archetypes for her role:
She added that she often channels animals to help her get to her role.Nelly of Babylon needed two. Octopus (“She can be fluid and changeable”) and Honey her Badger (“She’s always ready to fight. It’s just that her skin is very thick”).
About her penchant for exhausting roles:
“I’m a masochist,” she adds, no matter how burdensome the position.
On staying tight-lipped about the Barbie project:
For Robbie, Barbie was the archetype of a “kid”. She doesn’t elaborate further. The Barbie project is shrouded in secrecy. Even the tiniest public revelation ends up being “big press,” says Robbie.
On why the Barbie project has generated so much interest:
“That’s why I, Tonya, piqued our interest, because people reacted so quickly to the name ‘Tonya Harding,'” says Robbie. “It’s amazing how you can start like this.” McNamara says it will “subvert expectations.”
This article appeared in the WSJ. His November issue of the magazine will go on sale in stores on Saturday, November 12th.Photo © Cass Bird for WSJ. Read more at magazine, wsj.com