Margot Robbie skyrocketed to the A-List on the strength of her gutsy performance in Wolf of Wall Street, standing out despite a scenery-chewing performance by Leonardo DiCaprio. For her next trick, the Australian actress is going up against no less than one of the biggest movie star on the planet. In the snappy, highly entertaining Focus, Robbie stars opposite Will Smith as a thief who, after some initial friction, teams up with Smith’s suave con man to pull off one of those glitzy international heists that movies like this specialize in. After that, Robbie’s hot streak will become scorching when she takes on two iconic roles: as Jane opposite Alexander Skarsgard’s King of the Jungle in the recently-wrapped Tarzan, and as the Joker’s sidekick Harley Quinn in the eagerly anticipated Suicide Squad. We caught up with her recently to talk shop.
You went globetrotting in this movie.
I just found the energy in that city we filmed in, Buenos Aires, was infectious. I wanted to stay up all night, it was so much fun, it was really great. And as Will said, it was instrumental to the way we ended up playing the scenes. You couldn’t help but have that seep in to what we were doing.
Have you ever been in a real situation with a thief?
I have been robbed a bunch of times. And now that I know how to pickpocket, I understand why I have been pick-pocketed so many times, because I am the perfect mark. I am unobservant, I walk around and I am looking up at the sky and my bag is open, so I have been robbed a couple of times.
It looked like you were having a blast during filming.
It was incredible. I had the time of my life. I didn’t want it to end. You get so close to everyone you are working with, but this one was particularly hard to let go of. People would hang out, the shoot would be over and you would see people still hanging around to see what everyone is doing afterwards.
They said you came to the set in Croatia and you didn’t have a chance to change and you lost your clothes.
I wasn’t naked, just to clarify. I had been swimming right before going and I had to quickly rush to New York and so my clothes were actually still damp, and I had a pajama top on and ripped shorts and my shoes were wet. And I had no hair and makeup done.
What about all those beautiful costumes?
It’s so much fun. I can get really girly about this. That is an awesome part of the film, where you get to try on designer clothes, wear them, and have professionals do your hair and makeup and make you look stunning. It’s equally as fun on other films where you go to the other end of the spectrum and wear rags and have dirt painted under your nails and your teeth painted yellow. It’s really quite incredible and it’s really part of the process and it’s kind of integral to creating your character. But for this film it was nice to get a little dolled up.
When I last saw you, you were living in London.
Yeah, I am still living in London. I just really love the city, and I spend time in New York, that’s my other favorite city to live in. The humor is easier to relate to, and there’s more of a bridge between Australian personalities and English personalities and Australian to American for example, so I feel like it’s an easy transition for Aussies.