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May 18, 2018 — By

As Terminal is hitting screens in Russia and across the globe, TASS’ Dmitry Medvedenko speaks to Academy Award nominee Margot Robbie, the film’s star and producer, about what it’s like to do two jobs at a time, how titles get lost in translation, and how she feels about bad reviews and low scores.

– Terminal is coming to theaters across the globe, you filmed two years ago, and the world has somewhat changed over these two years, hasn’t it?

– Yes, definitely. At LuckyChap, our company, all of our films have a large female element to them, whether it’s a female-driven story because there’s a female protagonist, or written or directed by a female. Obviously, in the last just 8 months, after the #metoo and #timesup movement suddenly we had to look at our projects differently, and some suddenly felt even more relevant, while some felt less relevant. It’s a very big shift in the culture and in the industry, and it has kind of brought other things to the forefront of our minds. To reply to your question, Terminal, which had already been shot, it sadly and ironically feels more relevant now, releasing it at this time. It is a classic female revenge story.

– Yet the protagonist in Terminal has a very strong sexual power and vibe that she uses to drive the narrative forward.

– Yes. Vaughn [Stein], the director, and I talked a lot about how Annie has a whole dress-up box and how she can be a chameleon and transform herself into whatever she knows men want to see her as, whether it’s a sexy stripper or a kooky waitress or whatever – she understands the male gaze and knows how it shifts, so she can fulfill her plans where they’re not looking. It was very much a play on the classic film noir or femme fatale trope. And we kind of wanted to lean into that and subvert the tropes in some way.

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– How would you classify the genre of the movie? I watched the movie not more than two hours ago, and I couldn’t pinpoint it.

– Haha. We’ve been saying it’s a ‘neon noir thriller’.

– Is that something completely new?

– It’s a very small genre, haha, nobody makes neon noir thriller films, they’re not exactly marketable. So it’s kind of funny that was the kind of film we set out to make as our company two years ago, something that’s very hard to market. It has a lot of, you know, British humor in it, it’s very weird, obviously there’s a thriller element enticing, but it’s done in a very strange, kooky world. So yeah, it’s a weird little indie film, that’s why we kind of loved it. It was just very different and strange, and an opportunity to do some world building and create an aesthetic we’ve never seen before, and more than anything we wanted to just do something different. Everyone had a great time designing the film, with brilliant ideas on how to do things for no money, and we’re proud of the look they’ve created. The movie was made for $4,000,000 and I think it looks like it was made for a lot more than that.

– By the way, Margot, I don’t know if you’re aware of how the movie’s title was translated for the Russian release. Actually, for both I, Tonya and Terminal the titles were changed right before the release.

– ​I know they do change the titles for certain reasons. How was Terminal translated?

– Well, the initial translation for Terminal was ‘Konechnaya’, which means ‘terminus’ or ‘end of the line’. But the final translation was a different word, almost letter-to-letter identical – ‘Konchenaya’, Which is directly translated as “goner”, so coupled with the Femme Fatale on the posters, it’s kind of applied to your character…

– Huh.

– How do you feel about that?

– I did not know that. I would have preferred they kept the former title. The ‘end of the line’ makes more sense to the film. Unfortunately, we only have so much control over our international distributors, so when they do choose a name, we don’t necessarily get to pick it with them. But I do prefer the previous title you mentioned, that seems to make more sense to the film.

– You’re both the star of the movie and one of the producers, how does that feel – does it give more freedom, or maybe do you feel more responsibility for the movie?

– Both. There’s a lot more freedom and there’s a lot more responsibility. I really enjoy producing, and like I said this was the first film we were producers on. We were, you know, 25 years old I think when we did this, and we hadn’t produced a movie before so we learned everything on the job, though we worked on film sets for the last 10 years, just not in the producing capacity.
So it was obviously a very enlightening experience, but it was also lovely, and very creative-stimulating to have no boundaries. I mean we had financial boundaries, time boundaries, but we didn’t have to answer to anyone, the studio, or boss, or someone that was going to say ‘no’ to things. So it was a very liberating position to be in, to have the people we’re working with come up to us and say ‘hey, I’ve got an idea, it’s really crazy, but… what do you think?’ And we could always say ‘yeah, go for it!’ I mean there’s no one else to answer to. If you could do it for the small amount of money that was allocated to your department – please do, feel free! And everyone did, and it created this incredible collaborative and exciting atmosphere. And even though it was a small indie film, it felt like the possibilities were endless, because there’s no one saying ‘no’. On the flipside it’s also a huge responsibility, and having no one else to answer to means we shoulder the responsibility.
And there’s a huge different side to producing, when you’re using other people’s money – I feel obligated that we don’t lose money. Whether we make money or not I think is less important, I just never want to lose money they’ve invested in a film. But films aren’t a solid investment; anyone who has invested money in a film knows that. It’s kind of like gambling – you do it because you love it.

– Reviews have been coming in rather mixed, with IMDB so far rating it 5.2, and Rotten Tomatoes giving it 24%. How does that make you feel?

– Ooh, I haven’t heard the numbers yet… I think we weren’t expecting this movie to be a wide commercial success, like I said earlier, it’s such a bizarre, strange indie film, and it was never designed to please the masses. So I’m not necessarily surprised and I’m not necessarily hurt by that because a lot of movies I really adore I see with terrible Rotten Tomatoes scores, and a lot of movies I really didn’t enjoy I see get 90-something percent. That’s art, it’s subjective, everyone has a different opinion, and I think we need to take it with a grain of salt. At the same time, it’s important to know how people feel about the product you’re making, and there are always lessons to be learnt. For me this movie is strange and weird, and something that wasn’t designed to be so commercially appeasing, I’m not as upset about it.

– In the movie, you speak with a British accent, cockney – is that right? How hard was that to pull off?

– I was living in London at the time, I love the cockney accent. My producing partners are English, the director is English, quite a few crew members were English, but most were Hungarian, so I kind of had accents all around me. I love having an accent for every role because it helps me disappear into a role, and the cockney one is a really fun one. Because mixed with Vaughn’s dialogue which is that classic British banter with Simon Pegg I got to enjoy for like 10 pages straight at a time – it just flows better in that accent, it’s fun, it was really a joy to deliver those lines in that accent.

– What would be the hardest accents for you to attempt?

– For me, that would be Irish and South African. I haven’t done those accents before. I know that if I worked at it, I could do it, it would just take a lot of work, which I need to do for any accent anyway. Accents don’t actually come naturally to me, I just spend a lot of time working on them.

Source: tass.com/

February 24, 2018 — By

THE ENVELOPE – “I, Tonya,” the Craig Gillespie-directed biopic about Tonya Harding, the figure skater banned from competition for life for her connection to a 1994 attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan, has brought its stars — Margot Robbie, who plays an unsinkable Harding, and Allison Janney, as her sharp-tongued mother, LaVona — Oscar nominations, critical acclaim and, not surprisingly, a newfound love for the Winter Olympics. “We’re watching men’s half-pipe,” reports Robbie, jet-lagged and talking via speakerphone while sitting alongside Janney in a London hotel room. “We’re just mesmerized.”

The pair were in town to attend the BAFTAs, where they were both nominees. Before heading off to a party, they took time out to talk about the film’s more nuanced examination of Harding’s life (domestic violence, the skating world’s contempt for her working-class roots), Janney’s annoying parakeet costar and the reaction Robbie, an “I, Tonya” producer, had during her initial reading of Steven Rogers’ script.

It’s so easy to dismiss these characters and their feelings. But by the end of it, I was devastated, angry and frustrated for them. I’d laugh out loud at something, then immediately feel disgusted with myself that I found it funny,” says Robbie. “To be able to let those feelings creep up on you, instead of being told to feel them? That’s a real art form.”

Parsing what’s true or false is a daily struggle of late. How much do you believe your characters?

Robbie: I knew we’d never know exactly how it went down. Twenty years later, everyone had completely different recollections of the same thing. Truth and reality had parted ways. My character’s truth was not necessarily the reality of the situation. But her version of the truth was far more interesting to me than the facts.

Janney: What made it so fun was the juxtaposition of everyone’s truth. You see LaVona throw a knife at her daughter, then cut to me saying, “What family doesn’t have their ups and downs?” Her truth was that she was a good mother, she gave her daughter an opportunity, and her daughter screwed it up by picking the [wrong] man. Where the reality is? I don’t know.

Talk about one of the villains of the film: The classist United States Figure Skating Assn.

Robbie: Real-life Tonya has been very vocal in past interviews about her feeling that she never had a chance with them to begin with. I really wanted the character to be constantly seeking validation from people who wouldn’t give it to her — her mom, her husband, the skating association. The more they rejected her, the more it mattered to her that they accept her.

For all her ghastly parenting, Tonya’s tippling, four-times married mother has a few tiny glimmers of humanity.

Janney: Steven peppered them in there, thankfully, because otherwise she’d be too much to take. There’s a scene in the diner, the one where Tonya, needing her mother, comes to her and you get a glimpse of what [LaVona’s] childhood must have been like. You see a woman disappointed by life and who was probably abused, because abuse tends to be cyclical. She’s filled with resentment and anger, who doesn’t know how to love or be loved. That was a very redemptive moment for me.

Margot, you met with Tonya in Portland just before production began. What were you hoping to learn?

Robbie: I didn’t go there with a list of questions or holes in my backstory that I needed to fill in. I wanted to meet just out of respect for her. There’s an added feeling of responsibility and obligation when you tell a real life person’s story. But I also wanted her to know that I was going to be playing a character in a film. The most helpful thing was watching her talk about her son, which she was very quick to do. She loves her son and has found a peace in her life with her family.

Allison, walk us through the scenes where LaVona, hooked up to an oxygen tank, addresses the camera while a scene-stealing parakeet is perched on her shoulder.

Janney: It was all done in one afternoon. The bird was fascinated with that breathing tube, and he started pecking at it. I knew I couldn’t stop. We didn’t have another day to [film those scenes]. So I just kept talking. He kind of fueled me with his constant pecking. It was so much fun to do: What I was imagining was that I was speaking to God or whoever is going to determine whether [LaVona] goes to heaven or hell. My side of it was, “Well, I gave that girl everything.”

Were either of you surprised when Tonya recently told ABC that she “knew something was up” before the attack?

Robbie: Not necessarily. The way I played the character, and this isn’t based on fact, but just a personal decision, was that she probably heard [her ex-husband] Jeff and [his friend] Shawn coming up with schemes all the time, crazy things, and she never took any of that seriously, because it never came to fruition.

Allison, you didn’t meet Tonya until the L.A. premiere, correct?

Janney: She came up to me at the after-party and said, “You nailed my mother.” Steven told me that was the only thing [Tonya and Jeff] agreed on, how LaVona was. I felt happy to have her approval and also very, very sad. So I gave her a hug and said, “Thank you for saying that and sorry for having to go through everything you went through.”

Margot, you and Tonya keep in touch. Have you noticed a difference since the film was released?

Robbie: The first time I met her, it felt like she wasn’t past it at all. Sebastian [Stan, who plays Harding’s ex-husband] met Jeff, so I said to him, “The one thing that upset me more than anything was that it’s not a forgotten time in her life, that it still seems very fresh. Was it like that with Jeff?”

And Sebastian said, “No. Not at all.” He said that he felt like Jeff had completely moved on and that it was a long-lost chapter in his life. I found that heartbreaking — he got to move on and she didn’t. And now when I speak to her, I feel like she’s leaving it behind her. I wouldn’t speak on her behalf, but it feels like she’s found some closure.

Gallery Links:
Photoshoots & Portraits > Photoshoots in 2018 > The Envelope
Magazine Scans > 2018 > The Envelope

February 21, 2018 — By

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
The Oscar-nominated actress also opens up about how she got into the mind-set of Tonya Harding.
Robbie already was becoming known — for her breakout role in The Wolf of Wall Street and for playing the demented villain Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad — but the Australian actress, 27, proved her range by portraying infamous figure skater Tonya Harding in I, Tonya. Robbie earned her first Oscar nomination for playing the ice champ from ages 15 through 40 in the dark comedy, which attempts to explain how an athlete with such raw talent could land at the center of the sport’s biggest scandal. Robbie spoke to THR about her favorite memories from the shoot and the awards-season circuit.

What was it like to hear you’d been nominated?
I was at home in Australia for the I, Tonya premiere, and it was 1 in the morning when the nominations started coming through. We were already out at the after-party, so I was literally with all my friends and my family, and we were already having some champagne, and then we obviously kept celebrating. It was perfect.
Have you had any unexpected interactions during awards season?
You start meeting people that you just, like, you had no idea they even knew who you were. I had quite a surreal moment where I watched Thelma & Louise the night before the SAG Awards, and then the first two people I ran into were Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. That was so bizarre.
How was it to spend time with Tonya at the Golden Globes?
It was really fun, especially because the Globes are a very fun night anyway. I think she had a great time meeting people and meeting people that she either did know who they were or had absolutely no idea who they were but they still happened to be very famous. It was very funny. And people seemed to be incredibly starstruck to see her in return.

The Oscar-nominated actress also opens up about how she got into the mind-set of Tonya Harding.
Robbie already was becoming known — for her breakout role in The Wolf of Wall Street and for playing the demented villain Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad — but the Australian actress, 27, proved her range by portraying infamous figure skater Tonya Harding in I, Tonya. Robbie earned her first Oscar nomination for playing the ice champ from ages 15 through 40 in the dark comedy, which attempts to explain how an athlete with such raw talent could land at the center of the sport’s biggest scandal. Robbie spoke to THR about her favorite memories from the shoot and the awards-season circuit.

What was it like to hear you’d been nominated?

I was at home in Australia for the I, Tonya premiere, and it was 1 in the morning when the nominations started coming through. We were already out at the after-party, so I was literally with all my friends and my family, and we were already having some champagne, and then we obviously kept celebrating. It was perfect.

Have you had any unexpected interactions during awards season?

You start meeting people that you just, like, you had no idea they even knew who you were. I had quite a surreal moment where I watched Thelma & Louise the night before the SAG Awards, and then the first two people I ran into were Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. That was so bizarre.

How was it to spend time with Tonya at the Golden Globes?

It was really fun, especially because the Globes are a very fun night anyway. I think she had a great time meeting people and meeting people that she either did know who they were or had absolutely no idea who they were but they still happened to be very famous. It was very funny. And people seemed to be incredibly starstruck to see her in return.

Did you keep anything from the shoot?

I kept my ice skates because I spent months breaking them in. And I kept a big bag of [hair] scrunchies — I love scrunchies now.

What other films did you love?

I loved Shape of Water so much. And I loved Three Billboards, and I loved Lady Bird. There are so many good ones this year.

February 18, 2018 — By

Continuing her engagements in London to promote “I, Tonya“, Margot visited the BBC radio on February 16.

What raises Margot Robbie’s heart rate? Nick Grimshaw finds out what pushes her buttons with the help of Cara Delevingne, Alexander Skarsgård, Sam Clark, Bullet For My Valentine and Corey Taylor from Slipknot.

Gallery Links:

Public Appearances > Appearances from 2018 > February 16 │ BBC Radio

February 18, 2018 — By

On February 16, Margot attended the ‘I, Tonya‘ press conference held in London. She was there with Allison Janney, the director Craig Gillespie and the screenwriter Steven Rogers.

Gallery Links:

Public Appearances > Appearances from 2018 > February 16 │ ‘I, Tonya’ Press Conference in London



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