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Wednesday September 25, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday September 25, 2013 MYT 4:25:24 PM
by ryan gilbey
Silver lining: It was a blessing in disguise when the TV series Margot Robbie starred in, 'Pan Am', was cancelled as that gave her the time to act in Martin Scorsese’s 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'.
Margot Robbie is the most nearly-famous almost-star you’ve never heard of.
MARGOT Robbie is the most nearly-famous almost-star you’ve never heard of. At only 23 years old, the Australian actor has already been directed by Martin Scorsese and Richard Curtis and starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio; a call from Woody Allen can’t be far off. Next month she begins filming the caper comedy Focus, in which she’ll star as a pickpocket who falls for a con artist played by Will Smith.
Consequently, she has a lot to be excited about. So once she starts talking about the thrill of getting this callback while she was doing that read-through, or interrupting a backpacking holiday in Croatia with her brother to travel for 50 hours by plane, train and catamaran to an audition in New York, it’s best to just to let her finish; it’s also highly refreshing to find that she has not yet had the ebullience ground out of her by promotional duties.
Near the end of our interview, the studio PR pops her head round the door to wrap things up, and I have to confess sheepishly that I will need a little longer. We’ve been talking for 45 minutes and we haven’t even got round to discussing the film that Robbie has been flown here at great expense to promote: Curtis’s time-travel romcom About Time.
It’s not that I didn’t try. When Robbie mentions her habit of people-watching, I ask how this came in useful in About Time. When she tells me that it’s unwise to finalise a character’s backstory in your mind - “The director might say, ‘We’re gonna make it that she had an abortion two years ago,’ and you’d be, like, ‘Really? I had her down as a virgin’” - I ask whether she and Curtis differed at all over her About Time character.
But on each occasion, she steers the conversation round to Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street, which she recently finished shooting opposite DiCaprio. He plays the drug-addled stockbroker Jordan Belfort.About Time, on the other hand, provides her with a small, decorative role as the woman of the hero’s dreams.
It isn’t that she’s not proud to be a part of Curtis’s film. “You fall in love instantly with his characters,” she says once we are all Wolfed out. “You want everything to go right for these people two minutes after meeting them.” She has a bright, moonlike face, open and direct, with blond hair scraped back; she could pass for Denise Richards’ naive kid sister.
She’s sparky enough in About Time, but there isn’t very much for her to play. It doesn’t surprise me when she reveals how her character was described in the script. “It was so intimidating to read: ‘She steps out of the car and she’s the most gorgeous thing he’s ever seen, she’s got these beautiful long legs ...’ I’m thinking: ‘Oh, no, my legs aren’t like that ...’
You just hope Richard’s going to use reaction shots to convey all that, so it takes the pressure off me. Seriously, there were two whole sentences about how stunningly attractive she is. It was the same with Wolf ...”
There is a faint air of disbelief in the way she talks about The Wolf Of Wall Street. She keeps examining it from different angles, as if to confirm that it really happened - that she isn’t going to wake up and still be starring in the Australian soap opera Neighbours, on which she was a regular for three years. Not that she has any shame about that. Why would she? Now that Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, Kylie Minogue and Jesse Spencer (from House) have all passed through, it is practically the Australian equivalent of the Actors Studio.
Robbie was still a television actor when Scorsese called: she had been part of the ensemble cast of the now-cancelled Pan Am.Still, silver linings and all that: if Pan Am had continued, she wouldn’t have been free to hurl herself at doors and walls under Scorsese’s direction, or to tear her vocal cords to shreds howling like a banshee at DiCaprio for weeks on end.
It is around this point that the door creaks open and Curtis lopes in unexpectedly, snowy-haired and pink-faced in a comfortable jersey. As the PR beckons me out to allow actor and director some privacy to shoot the breeze about the previous evening’s premiere, I find myself hoping for Curtis’s sake that their conversation doesn’t swing round too quickly to The Wolf Of Wall Street. Let the filmmaker enjoy his moment. It’ll be Margot Robbie’s time soon enough. – Guardian News & Media
Love is all around Rachel McAdams
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Entertainment, movie, Margot Robbie, actress, About Time, romcom, romantic comedy
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