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The rise and rise of I, Tonya Oscar nominee Margot Robbie


From Australian soap sweetheart to mischievous antihero in a comic book movie blockbuster, and now genuine Hollywood sensation. There’s no denying Margot Robbie has risen through the ranks to become one of the brightest stars in cinema.

She’s just received her first Oscar nomination for biopic I, Tonya, so to mark the occasion we’re taking a look at the rise of this Aussie superstar...

Where it all began...

Beginning her acting career in 2007, Robbie appeared in a couple of small independent films before finally getting her big break in long-running Australian soap Neighbours in 2008.

Initially only meant to be a guest appearance, her character Donna Freedman then became a fan favourite, and appeared in the soap until 2011. Hollywood was beckoning though. Following in the footsteps of other now-famous actors who left the soap for superstardom (including the Hemsworth brothers and Russell Crowe), she left in order to pursue a career in the movies.

Seemingly destined for awards success right from the start, she was also nominated for Most Popular Actress for her time in Neighbours at the Logie Awards, the Australian television awards.

From Ramsay Street to Hollywood...

Margot Robbie’s first notable movie appearance came in 2013 when she appeared in Richard Curtis’ romantic comedy About Time, alongside Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy.

Following this small role, Robbie then came to the attention of the masses starring with Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. She played the on-screen wife of DiCaprio’s greedy, corrupt trader Jordan Belfort, and more than held her own against her co-star, particularly in the explosive argument sequences towards the end of the movie.

Robbie subsequently proved she had real star power. From there, she went on to star in con artist movie Focus with Will Smith, cameoed as herself in the Oscar winning The Big Short, and played author A.A. Milne’s wife Daphne in Goodbye Christopher Robin (again appearing alongside Domhnall Gleeson).

The loveable antihero...

Being cast in a big comic book movie blockbuster is any aspiring actor’s dream. While Suicide Squad may have been critically panned, Margot Robbie’s appearance as the infamous Harley Quinn was one of the high points.

Playing such an iconic DC character was no easy feat, but Robbie took it all in her stride and is currently rumoured to appear in no less than four more movies as Harley. We can’t get enough of this character, so sign us up.

An Oscar in sight...

Robbie has already picked up nominations at the Oscars, BAFTAs and Golden Globes for her appearance in I, Tonya. If critical buzz is to be believed, her performance as controversial competitive ice skater Tonya Harding is more than worthy.

The film dramatises the shocking true story of Harding’s involvement in the attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan. It was a scandal that also encompassed Harding’s abusive ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan) and her even more monstrous mother, LaVona Golden (fellow Oscar nominee Allison Janney).

While she lost out on the Golden Globe, she’s still in contention for the Oscar and BAFTA, and in fact she has been nominated for the latter’s Rising Star award in 2015. I, Tonya is being billed as the first film to really show us what Margot Robbie can do, playing a figure so far removed from her girl-next-door persona in Neighbours all those years ago.

She also showed commitment to the role by undertaking portions of the skating scenes herself, and studying the real Tonya Harding to nail her mannerisms. She may have been praised for her role in The Wolf of Wall Street and Suicide Squad, but Robbie’s Oscar nomination is a clear announcement that she’s officially arrived in Hollywood.

What's next?

As mentioned, there’s a number of both confirmed and rumoured Suicide Squad spin-offs in the pipeline, which means we’ll be seeing a lot more of Robbie over the coming years.

With possible awards success though, I, Tonya is set to be the film which propels her career and sees her branch out into a diverse range of films with different demands. From voicing a character in this year’s Peter Rabbit movie to a rumoured appearance in Tarantino’s 1969 film, there seems to be no stopping this future superstar.

I, Tonya is released on 16th February. Will Margot land that coveted Oscar? Let us know what you think @Cineworld.

Sarah Buddery is an Unlimited card holder who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.