For as long as she had been acting, dating back to her time on the Australian soap opera Neighbours, Margot Robbie wanted to be in a Quentin Tarantino movie. But she needed to feel like she was a good enough actor to join the ranks of Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson. That confidence came after she watched the first cut of I, Tonya, a performance that would lead to an Oscar nomination (she should have been nominated for The Wolf of Wall Street, too, but alas). “So I wrote him,” the actress told Vogue, “and said, ‘I adore your films, and I would love to work with you in some capacity. Or any capacity.’ It worked:
When Tarantino received Robbie’s letter, he’d recently finished the script for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a romp through the movie industry of the late 1960s. Friends who’d read the script had already asked if he’d be casting Robbie in the role of Sharon Tate, the actress, wife of Roman Polanski, and victim of the Manson murders. Then Robbie’s letter arrived. The timing was spooky enough that Tarantino thought they should meet. (Via)
They met at his house, and Robbie got the part. “Margot looks like Sharon Tate,” Tarantino said about why he cast her. “And she can convey Sharon’s innocence and purity — those qualities are integral to the story” (even if Sharon Tate doesn’t have much to say in the movie itself). Robbie’s next high-profile role after Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which opens on July 26, is Birds of Prey, the Harley Quinn spin-off which she calls “definitely less male gaze-y” than Suicide Squad. Erin Benach, the film’s costume designer, explained the difference between the two projects: “That’s what happens when you have a female producer, director, writer.” Birds of Prey‘s producer? Margot Robbie.
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is scheduled to come out February 7, 2020.