One of the best films I saw at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya. For those unfamiliar, a little over twenty years ago, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were at the top of the competitive figure skating world when Jeff Gillooly, Harding’s husband, and Shawn Eckardt, her bodyguard, hired Shane Stant to break Kerrigan’s leg. Their hope was that this would stop her from competing against Harding in the 1994 Winter Olympics. It was a massive story and is still one of the biggest scandals in U.S. sports history. Still, when the film was first announced — even with the great Margot Robbie playing Harding — I didn’t see the potential in the movie. After all, didn’t most of us know what happened from all the news coverage, TV specials, magazine articles, and newspaper coverage?
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Craig Gillespie has crafted an incredible movie that is part-comedy and part-mockumentary. The most important thing to know, however, is that Gillespie avoids judging the people involved, focusing strictly on presenting a behind-the-scenes look at what led to the shocking attack. I promise that as much as you think you know about Harding’s story, you’ll come away with an entirely new line of thinking after seeing the film.
In addition to Gillespie’s fantastic job behind the camera and Steven Rogers’ sharp script, one of the reasons I, Tonya is so fantastic was the acute and often moving work of the cast. While all the actors brought their A-game, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the amazing work of Robbie and Allison Janney, who plays Harding’s mom. Both performers absolutely disappeared into their roles and Janney brought the house down on multiple occasions. I’d be shocked if Janney isn’t nominated come Awards season. Beyond that, I, Tonya also features notable turns from Sebastian Stan, Julianne Nicholson, Paul Walter Hauser and Bobby Cannavale.
Shortly after seeing the film I sat down with Sebastian Stan for an exclusive video interview. He talked about how he first got involved in the project, what it was like playing Gillooly, how he fought for the role and what he did for the audition, making the film in only 31 days, and a lot more. In addition, he talked about what it’s been like making Joe and Anthony Russo’s Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, filming in IMAX, and reveals a crazy story about how a previous interview we did helped him get a job on Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky! Check out what he had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.
When did he realize they were making something special?
- His reaction to reading the I, Tonya script and what excited him about the project?
- How they shot the film in 31 days earlier this year.
- Did he have to audition for I, Tonya? Talks about how he really wanted this role but it was offered to another actor but scheduling caused that actor to drop out.
- Talks about what he did for his audition for the role.
- How often scheduling affects a movie.
- How he learned a lot making I, Tonya.
- Talks about the influences on the film.
- Reveals that a previous interview we did helped him get a job on Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky.
- What is it like making the two Joe and Anthony Russo helmed Avengers movies in terms of scheduling?
- How he hasn’t read either Avengers: Infinity War script even though he’s in both.
- What is it like making the Avengers movies compared to his previous Marvel films?
- When does he wrap on Avengers 4?
- What has it been like filming the movies in IMAX?
- What is he going to work on next year?