‘Suicide Squad’: Margot Robbie on Understanding Harley Quinn, Cracking The Joker, and Fighting in Heels

     July 11, 2016

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From the moment we learned that Margot Robbie would be playing Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, it was perfect casting. The fresh-faced actress was coming off a star-making turn in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, in which she more than proved her dramatic chops, but she also proved her range in the romantic caper Focus, in which she starred opposite her eventual Suicide Squad co-star Will Smith. Now, with a month to go before writer/director David Ayer’s villain-centric film hits theaters, Robbie is consistently the standout in any and all trailers, and there’s already word that she’s spearheading a female-centric DC Extended Universe spinoff film with Quinn and various other characters.

But let’s go back to the beginning. Last summer, I was invited to visit the Toronto set of Suicide Squad along with a small group of reporters. While the scene we were supposed to see be shot was rained out, Robbie graciously agreed to stick around and speak to us about the film and her experience thus far. The actress discussed the daunting prospect of taking on such an iconic character, where she turned to for research, the intensely personal rehearsal process, her training regimen, and the difficulty of doing everything everyone else does while wearing heels.

Robbie, of course, also talked about Quinn’s relationship with The Joker, how she was able to make sense of it in her head, and the experience of working opposite Jared Leto as a method actor. It’s a fascinating deep-dive interview that I do think you’ll find engaging. Take a look below.

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Clay Enos/ & © DC Comics Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Question: How exciting and daunting was it to take on such an iconic character?

MARGOT ROBBIE: Very daunting, for sure. Fortunately, everything kinda moved at such a quick pace and I was working on some other projects at the time, that I didn’t have as much time to think about it. Which I think was definitely a blessing in disguise. And since then, we’ve kind of been straight-training and stuff, and it all just moved kind of quickly that we got here before we realized it. Definitely I’ve had a lot of moments of panic, where I’m like ‘Oh God, they’re gonna hate it.’ And there’s just so many people to please, and you can’t ever really make everyone happy. So, do as much research as possible. Put as much of myself into the role as possible. As long as I do my absolute best and prepare as much as I physically can, hopefully, hopefully people are happy.

There are so many iterations of the character from the comic books when it was first introduced, to the cartoon—more recently she’s been, like, in the Suicide Squad comics. Did you get a stack of comics to read for research?

ROBBIE: Yeah, well, I got the role right before Christmas, so my Christmas list consisted of Harley Quinn comics, Suicide Squad comics, any comics that, like, incorporate Harley Quinn. So yeah, I have a massive stack.

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