When it comes to Harley Quinn, people have opinions. When it comes to David Ayer’s Suicide Squad-version of Harley Quinn, people seem to have even stronger opinions. Margot Robbie, the actor who actually gets to wear her character’s costume as she attempts to inhabit the DC Comics antihero role in the film, should honestly have the last word as pertains to her own version of Harley Quinn. If it’s cool with Robbie, it’s cool with me.
The NY Times had a chance to sit down with Robbie to talk about her many projects over the last few years. Of course, talk turned to her role of crackpot psychologist and damaged romantic interest of the Joker, Harley Quinn. Rather than delve into the psychological trauma that makes the character endlessly interesting, Robbie spent much of her time defending the character’s wardrobe, which seems to be a hot topic of conversation these days.
Before we get to Robbie’s thoughts on Quinn, it’s worth checking in with her recollection of her experience filming Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, especially considering the full nudity that part called for:
“The sacrifice I have to make is that I have to do this nudity thing that I don’t really want to do. But I get to work with Scorsese, which I really want to do. O.K., what outweighs what?”
Though the director told her she could play the scene in a robe or underwear, Ms. Robbie said that once she got invested in the character: “I was like, she wouldn’t do that, no way. She would be fully naked.”
So with that in mind, wearing some skimpy shorts and a wet t-shirt should be a relative walk in the park. Robbie’s take on Quinn’s sense of fashion is that she’s “wearing hot pants because they’re sparkly and fun,” she said, not because “she wanted guys to look at her ass.”
“As Margot, no, I don’t like wearing that. I’m eating burgers at lunchtime, and then you go do a scene where you’re hosed down and soaking wet in a white T-shirt, it’s so clingy and you’re self-conscious about it.”
Director Ayer stated that he “didn’t think denim overalls would be appropriate for that character,” which Robbie understood as “part of the iconography.”
After an initial Skype conversation, Ayer said of Robbie, “she was a very analytical and serious person, but once she feels comfortable, she really opens up.” Ayer needed Robbie to open up in order to play Quinn as someone with “gear shifts, the wild forays and [who] suddenly can be real and heartbreaking.”