The critical success of I, Tonya, and its three Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress, suggests that Margot Robbie’s first move into producing has been a rather successful one.
Not that Robbie had ever planned for such a triumph transition. Because the Australian actress admitted to me last month when I sat down to talk to her about "I, Tonya" that, like her acting career, becoming a producer just kind of happened by accident.
“I never knew that I could be an actor. I didn’t know that was a career choice that I could pick. But once there was a glimmer of an opportunity I just snatched it. And that led to another one and another one. And it was the same with the producing.”
“I knew that I wanted to be a part of the filmmaking process in other ways. I knew that I wanted to write or direct or both, later down the line. But I never knew I wanted to produce. Because I didn’t really understand the extent of what a producer does, I didn’t realize how much creative input they had.”
“I thought it was all crunching numbers. Which isn’t the case. It is actually really creatively stimulating and fulfilling.”
Robbie’s skills as a producer, and the huge acclaim for “I, Tonya” isn’t a surprise to those that were involved in the film, though. In fact, Allison Janney, who was the recipient of that Best Supporting Actress nomination, insisted to me that the time is nigh for Robbie to rise to the top of Hollywood as a “great producer.”
“It is a time for someone like Margot Robbie to rise to the top as a great producer, as a great artist, as a great role model for other women. I just can’t say enough good things about her.”
“She is pretty fearless; I have to say. I have huge respect for Margot. I’d never met her until the start of her project, and then I walked into her trailer and she was looking through the script, and I couldn’t work out whether she was looking at it from a producer or an acting angle.”
“She’s got so much. I am just so impressed. It must be that she is just so young so she doesn’t realize just how difficult what she is doing is. I was like, ‘How are you doing this?’ Taking on Mary Queen Of Scotts in Elizabeth. Have you seen her transformation? It is just unbelievable.”
Janney was particularly impressed because of just how chaotic production on “I, Tonya” was, as they had an abundance of scenes to shoot in a very short amount of time.
“This movie is no joke. We had 170 something scenes to do in 30 days. We had no time. I was only there for 8 days to get all of my scenes. We just had to hit the ground running.”
That didn’t stop Robbie, though, as Janney added, “Margot wasn’t shy about anything. We just had to jump into scenes together. Even if it was the middle of a fight, she went there, and I met her. She makes great choices. She is unbelievably smart and articulate, and she is a great actress and a great producer. I would work for her again in a second."
There's another reason why it is time for Robbie to reach the top, though, as Janney then made specific reference to the spate of sexual harassment and assault revelations against the Hollywood elite, remarking, “It is a time for women, all of this has come about for a reason.”
“And it is going to lead to the equality that we very desperately need in the workplace and that will take care of a lot ofthe abuse of power if men and women are equally powerful, and demand the same money and aren’t seen as lesser than. Those inequalities are going to be a thing of the past.”
Audiences can watch Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya” in New York now, while it is released in Philadelphia and Boston on December 22.