I recently rewatched the 2015 movie Focus about con artists, and seeing it again I was struck by how truly electric Margot Robbie is on screen. This was early into her film career, too. Admittedly she’d already done The Wolf of Wall Street, but the one-two punch of starring opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and then Will Smith really put her on the map as A-list. And deservedly so.
Which led me to think about her filmography and which movies and performances I’ve most enjoyed. Here’s what I came up with.
I, Tonya (2017)
Hands down her best performance. She’s phenomenal in this role and thoroughly deserving of the Academy Award nomination she received for Best Actress for playing disgraced figure skater, Tonya Harding. The only reason she didn’t win that year was because of the tough competition (Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Sally Hawkins and Frances McDormand). Even so, the world saw just how good she can be.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
This was her breakout role. And let’s face it, there’s no better way to get the industry to sit up and take notice, than to knock it out the park opposite DiCaprio in a Scorsese-directed movie about greed and excess. From the first audition she even had them on the back foot. She was meant to kiss DiCaprio in a scene, but instead slapped him and screamed in his face. Both DiCaprio and Scorsese loved that she had the audacity to try something so bold. Soon after, she got the call and got the role.
Suicide Squad (2016)
In the same way that Jack Nicholson was born to play the Joker, Margot was born to play Harley Quinn. You simply cannot picture any other actor in the role. Her character first gets introduced in this movie and goes on to steal pretty much every scene. This, in turn, led to her getting her own movie in Birds Of Prey (2020) a few years later. She’s likely to be one of the best things in James Gunn’s upcoming Suicide Squad 2 as well.
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)
Robbie plays actress Sharon Tate in Tarantino’s love letter to the end of Hollywood’s golden age. She’s an innocent, precocious presence in this movie. For example in one scene she goes to watch herself in her own movie. It doesn’t push the plot forward, but it’s nice to spend time in her character’s company, seeing how she sees the world. She played Tate perfectly.
Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie starred in this drama about the women at Fox News who set out to expose the CEO for sexual harassment. This was a role that earned Robbie another Academy Award nomination, this one for Best Supporting Actress (losing out to Laura Dern for Marriage Story this time).