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The Ionian

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The Ionian

The most memorable acting roles of Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie is no stranger to screen-stealing moments, from her breakthrough role in ‘TheWolf of Wall Street’, to her pervasive, pop culture-altering part in ‘Barbie’. Let’s look back at her five most iconic movie roles!

5. Tonya Harding in ‘I, Tonya’

Our first entry features Robbie playing the role of Tonya Harding, a controversial former Olympic figure skater who once plotted an assault on Nancy Kerrigan, her main rival, in 1994. I, Tonya, co-produced by Robbie, is a rather witty film, using dark humor and a mockumentary style to go through Harding’s career. In becoming Harding, Robbie was given black eyeliner, freckles, braces, and various different wigs to pull off “the essence of Tonya,” as makeup artist Deborah La Mia Denaver put it.

Robbie’s commitment to the role of Harding and all of her idiosyncrasies earned her a “Best Actress” Oscar nomination and owns a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie also produced a popular meme, where Robbie begins to shed some tears and fakes a few smiles while doing her makeup in front of a mirror.

4. Nadine Macaluso in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

The Wolf of Wall Street proved to be Robbie’s breakout part in the industry, as her run as Naomi Lapaglia, the wife of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfourt, remains critically acclaimed to this day. Nadine Macaluso, whose name was changed for the movie, is the real-life Naomi Lapaglia, and she worked alongside Robbie and her speech coach to nail the in-your-face New York accent.

Many of Robbie’s scenes are quite graphic, raunchy, and oftentimes ad libbed, but the actress was aware of this during filming and ultimately took it in stride. “When I was playing Naomi in The Wolf of Wall Street, it was so high-tempo sexy,” Robbie said. “I was acutely aware that the line in the screenplay was ‘the hottest blonde ever.’”

3. Harley Quinn in ‘Suicide Squad’

Robbie transitioned into the comic book realm for Suicide Squad, as well as it’s spin-off film, Birds of Prey, and sequel, The Suicide Squad. Robbie played the Joker’s love interest and sidekick,
Harley Quinn, for each of the three films, and her clown face makeup, constantly changing array of props, cotton candy-esque hair, and giddy attitude has stuck with fans ever since.

Upon Suicide Squad (and its two follow-up’s) releases, many were immediately drawn to Robbie’s captivating take on Harley Quinn, allowing the DC character to become a popular Halloween costume in both DIY and store-bought versions. Robbie’s playful energy and off-the-cuff remarks really shine through as Harley Quinn, which could be why her character has become a pop culture favorite over the years.

2. Sharon Tate in ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 blockbuster, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, features Robbie as the late Sharon Tate, a famous actress and model from the 1960s who was tragically a victim of the Manson murders. It can be tough to accurately pull off vintage looks and ideals in movies, but Robbie perfectly does so with her groovy, mod stylings and an air of ‘60s charm.

Since Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has a few different storylines going on at once, we don’t see Robbie as much as, say, Brad Pitt, but she still makes the most of her scenes. I mean, who could forget Robbie rocking out to Paul Revere & the Raiders or gleefully watching her own movie at a local cinema?! The film was a massive success both at the box office and amongst critics, accumulating $377 million worldwide and receiving “universal acclaim” with an 84% on Metacritic.

1. Barbie in ‘Barbie’

The top spot on this list had to go to Barbie, considering the “Barbenheimer” frenzy of last summer, the many iconic looks of actual Barbies, as portrayed by Robbie, and the film’s celebration of female empowerment. Like Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Barbie costumes were all the rage during spooky season, which could be attributed to the actress flawlessly pulling off different outfits (both vintage and custom) on the movie’s red-carpet press tour.

Countless memes, parodies, and recreations of Robbie’s different looks added to the pop culture stew, making Barbie a massive part of the mainstream. Greta Gerwig’s movie simply took the world by storm and became the highest-grossing film of 2023, taking home over $1 billion worldwide. We even got to see a brief Barbie and Ken reunion at the 96th Academy Awards in March, which is sure to warm your heart

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Connor Coppola
Connor Coppola, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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