Margot Robbie is glad I, Tonya didn’t “sugarcoat” domestic violence.
The Australian actress portrays former figure skater Tonya Harding in the upcoming biopic, which documents her rise to fame and expulsion from the U.S. Figure Skating Association in 1994 after she was found guilty of attacking fellow professional Nancy Kerrigan.
What people may not have known is that Tonya herself was a victim of her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly’s violence, which Margot was initially worried about acting out in the film.
“How do you handle that appropriately?” she mused to Deadline. “In my opinion, if you are not handling it appropriately, that’s doing it a great disservice.
“Sugarcoating the issue is not handling it correctly. But using it in an entertaining script can also be done badly, and that’s not appropriate, either. So, there were concerns, and areas we had to make sure got done right. But the upside was like, the sky’s the limit. It was so good.”
The blonde star further praised director Craig Gillespie for handling the “sensitive” topics correctly, admitting that she wouldn’t have accepted the project if the right filmmaker wasn’t on board.
But what has pleased Margot, 27, the most is audiences’ reaction to I, Tonya and how impressed they were with her performance.
“There was a real opportunity to surprise people, which to me has been the biggest compliment, when people come out and they say, ‘I am so surprised that I felt this. I’m so shocked that I loved it,’” she smiled. “Everyone keeps saying, ‘I just didn’t think I was going to love it, and I love it.’ “That possibility is what I saw in that script, the upside to surprise people like that. People hadn’t seen a movie like this before, and I thought if we can pull this off, it will be truly original.”
I, Tonya, due out next month (Dec17), also stars the likes of Allison Janney and Sebastian Stan.