Margot Robbie stars as disgraced Olympic ice-skater and crispy bangs legend Tonya Harding in the upcoming I, Tonya, which apparently isn’t a mess and is getting good reviews. She told Vanity Fair that she was four years old when Harding’s ex-husband sent a dude with a lead pipe after her chief Olympic opponent Nancy Kerrigan’s leg. This means she’d never even heard of Tonya Harding and thought the script was fictional at first. Did she not ever read a textbook on important historical events? This was a seminal moment in world history – sequins, trashy people, nude photos, double axels, victimized ice queens, and a Ukrainian girl in a swan costume coming from behind to beat both of them. Open a book, Margot!
“To be honest, when I read the script, I didn’t know who Tonya Harding was, and I didn’t realize it was a true story,” Robbie went on. (Steven Rogers wrote the screenplay.) “I thought it was entirely fictionalized and our writer Steve was so creative to come up with the quirky characters and absurd incidents.”
The attack before the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway turned the usually dignified event into a tabloid free-for-all! No one cared about the athletics! They cared about whether or not the two of them would take off their skates and use them to try to slice each other in a bloody catfight in the locker room! Was Harding’s ex Jeff Gillooly shady because he had a weird last name? Would Tanya drop a sex tape? (She later did.) Would Nancy let us know if she was actually as snooty as she appeared (jury’s still out)? Who cares about triple axels when there’s international scandal on ice?
Margot trained for fourth months, although they had to use CGI for the triple axel. Did you know that Tonya was one of six women in history who completed that move during competition? Tonya had skills and not just in pseudo-celebrity foxy boxing! Margot trained so hard that she actually suffered a herniated disc in her neck. If only she could have had that injury BEFORE she jeopardized her career with Suicide Squad.
Tonya was in on the project, having sold her film rights to screenwriter Steve Rogers, as well as being interviewed by him. Margot watched the finished product with her.
“I don’t know what I was expecting, but I had spent so many hours watching her every interview and every bit of skating,” Robbie said of her meeting with Harding. “I feel like I had done nothing but watch and listen to Tonya for the last year–so it was really weird to see that person literally in front of me. It was a bizarre experience. She was so kind. I was taken aback by how worried she was about me, weirdly. After all the things she has been through, she just kept asking if I was O.K.”
It’s still sort of unclear as to how much involvement Tonya had in the pipe incident. She acknowledged knowing about it beforehand but claims she didn’t say anything because her dirtbag husband threatened to kill her. He said that she was in on it from the start. I don’t know. Who could doubt someone with such an innocent-looking hair pouf like she did back then?
Check out more pics of Margot Robbie at the Toronto International Film Festival yesterday.