Five minutes with Margot Robbie

Star of Wolf of Wall Street

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Australian actress Margot Robbie began her career on Neighbours but if her stellar performance opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in is anything to go by, Hollywood has just found itself a new leading lady.
We met up with Margot at Claridges in London to talk about the film.
What were your first impressions of your character, Naomi, when you read the script?
To tell the truth, I didn’t like her that much. The part was a lot smaller, a more one-sided view of the character and I didn’t really have any interest in playing the mistress. The big obstacle was, ‘How can I side with a character that I just don’t like?’ My acting coach helped me to see Naomi in a different light. [Naomi] was very aware of the power she had over men and she was making the most of it to make a better life for herself. I turned her into this powerful woman who wasn’t taking anyone’s bullshit. Anyone that can keep up with the hedonism of that male dominated world and the insanity that Jordan’s lifestyle brought has to be a strong character. She’s a real bad ass and it took me a little while to see that but once I did, I loved the character.
What did you make of the real Jordan Belfort?
It’s incredible that he’s still standing after the amount of drugs he’s consumed! But he’s strangely likeable, which was something I wasn’t expecting. I was expecting to find it easy to see the monster in him and I just didn't, which makes sense because he couldn’t have been as successful as he was if he couldn’t charm people. In the end you find yourself making excuses for him and for all the things he’s done – it’s really bizarre.
You must have grown up watching Leonardo DiCaprio’s films. What was it like playing opposite him?
Your mind boggles at the thought of working with someone like Leo. Then you get to know them on a personal level… Leo bears no resemblance to Jack from Titanic or Arnie from Gilbert Grape; a) he looks so different from when he was younger, but b) he just doesn’t act like those characters and that’s really a credit to his acting skills.
Did you enjoy doing the thick Brooklyn accent?
It has to be my favourite accent of all time. It was just so helpful in creating the character. As soon as I would do that voice half the work’s done. With it comes the mannerisms, the attitude, the lines that we would improvise. I would respond in ways that I myself would never respond in. It truly created the character. Everything began with that accent.
What did you think of Naomi’s fashion sense?
It definitely doesn’t reflect my own personal style. Where I’m from on the Gold Coast we say that there are a lot of ‘cashed-up Bogans,’ you know, people with no class but a lot of money. Our characters had all this money and not a whole load of style. Naomi was like a Christmas tree, completely decorated all the time. She would be in head-to-toe Versace. It was like she’d walked into Versace and said ‘I’ll take one of everything.’
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