Every day, hundreds of people aspiring to be stars descend on Hollywood with big dreams and limited resources. Yet, of these young hopefuls, few are successful. For far too many, the hope of seeing their name in lights diminishes each day as their manager slaps their initials on the rota for the graveyard shift at a restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. So close, yet so far.
For those few who do make it, life can be equally as tough. After all, one big break doesn’t necessarily secure you the grand life of fame and fortune (I mean, just ask Macaulay Culkin). So, when you take a look at Margot Robbie’s career thus far, it’s easy to assume that the Australian-born star was just ‘lucky’.
Moving to Hollywood in 2011 at the tender age of 21-years-old, the blonde beauty hoped for future in the film industry. Her sparse resumè, which included a three-year stint on Australian soap opera, Neighbours, provided her with no advantage to the other thousands of young hopefuls touring Tinseltown for their big break.
For the first year in the sunshine state, Robbie faced several challenges before being cast alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street – arguably one of the biggest and best films of 2013.
From that moment, Robbie became a certified star. But, was it simply true that she was just ‘lucky’? For those who have worked with Robbie, the suggestion that she was ‘in the right place at the right time’ is a ludicrous one. Robbie, evidently, has the elusive ‘it’ factor.
Just ask her stunt double, Ingrid Kleinig, who has worked with Robbie on several titles over the years. “She’s stubborn & fiercely competitive,” explains Kleinig in an interview with The White Space. But, not only that, she’s extremely talented.
Discussing their working relationship on the set of Suicide Squad – where Kleinig performed the stunts for Robbie’s character, Harley Quinn – the accomplished acrobat explains:
“Margot is a classically trained dancer so she has a level of physicality you really only see in people that have done serious physical training in their formative years. This gave us pretty much free rein to create fight choreography, tailored to her strengths, that didn’t need to be simplified or compromised when going for the actor’s coverage.”
For those who have watched Suicide Squad, it’s clear to see that no expense or energy was spared for the role of Harley Quinn. And whilst Kleinig makes it look seamless on screen, behind-the-scenes, those action shots were much harder than post-production made them seem.
“Harley Quinn is definitely the most fun I’ve had with a character,” Kleinig explains. “Her batsh*t crazy, unpredictable nature meant dramatically, there were really no limits to how far out of left field we could venture. That’s rare. It was very liberating.”
Check out one amazing stunt in this BTS video:
But, whilst Kleinig felt free to bring Harley Quinn to life, there was one thing holding her back: the costume.
“We became very creative with our safety equipment, from designing custom harnesses to fit under micro-shorts, to molding body armor from 2mm thermoplastic Kevlar,” she explains, highlighting just how restrictive that hot pant and crop top combination was.
For Robbie, the role was equally challenging for it required her to learn some free diving skills. This process was far out of the 28-year-old star’s comfort zone.
“I got to five minutes and I was like, ‘You know what? This is above and beyond what I thought I’d get to. I’m good, I’m good with five,” she says of the experience.
Robbie and Kleinig will no doubt be partnering up again shortly for Suicide Squad 2 as well as the yet untitled ‘Joker/Harley Quinn Project’, where the stunts are guaranteed to be bigger and better than before. And, if you fancy seeing Kleinig do her thing, without Robbie this time, then head to movie theatres to watch the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Antman and the Wasp.