Margot Robbie: 'I'd like to be a strong woman'

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ALEX CULLEN: This is a Hollywood fairytale, the one where a struggling actress is plucked from obscurity and overnight becomes a huge star. It's the story that our own Margot Robbie is living right now. In just a few short years she's gone from a regular spot on Neighbours to plum roles alongside some of Hollywood's leading stars. Her latest is as Jane in the new Legend Of Tarzan movie. As Denham Hitchcock discovered, despite Margot's sudden success, she hasn't strayed too far from her roots as a surfer girl from the Gold Coast.

(CHATTER)

MARGOT ROBBIE: Hello. Hello. I'm so sorry. I'm eating.

DENHAM: That's quite alright.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Hi. Nice to see you.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Young, talented, genetically blessed, Margot Robbie has Hollywood at her feet.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: You are a woman in demand.

MARGOT ROBBIE: It's very busy right now.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: But she is as refreshingly real...

MARGOT ROBBIE: Hmm? Yeah. Is that alright? Sorry. I'm just going to scull the last bit.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: ..and home-grown as they come.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Thank you so much. Thank you.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Are you used to the entourage that comes with you these days?

MARGOT ROBBIE: It's so nice to not do it yourself. (LAUGHTER) I'd look like shit otherwise. Do I have food in my teeth?

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: No.

MARGOT ROBBIE: OK. Thanks.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: You been watching any of the football? Do you catch up with any stuff at home?

MARGOT ROBBIE: State of Origin? Yes. State of Origin always.

COMMENTATOR: One and two back-to-back! Queensland girl, huh? Queensland girl. Ohh! Shit! Mmm. Don't talk to me about it. This is going to be awkward.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: This could be very awkward.

MARGOT ROBBIE: We're not friends.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: No.

MARGOT ROBBIE: And you must hate me right now.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: This might be a hostile interview.

MARGOT ROBBIE: This is gonna be... Yep. Alright. (CHUCKLES) I'm on guard.

ACTOR: You've gotta come check this new chick out.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Forget the state - Margot Robbie is representing the country.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Hi. Nice to meet you. Naomi.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO: Naomi, nice to meet you.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Nice to meet you. You've got an awesome place here.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Hollywood is in love with our girl from Queensland.

VOICEOVER: Here's Margot Robbie in a bubble bath to explain.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: And it's easy to see why.

MARGOT ROBBIE: From now on... ..it's gonna be nothing but short, short skirts around the house.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO: Yeah, Mommy. Yeah.

MARGOT ROBBIE: But no touching.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Oh, gosh.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Do you read a lot of things that are written about you?

MARGOT ROBBIE: No. Not anymore.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: I've got some favourites.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Oh, great... Alright.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: It's nice. You're gonna like it. You don't have to be scared. (READS) "The Marilyn Monroe, the Grace Kelly of the modern era. "The blonde bombshell of our times. "A Disney princess sprung to life."

MARGOT ROBBIE: Really?!

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: And this is my favourite. "Seemingly computer-generated perfection of young womanhood."

MARGOT ROBBIE: Wow! Not bad, huh? Well, they clearly haven't met me in person, but that is... Thank you for the ego boost of the day. That was exceptionally kind.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: So, how did the whole acting thing begin? Who do we have to thank?

MARGOT ROBBIE: Um... So, my best friend, Christian Radford, we've been best friends since we were born, and he told me about this, like, little indie film that was filming on the Gold Coast and he was going to be in it.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Can you put that somewhere else? Hello? It's called stalking!

MARGOT ROBBIE: And he was like, "You should do an audition ‘cause they need a chick character in it." And, uh, so if it wasn't for him, none of this would have happened.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Do what you want. I'm not going to waste my time sitting around here. I'm going for a swim.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: The movie, called I.C.U., was a low-budget thriller. But 17-year-old Margot was hooked. So she packed her bags and followed the well-worn path to Ramsay Street.

ACTOR: 15.

MARGOT ROBBIE: 15,000?!

ACTRESS: No, just 15.

BOY: That's lame.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Hey, shut it, you. Everyone's gotta start somewhere.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: You could have ground out an easy 30 years on Neighbours. Why risk it in Hollywood?

MARGOT ROBBIE: I didn't want to play the same role for too long of a time because I could already tell within myself that I was starting to play myself a little bit. And I didn't think I was really going to grow as an actor if I just started reacting the way I would in real life. So I wanted to go to America because there's just more opportunity.

MAN: Slate. WOMAN: 7 A. Take three.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Her big break would be in the Big Apple.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO: This is the greatest company in the world!

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: She had been in the US for little more than a year when her agent sent her to audition for The Wolf Of Wall Street. To her surprise Margot found herself alongside Leonardo DiCaprio.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: I heard that during the reading for Wolf Of Wall Street, you basically assaulted one of the premier actors of our time.

MARGOT ROBBIE: I thought I was gonna get arrested. (CHUCKLES) I was like, "That's not... That was the dumbest thing you've ever done. "You're going to jail now or getting sued. And what are you going to do? "You're an idiot."

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: What happened?

MARGOT ROBBIE: We were doing a scene and we were improvising and I got a bit caught up in the moment and it wasn't scripted but, you know, I was screaming at him and then I hit him in the face instead of just saying a line, which I'm sure would have been good enough. But I took it a step too far. And then, of course, as soon as I'd done that, I was swiftly taken out of the scene and thought, "Oh, my gosh! What have you just done?" But, um, him and Marty were like, "That was great. You should do that again."

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Is that something you do in auditions every time now?

MARGOT ROBBIE: I always hit my co-stars. Yes, that is how I've gotten all my jobs. Mmm.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO: Why don't you light a fire or something and I'll be right out?

MAROGT ROBBIE: Yeah. Fire again? Sure.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Your character on Wolf Of Wall Street spends a lot of time without clothes on. What is the last thing that you tell yourself before you drop your robe and walk onto...scene, naked?

MARGOT ROBBIE: You... And it's not just with, like, doing a naked scene, but any scene where you feel like you're gonna make a fool of yourself.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Wake up, you piece of shit! Ow! I just say, like, "You gotta go all-out. "Like, you need to fully commit to this, "because if you half-arse it, it will look so stupid."

MARGOT ROBBIE: (SCREAMS) Arrgh!

MARGOT ROBBIE: But if you do it with complete conviction, oftentimes you can pull it off, so just try to do it with total conviction.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO: Come on, give me a kiss. You look so beautiful right now. Come on. You look so beautiful. Yeah...

MARGOT ROBBIE: Kiss you? Kiss you?

DENHAM HITCHOCK: Presumably you watched the film at home with family. How did it go down?

MARGOT ROBBIE: Uh...uh...it was... ..a bit odd. Um.. We did, like, a... Yeah, had, like, a screening. I didn't really think it through and suddenly I was, like, sitting there and I was like, "Oh, my God. "Like, my brother's there. This is going to be so weird." And after the screening... It was cool with, like, most family members, but my older brother Lachlan, afterwards we kind of, like, had, like, the world's most awkward conversation. He was like... He was like, "Alright." Like, he tried to say congratulations and I was like... And we, like, tried to hug it out, but it was just so weird that I was just like, "You know what? We don't have to talk for a couple of days now." He was like, "Cool. See you later." And just, like, walked out. And then we never spoke of it again.

DENHAM HITCHOCK: I'm an older brother with two sisters, so I feel for Lachlan.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Yeah, he handled it very well. Much better than I ever expected.

DENHAM HITCHOCK: That movie changed everything.

HOST: Margot Robbie!

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Overnight, Margot became a wanted commodity. And the roles came rolling in. Focus with Will Smith.

WILL SMITH: Hey, you need to put some clothes on.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Excuse me?

WILL SMITH: There's Australian people here.

MARGOT ROBBIE: What is that supposed to mean?

ACTOR: Grenade! Down, down!

DENHAM HITCHOCK: Into a war zone with Tina Fey.

MARGOT ROBBIE: In New York, you're, like, six, seven. Here, you're a nine. Borderline ten.

TINA FEY: What are you here? Like, a 15?

MARGOT ROBBIE: Yeah.

TINA FEY: Huh.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: She's been the last woman on earth. (GUNSHOT)

MARGOT ROBBIE: Hi, boys!

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: And the last one you'd want to mess with.

MARGOT ROBBIE: What was that? I should kill everyone and escape? Sorry. It's the voices. (LAUGHS) I'm kidding! That's not what they really said.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: The much-anticipated Suicide Squad would send her into supervillain folklore.

MARGOT ROBBIE: What?

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: And if all that isn't enough, she's currently promoting a remake of a classic - Tarzan.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: When I heard you were playing Jane in a Tarzan movie, I thought, "No, this is not a role for Margot." But Jane is no damsel in distress, is she?

MARGOT ROBBIE: Yeah. No, it was fun. I really liked the take on her. And it's definitely meant to be a modern retelling of a well-known story.

ACTOR: I need you to scream for me.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Like a damsel?

DAVID YATES: They said, "We hear this Margot Robbie's quite good. "Why don't you meet her?" And I looked at her picture and I thought, "She's gorgeous, "but, you know, will she be feisty? "She just looks like a beautiful actress. "I need someone who's got real balls, frankly." And then I meet Margot and I go, "It's Jane. That's Jane." And we often joke that maybe Tarzan actually needed saving rather than SHE needed saving.

ALEXANDER SKARSGARD: I was excited to work with animals and Margot Robbie.

MARGOT ROBBIE: I love the order that you put that in. Thanks so much.

ALEXANDER SKARSGARD: Well, I met Margot before Wolf Of Wall Street came out and, um, she was so down-to-earth, so much fun, so easygoing. We had a great chemistry from the moment we met.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: The entire movie, you've got your clothes on and your co-star is semi-naked.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Role reversal. It's so nice. It's the best. I could eat anything. And he was suffering. At first I was like, "Now you know how actresses feel." And then I did just feel really bad for him and I was like, "I'm sorry, I'll go eat my muffin somewhere else, "because you are about to cry." You're rubbing it in. "And I feel really bad for you."

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: The roles that you're choosing, they're very strong female roles. Is this the woman you want to be or the woman you are? Um... Well, I would LIKE to be a strong woman. I don't always feel it, for sure.

ACTOR: Seriously, what the hell's wrong with you people?

MARGOT ROBBIE: We're bad guys. It's what we do.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: How much of that strength did you get from Mum?

MARGOT ROBBIE: From my mum?

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Mmm.

MARGOT ROBBIE: She's... Yeah, she's like... She's amazing. She's a very emotionally strong woman. Well, single mum raising four kids in Queensland. It's not easy. No. No. Definitely not.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Did you make it easy or hard for her?

MARGOT ROBBIE: We made it as hard as possible. Like, we couldn't have been worse-behaved children. There was four of us and we were all just, like, fighting all the time and she was working and, like, it just would have been a night... I truly don't know how she did it.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: There's a lot of photos of you out there, but there's one in particular that's my absolute favourite and it's you and your mum with champagne in your hands, standing in front of a house in Queensland.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Oh, really?

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Tell me what's happening in that photo.

MARGOT ROBBIE: I had told my mum that I had paid her mortgage. So, yeah, that was something, like, when I first started working and I...you know, started making money. I was, like, speaking with a business manager and they said, "You know, you should invest your money. "What do you want to do with your money? Blah, blah." And I was like, "First thing I want to pay off my mum's mortgage." And they said, "OK, it'll be a long time before you can afford that, "but, you know, that's what we'll work towards." So every couple of months I'd check in. I'd be like, "Do we have enough yet?" "No, not yet." "Have we got enough yet?" "No, not yet." And then eventually he was like, "You can afford to pay your mum's mortgage now." And so I was like, "Great." Did all the paperwork and stuff. And, yeah, it was, like, a big secret to be, like, sitting on for so long. And, yeah, it definitely was one of the best moments of my life.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: What a fabulous thing to be able to do.

MARGOT ROBBIE: It was... Yeah. It's, like, what any kid dreams of being able to do for your parent. You just... I feel very lucky that I actually had the opportunity to do that.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: There's another photo you have to explain to me, 'cause it looks like you are giving someone a tattoo.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Yes. Probably... Yes. I probably was. This is legit? It's a legit photo? Yes. It's a legit photo. There's been many victims to the tattoo gun.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: How many?

MARGOT ROBBIE: Uh, almost 50.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Ooh! 50!

MARGOT ROBBIE: Yeah. You think I would have gotten better by now, but I really haven't. In fact, I may be getting worse at them.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: What's the worst one you've done?

MARGOT ROBBIE: I spelt one wrong. That's definitely the worst.

DENHAM HITTCHCOCK: You spelt the word wrong?

MARGOT ROBBIE: I spelt a word wrong.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: OK. What was...?

MARGOT ROBBIE: No going back from that, really.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: What was the word?

MARGOT ROBBIE: Uh, we were doing Squad tattoos. We were tattooing 'squad' on everyone. But we were spelling it 'S-K-W-A-D'. Yeah. Like, 'skwad', because that's how we always said it throughout the shoot, for some reason. And so I went straight from the S to the W and I forgot the K.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Ah. 'Swad'.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Swad.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Swad. That's not good.

MARGOT ROBBIE: I was throwing out suggestions. I was like, "You could write, like, 'swag' or 'Swede'." And he was like, "I don't want 'swag' on my arm!" And I was like... "I hear you. I wouldn't either, but..." So we put a line through it and then wrote it properly underneath.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: That made it all better?

MARGOT ROBBIE: Yeah. It's a funny story.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Now, the night we go to air is your birthday.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Really?! Oh, cool.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: So, it's your birthday.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Thanks.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: And what gentleman would turn up without a birthday present? So this is for you. Happy birthday.

MARGOT ROBBIE: This looks a lot... This looks a lot like my tattoo gun set. Oh, my God! Are you serious? Happy birthday. Holy shit! That's an amazing gift. Thank you. Yeah. Wow. Thank you so much.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: You're welcome. You're welcome.

ALEXANDER SKARSGARD: Don't encourage her, man. Don't encourage her. Please don't.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Too late. We gave her a whole kit for her birthday.

ALEXANDER SKARSGARD: Oh, my God. No! She loves it and she's terrible at it.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: So you escaped without a Margot tattoo?

ALEXANDER SKARSGARD: I did. I mean, so far, so good. We'll see for how long. But now that she's walking around this very hotel with a box with a tattoo gun, um, yeah, I'll end up with something on my face.

DENHAM HITCHCOCK: Thank you very much. Really appreciate it.

MARGOT ROBBIE: Thank you very much. Thank you. Oh, my God. Sophia's over there, like, "Oh, my God! "The last thing we need is more tattoo guns!" (BOTH LAUGH)

ALEX CULLEN: It's a very big year for Margot. Her new film The Legend Of Tarzan is in theatres from Thursday, and on August 4, Margot will be back starring in Suicide Squad. On the Sunday Night Facebook page and website, we have more on Margot and her movies.

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