“There’s no way to feel sad when you know you’re this blessed,” Margot Robbie said during a panel at a special SAG screening on Tuesday night.
Robbie, who both produced and starred in Barbie, was responding to the missed Oscar nominations for director Greta Gerwig and herself in the Lead Actress category—a situation that has sparked much online discourse and disappointment for Barbie fans.
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“Obviously I think Greta should be nominated as a director, because what she did is a once-in-a-career, once-in-a-lifetime thing, what she pulled off, it really is,” Robbie said. “But it’s been an incredible year for all the films.”
Barbie is the only billion-dollar film solely directed by a woman, and it outstripped all other films at the box office last year, bringing home $1.4 billion worldwide. As Robbie said, the reaction to the film has become a kind of cultural phenomenon: “I just suspect it’s bigger than us. It’s bigger than this movie, it’s bigger than our industry.”
Robbie also clearly pointed out that she is “beyond ecstatic that we’ve got eight Academy Award nominations, it’s so wild.” Those nominations include Best Picture, Supporting Actress for America Ferrera; Supporting Actor for Ryan Gosling, Costume Design, Production Design and Best Adapted Screenplay for Gerwig and Noah Baumbach. “Everyone getting the nods that they’ve had is just incredible, and the Best Picture nod,” Robbie said.
“We set out to do something that would shift culture, affect culture, just make some sort of impact,” Robbie said. “And it’s already done that, and some, way more than we ever dreamed it would. And that is truly the biggest reward that could come out of all of this.”
Robbie had the SAG screening audience laughing as she described listening in movie theater bathrooms for audience reactions and then being in a pub in Scotland overhearing a group of men on a bachelor party trip discussing the film. “It was just truly fascinating,” she said. “There were people at the table who refused to see the Barbie movie. One guy was like, ‘Dude, it is a cultural moment, don’t you want to be a part of culture?’ And the other guy was like, ‘I’ll never see it,’ and by the end he did want to see it. It was a whole thing.”
Robbie recalled she couldn’t resist approaching the group to say hello. “It took a full minute for them to realize, and I was practically out the door. And then they were like, ‘Ohhhh!’ It was very funny.”
“People’s reactions to the movie have been the biggest reward of this entire experience, whether it’s having a moment like that, or whether it’s listening in the bathrooms, or whether it’s seeing what people are writing online, or even just seeing how much pink I can see in this room right now.”
“I’ve never been a part of something like this. Not like this. I’ve done comic book stuff and that gets a big reaction, but this felt very different. It still feels very different. And I can’t think of a time when a movie’s had this effect on culture. And it’s amazing to be in the eye of the storm.”
This Best Picture nomination is Robbie’s first as a producer—she acquired the rights to Mattel’s Barbie with her production company LuckyChap and shares the nomination with fellow producers David Heyman, Tom Ackerley and Robbie Brenner.
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