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At the age of 24 Australian actress Margot Robbie is an actress on the rise and is starring along side Will Smith in the crime comedy-drama Focus, which is out this week. Along with Focus, she has five movies coming out in the near future – including a couple of major studio releases.
Robbie was born and raised in Gold Coast, Queensland and graduated from Somerset College, a private Christian school, in 2007. She moved to Melbourne when she was 17 to pursue her acting career. Like many actors, she started small, appearing in one episode of the police procedural drama City Homicide and two episodes of the children’s programme The Elephant Princess. She also appeared in the action movie Vigilante and horror-thriller I.C.U., but considering their low IMDB scores she would want us to forget they exist. We all have to start somewhere.
Her first big break came when she landed the role of Donna Freedman in the Melbourne set soap Neighbours: the soap so popular in Britain that we need two showings a day. Neighbours is a programme that has been a launching pad for many Australian actors and singers, including Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue and Natalie Imbruglia. Robbie’s role started off as guest role, playing a character who can politely be described as odd and kooky as she was made out to be an obsessed groupie of an emerging musician who became the desired romantic interest of one of the male teenage characters. Robbie was quickly promoted to become a regular cast member and had a number of storylines, including being responsible for a hit and run incident, having a troubled relationship with her mother, finding her real dad, trying to enter the fashion industry and losing her husband in a motorbike accident.
Robbie had a three stint on Neighbours and during her time she was nominated for Logie Awards for Most Popular New Female Talent and Most Popular Actress. She left the show in 2011 and moved to Los Angeles.
Robbie auditioned to for a leading role in the reboot of Charlie’s Angels, but instead got offered a supporting role in ABC’s drama Pan Am. Pam Am was generally well received, winning the Best Series Award at the Rose d’Or, a pan-European television awards body. But the show only last one season and was cancelled due to low ratings. But it still did better than Charlie’s Angels which only lasted seven episodes and the eighth was never aired in America, suffering atrocious reviews.
2013 saw Robbie appear in two major movies, About Time and The Wolf of Wall Street. Robbie had a supporting role in the rom-com About Time, playing Charlotte, a friend of the main character’s sister and was the focus of Domhnall Gleeson’s Tim: but she was not interested, whether at the beginning or the end of a visit in Cornwall.
The Wolf of Wall Street was the movie where she was truly noticed: this was bound to happen. It is a Martin Scorsese movie, a man who knows a bit about finding acting talent. She worked alongside an ensemble cast. Robbie was perfectly alluring as Jordan Belfort’s second wife enjoying the high life, but ended up suffering the brunt of Belfort’s downfall. Robbie won the Empire Award for Best Newcomer, an award voted for by Empire’s readers and nominated for the same award by MTV. She was nominated for the Rising Star Award at the 68th BAFTA Awards, but lost out to Jack O’Connell. Robbie also won second place in FHM’s magazine 100 Sexiest Women poll in 2014.
After a quiet 2014, Robbie is back with a bang, appearing in three movies, starting with the comedy-drama crime movie Focus. Robbie will star as Jess Barrett, a young con-artist and grifter who is taken under the wing of Will Smith’s Nicky Spurgeon. Appearing with Will Smith is a guarantee, this movie is already receiving a lot of media attention. Robbie looks particularly sexy in stills and trailers for the movie and during promotion for the movie, Robbie beat her co-star in Top Gear‘s Star in a Reasonably Priced Car challenge.
Robbie also stars alongside Star Trek‘s Chris Pine and 12 Years a Slave‘s Chiwetel Ejiofor in Craig Zobel’s (Compliance) adaptation of Z for Zachariah. Based on a screenplay by Nissar Modi – which was on the 2009 Hollywood Blacklist. Z for Zachariah – was met with praise at the Sundance Film Festival and picked up by Lionsgate. Robbie stars as Ann, a woman in the middle of a love triangle in a post-apoloypsic America. The other 2015 movie is Suite Française, a historical drama set in Nazi-occupied France and stars Michelle Williams and Matthias Schoenaerts (The Drop). Suite Française has a March 13 release date in the UK and Ireland and will be released in mainland Europe afterwards: but there is no US release date as of yet.
2016 will be a big year for the Australian actress, appearing in two potential blockbusters. The first is David Yates’ version of Tarzan, starring as Jane Porter, with Alexander Skarsgård as the famous man of the jungle. The other being Suicide Squad – one of Warner Brothers’ entries into the DC Cinematic Universe – appearing with Will Smith and Jared Leto. Suicide Squad is about a group of supervillians hired by the American government who are ordered to perform high-risk deniable ops in exchanged for commuted sentences. Robbie will be Harley Quinn, The Joker’s partner in crime and a fan favorite for superhero fans. The Harley Quinn role is not even the first comic book role that Robbie has been attached to, she auditioned to play Sue Storm in Fox’s reboot of The Fantastic Four, but lost out to House of Cards‘ Kate Mara.
Robbie is currently filming The Taliban Shuffle, also known as Fun House in New Mexico. She reunites with Focus directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa stars alongside Tina Fey, Martin Freeman and Alfred Molina as the movie follows two journalists in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the War in Afghanistan.
Robbie status as an actress is rapidly growing, working her way from television to movies with some of the biggest stars in front and behind the camera. She is another great success story for Neighbours and we are set to see a lot more of her in blockbusters and prestige pictures.