In Focus, out on February 27th, the focus is undoubtedly on Margot Robbie and Will Smith’s palpable chemistry. The sultry, fast talking leading lady is a perfect fit for Will Smith’s swindling and suave character.
At just 24, the Australian native, who first gained recognition in the States for role in The Wolf of Wall Street, is quickly making a name for herself in Hollywood. Here is what you should know about the rising star.
1. She Got Her Start on an Australian Soap
The Australian native got her start on the popular drama, Neighbours. While she was acting Down Under, she was preparing for her future life on the big screen, including working with a dialogue coach to perfect an American accent.
She told The Telegraph, I spent my time on Neighbours getting my ducks lined up. Because in America they need to see you at the right time. It has to be like: ‘Who is she? Great. Can we see her? Yes, here she is. Her accent? Nothing to complain about. Her acting? Good.’ If they can’t see you, they forget you, and if they’ve seen you before, you’re old news.”
2. She Hit Leonardo During Her ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Audition
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, she dished on the lasting impression she made during the audition that ultimately earned her the role of DiCaprio’s second wife in The Wolf of Wall Street.
“In my head I was like, ‘You have literally 30 seconds left in this room and if you don’t do something impressive nothing will ever come of it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance, just take it.’ And so I start screaming at him and he’s yelling back at me. And he’s really scary. I can barely keep up. And he ends it saying, ‘You should be happy to have a husband like me. Now get over here and kiss me.’ So I walk up really close to his face and then I’m like, ‘Maybe I should kiss him. When else am I ever going to get a chance to kiss Leo DiCaprio, ever?’ But another part of my brain clicks and I just go, Whack! I hit him in the face. And then I scream, ‘F**k you!’ And that’s not in the script at all. The room just went dead silent and I froze.”
Although the film’s director Martin Scorsese told her that she could cover up, the actress chose to be naked to make the scene where she seduces Dicaprio’s character more realistic.
She told The Telegraph, “The whole point of Naomi is that her body is her only form of currency in this world. So when Marty was trying to help me out, and said in the scene where she seduces Jordan perhaps I could have a robe on, I said she wouldn’t. She has to be naked. She’s laying her cards on the table.”
Her accent coaching paid off, because her character, Naomi Lapaglia, is a Brooklyn native. In the interview below, with ABC, Robbie explains how she perfected the accent.
3. She Is Dating Someone in the Industry
Robbie has been dating Brit Tom Ackerley for eight months. They met on set, when Ackerley was the third assistant director on Robbie’s film Suite Française. His imdb page marks 2012 as his start in the movie industry.
The first picture of them emerged in June when the pair was spotted lip locking in London.
In August, they were photographed kissing by paparazzi, further fueling romance rumors. Recently, the Australian radio station KIIS, asked about her boyfriend. When the host asked if they were still together, she said, “Yeah he’s back in London.” He thought she had announced a split, and Robbie clarified, saying, “No, no, not at all, it’s just I have to work in America at the moment and he has to work in London.”
4. She Never Thought She’d Be Will Smith’s Love Interest
In Focus, the chemistry between Smith and Robbie heats up the screen. However, the pair admit that they don’t consider themselves a typical on-screen couple. Robbie explained this to The Independent, saying, “Initially I thought, ‘I would never get cast opposite Will Smith! No one would ever buy it with the age difference, our personalities.’ I can’t think of a couple that makes less sense in every way, shape and form. A lot of people, including Will probably, were like, ‘I don’t see this working’, and then we got in the room. It ended up that we have similar personalities and it worked fine. We got along immediately and had this immediate rapport. Chemistry’s a weird thing…”
In a video interview with the Daily Mail, she said, “I was like, ‘This is crazy. We all know I’m not going to get this role…No one is ever going to buy us as a couple.”
5. She Will Play ‘Tarzan’s’ Jane
In the film Tarzan, slated for a July 1, 2016 release, she plays Jane to Alexander Skarsgard’s Tarzan.
The 5’6” actress has already been gushing about her male costar’s height. “He’s really big,” she told Digital Spy. “I look like a hobbit next to him.”
She continued to give the True Blood actor accolades, saying, “We were doing camera tests the other day and my fingertips were literally at his kneecaps. I think every girl on set is swooning.”
Screenrant reported that Robbie beat out Jessica Chastain and Emma Stone for the iconic role. Below is a picture of her on set in England.