Celebrity profiles must somehow convey the legitimacy of their star power, some undeniable quality that explains their image over-saturating our screens. With women, that quality is generally defined by sex appeal, and that sex appeal is generally written about by men.
Margot Robbie is certainly very sexy. It was solidified in her Vogue interview that she is the hot blonde of our era, and that it was largely her part in Wolf of Wall Street that created her persona. In a new Vanity Fair article, that point and many others like it are repeated by interviewer Rich Cohen:
In the screenplay, Terence Winter describes the character simply as “the hottest blonde ever.” A Brooklyn-born striver, the Duchess hitches herself to a drug-addled, morally compromised wunderkind played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Robbie went off script in the audition to slap DiCaprio hard across the face. And got the part. Other roles followed, none particularly memorable. As Celine Joseph in Suite Française. As a war reporter in Tina Fey’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. As a con artist being schooled by Will Smith inFocus. But none of that matters. It was Wolf that defined her. It put her up with Sharon Stone in Casino and Cathy Moriarty in Raging Bull—one of Scorsese’s women.
Of course, the big reason Robbie is so in our face right now is the release of both Suicide Squad and Tarzan, in which Robbie plays Harley Quinn and Jane, respectively. Cohen worked with Tarzan’s producer Jerry Weintraub, who died while the film was in post-production. He spends a significant amount of time focusing on how Weintraub, another man, saw Margot Robbie—a throwback to a bygone era:
Jerry spoke of the actress in a tone he reserved for the big stars, the sure things, the Clooneys and Pitts, those whose magnitude seems old-fashioned. “When I think of Margot Robbie, a single word comes to mind,” Jerry said. “Audrey Hepburn.” In comparing Robbie to the classic movie stars, Jerry Weintraub meant that she is big-time, bankable, elegant...
I looked at Robbie in a new way, tried to see her as she must have looked to Jerry. An echo, a throwback. “A single word: Audrey Hepburn.” From another place, another time. In her, Jerry may have seen a kind of lost purity, what we’ve given up for the excitement of a crass, freewheeling, sex-saturated culture. It’s a revolution suggested by two points in the Margot Robbie oeuvre. It’s how Pan Am, a fantasy of jet-age America, where Bryn Mawr girls took to the skies in search of husbands, becomes Jordan Belfort’s Wall Street, where the Duchess stands nude in a doorway, turning slowly, like a Ferrari on a showroom platform, a human being remade by the late 20th century, coked up, cashed out, and hung on the wall like a trophy.
Through Weintraub and Scorsese and Cohen’s eyes we can look at Margot Robbie as a sexual fantasy. That’s obviously where Cohen’s mind was as he wrapped up his interview, focusing once more on Robbie’s sex scene with Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street. He asks her about her process, how uncomfortable it was to simulate sex in a movie that came out three years ago. For journalism.
“Were you worried you were not going to be able to do it?”
“There isn’t an option. It’s just like, This is what you need to do—get on with it. The sooner you do it, the sooner you can stop doing it.”
“It just seems very awkward.”
“It’s so awkward.”
We sat for a moment in silence. She was thinking of something; I was thinking of something else. Then she stood, said good-bye, and went to see a friend across the room. Jerry was right. She looked just like Audrey Hepburn going away.
What on earth was he thinking of?
Image via Getty.