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TIFF 17

TIFF 17: Margot Robbie applauds Canuck skaters as Tonya Harding flick 'I, Tonya' premieres

By Jane Stevenson, Toronto Sun

(L-R) Paul Walter Hauser, Craig Gillespie, Allison Janney, Sebastian Stan, Mckenna Grace, Margot Robbie, Julianne Nicholson and Caitlin Carver attend the "I, Tonya" premiere during the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 8, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

(L-R) Paul Walter Hauser, Craig Gillespie, Allison Janney, Sebastian Stan, Mckenna Grace, Margot Robbie, Julianne Nicholson and Caitlin Carver attend the "I, Tonya" premiere during the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 8, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Margot Robbie, an Aussie actress who never grew up with an ice rink in her backyard, said playing infamous American Olympic skater Tonya Harding in the new TIFF film, I, Tonya, was a challenge.

“It was so much fun,” said Robbie to The Toronto Sun on the film’s red carpet at the Princess of Wales Theatre on Friday night.

“But, yes, I was kicking myself that we didn’t have ice skating rinks on the Gold Coast. Everyone in Canada is like an amazing skater just by being born here so I felt like I had a lot further to go. I did a lot of training. I did a lot of research.”

Helping out Robbie, of Suicide Squad and The Wolf Of Wall Street Fame, in her Harding portrayal was spending time with the actual skater whose camp was involved in the brutal 1994 attack on fellow American medal hopeful Nancy Kerrigan.

“It was amazing,” said Robbie, who plays Harding from a teenager to a woman in her ‘40s in the film.

“Not that much time. I really did want to differentiate her as a person and the character I play in the film. I felt like if I spent too much time with her then I’d probably hold back when we were filming and I definitely didn’t want to do that. I wouldn’t be right for the character. Yeah, just spent a couple of hours with her before we started shooting, [Aussie director] Craig [Gillespie] and myself did, and then that was it. But there’s much footage in the archives that we could back and reference and replicate in a lot of instances so it was great.”

Gillespie told The Toronto Sun he showed the finished film to Harding and she approved.

“Tonya’s the only one who’s seen it and she’s really happy with it which I was really pleased with because you never know how somebody can be trying to objectively look at themselves and she was really appreciated how honest it was.



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