Margot Robbie is pretty much a household name these days, but you don’t just walk into that kind of fame, you earn it.
Prior to her role in The Wolf Of Wall Street you’d be forgiven for perhaps not knowing who the Australian actor was – so what changed her fortunes overnight from relative obscurity to being one of the most recognisable faces in Hollywood?
Well, as Robbie revealed to Harper’s Bazaar it was because she cold cocked Leonardo DiCaprio with one hell of an improvised slap.
Robbie recalled of her audition with Leo:
We get three lines into it and he says something and, subconsciously, I roll my eyes. And Leo’s like, “What was that look for?” And I’m thinking, in my head: “That’s not a line! Is he really asking me that? Should I explain?” And then I realise he’s ad-libbing. I’m like, “Oh, shit. He’s improvising! I need to improvise now!”
‘So I’m failing miserably. And Leo’s phenomenal. He’s powerful. He can do his part and he can do your part at the same time with his eyes closed. I’m barely getting a word in. When I do it’s not anything interesting – I just look pathetic.
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, “Fuck you!” And that’s not in the script at all. The room just went dead silent and I froze.
Turns out it was a pretty smart move…
I’m thinking, “You just hit Leonardo DiCaprio in the face. They’re going to arrest you because that’s assault. You’re definitely never going to work again, that’s for sure. They’ll probably sue you as well in case there’s a bruise on his face and he needs to film something else.”
And then all of a sudden Marty and Leo just burst out laughing. Marty says, “That was great!” Leo’s like, “Hit me again!”
Martin Scorsese has been a massive fan ever since – he recently wrote a profile on Robbie as one of Time magazine’s ‘Most Influential 100 People’:
She clinched her part in The Wolf of Wall Street during our first meeting—by hauling off and giving Leonardo DiCaprio a thunderclap of a slap on the face, an improvisation that stunned us all.
This is not a complete answer to the perennial question, but it’s a start. Margot is stunning in all she is and all she does, and she will astonish us forever.
Who said violence doesn’t solve anything?