A Minute With: Margot Robbie on feisty females and ‘Focus’

26 Feb, 2015 9:49 am

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – After making her film breakout as the no-holds-barred wife of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort in 2013’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Margot Robbie is taking on Will Smith for a tango of twists and turns in the underground world of heists.

In “Focus,” out in U.S. theaters on Friday, Australian actress Robbie, 24, plays Jess, a street-smart, spirited pick-pocket who teams up with veteran con-artist Nicky (Smith) to learn his trade. Robbie talked to Reuters about the need for strong women in film and working with Smith.

Q: You’ve played feisty, strong women in both “Wolf of Wall Street” and in “Focus,” what draws you to those characters?

A: Strong female characters for sure but they don’t necessarily have to be like the conventionally strong.

As long as they’re strong in their own aspect and have strong opinions, then I find them interesting, people who can shift opinions and stuff, (otherwise) it’s less fun to play and create a character with. So it doesn’t have to be the same every time but something a little different.

It’s always good to have a story arch. For example, Jess in this film is a certain person at the beginning of the film and a totally different kind of person by the end of the film and that’s exciting as an actor because there’s a lot for you to do there.

Q: How urgent is the need for strong female characters portrayed in Hollywood movies?

A: I think people have really taken notice of that and are making an effort to change that.

So, I think there’s actually a lot of great female roles happening and coming out at the moment and I definitely want to be at the forefront of continuing that motion.

Q: You worked opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in “Wolf Of Wall Street,” and now you’re holding your own opposite Will Smith. How was that experience?

A: Will is the best. He’s a really cool guy. He’s very energetic and charismatic and he is really talented. It’s just nice to work with someone that you can learn from.

Q: You were a presenter at Sunday’s Oscars, where Patricia Arquette made a passionate acceptance speech urging for equal pay for women. What was your reaction?

A: I second that motion for sure. Equality not just in the acting industry, for every industry yohat. I’m glad she voiced that, that’s cool.

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