“The haters always say, ‘Tonya, tell the truth,'” says Margot Robbie, in character as Tonya Harding in the new red band trailer for I, Tonya. “There’s no such thing as truth. Everyone has their own truth,” she flatly concludes.
Your standard sports biopic I, Tonya is not. Of course, it couldn’t have been any other way considering Tonya Harding was far from your standard sports icon. Rising from meager means and a childhood spent being raised by an abusive mother (here being played by Allison Janney), Harding shot to the forefront of the American figure skating scene in the early 90’s. That is until, of course, she and her then-husband famously hired a man to attack her main skating rival Nancy Kerrigan in a scandal that would interest The National Enquirer just as much if not more than it did ESPN. The Craig Gillespie-directed movie covers it all: the sad upbringing, the struggle to get to her brief moment of glory, and the media circus that surrounded her downfall.
The movie seems less interested in staking its own claim on what it perceives is the truth, or even dividing hero from villain or right from wrong, instead inspecting the situation from several angles. Robbie even breaks the fourth wall in the trailer to directly address the audience. The movie seems to have more in common with Gus Van Sant’s To Die For than it does, say, your typical sports classic like Rudy.
Even in her preparation for the role, Robbie knew she wouldn’t be playing the “real” Harding.
“I wanted there to be a clear distinction between the ‘real’ Tonya and the one I would be playing,” she told W about her meeting with the skater herself. “I didn’t want to sugarcoat her.”
“In the beginning, I wasn’t really sure. There were things that didn’t add up. Facts were muddled,” she continued. “But the more I became Tonya, the more I saw things from her point of view. I’m on her side 100 percent. I don’t think she did anything but be different from what the world wanted. There are cool misfits, and then there is Tonya. She didn’t fit in. And I love that.”
The part may also lead to Robbie herself competing for a different kind of gold. It’s very likely she’ll wind up with her first Oscar nomination this year.
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Margot Robbie in Gucci in New York, New York, July 2016.
Margot Robbie in Gucci at the Golden Globes in Beverly Hills, California, January 2014.
Margot Robbie in a Blumarine jumpsuit and Alexander McQueen coat at a special screening of Focus in London, England, February 2015.
Margot Robbie in Saint Laurent at the 87th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, February 2015.
Margot Robbie in Christian Dior at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California, February 2015.
Margot Robbie front row at Givenchy in New York, New York, September 2015.
Margot Robbie in Tom Ford at the 88th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, February 2016.
Margot Robbie in Calvin Klein at the Met Gala for “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” in New York, May 2016.
Margot Robbie in Gucci at the premiere of The Legend of Tarzan in Hollywood, California, June 2016.
Margot Robbie in Proenza Schouler at a photocall for The Legend of Tarzan in London, England, July 2016.
Margot Robbie in Miu Miu at the European premiere of The Legend of Tarzan in London, England, July 2016.
Margot Robbie at the photo call for Peter Rabbit at The London Hotel on February 2, 2018 in West Hollywood, California.
Margot Robbie at the world premiere of Goodbye Christopher Robin at Odeon Leicester Square on September 20, 2017 in London, England.
Margot Robbie at the Chanel Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 02, 2019 in Paris, France.
Margot Robbie at the European Premiere of Mary Queen of Scots at Cineworld Leicester Square on December 10, 2018 in London, England.
Margot Robbie at the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California.
Margot Robbie at the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) held at Royal Albert Hall on February 18, 2018 in London, England.
CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 21: Margot Robbie attends the screening of “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2019 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Margot Robbie at the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
Margot Robbie at The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
Margot Robbie at the Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood photo call in London at The Corinthia Hotel on July 31, 2019 in London, England.
Margot Robbie at the Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood UK premiere at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on July 30, 2019 in London, England.
Margot Robbie at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
Margot Robbie at the Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn World Premiere at the BFI IMAX on January 29, 2020 in London, England.