Margot Robbie's star continues to rise even as Focus disappoints. Critics have consistently pegged her as a bright spot in the movie that tries to do too much. But if it weren't for a little bit of improvisational violence, we may have never heard of the Australian actress.
In an interview with Harper's Bazaar Robbie told the story of auditioning for her enthralling role in The Wolf of Wall Street. She slapped Leonardo DiCaprio in the face during a read with Martin Scorsese, a bold move that the star actor and director loved.
Here's her story in full:
"OK, so: big open room, video camera, Ellen Lewis is filming. Just me, Marty and Leo." In the scene, Robbie’s character and DiCaprio’s character…are on their first date. '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 realize 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."
Next scene…Robbie again: "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, 'F*ck you!' And that’s not in the script at all. The room just went dead silent and I froze. 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!'"
Power moves only. No word on if Robbie had to hit Will Smith, too. It could be one of those things you only have to do at the beginning of your career.