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Interview: Margot Robbie Talks ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, Leo DiCaprio’s Final Bedroom Scene, Meeting The Real Naomi & More

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist January 8, 2014 at 12:40PM

Two years ago, up-and-coming actress Margot Robbie was stuck in what she calls a “blessing in disguise”. Her first American TV show, ABC’s “Pan Am”, was cancelled after its first season, but on the upside her freed network contract allowed her to pursue parts in both Richard Curtis’ “About Time” and Martin Scorsese’s next directorial effort. Prior to the network’s decision, Robbie—a 23-year-old Australian star best known for her role on the soap opera “Neighbours”—sent in an audition tape for “The Wolf of Wall Street” on a whim. To her surprise though, Scorsese’s casting director Ellen Lewis saw potential in her tape, and suddenly Robbie found herself in lead contention for the role of Naomi, the smart, sexpot wife to wheeling-and-dealing stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). A short while later, she snagged the role, and Robbie started preparing for her most high-profile film yet.
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The Wolf Of Wall Street

Are you fashioning your Midwestern accent then for "Violent Talents" next [“World War Z” scribe Matthew Mark Carnahan’s directorial debut]?
That film actually fell through… it's beyond annoying. I would've been filming that within a couple weeks. But I hadn't decided about the voice. We had room to move with that. It was set in Detroit though, so I would've opted to pick a dialect that I hadn't done before.

"We were so lucky to get the funding for 'Wolf' to make that kind of film, but it's a rare thing. People just aren't willing to take those kinds of chances these days."

Is it eventually going to start up again?
For sure, but we need to have the right people investing who are going to let the film be made the way it needs to be made. It's a gritty, dark film, and we were so lucky to get the funding for 'Wolf' to make that kind of film, but it's a rare thing. People just aren't willing to take those kinds of chances these days. But it was such a good script. I said to Matt, "I don't care if you make this film in 10 months or 10 years, I'm committed to it." And my character is only in it for five scenes, but I decided if we get the funding in 10 years I'll still be here.

What was the kind of character you were playing?
She was a college student, so hopefully we don't wait too long to make it. I guess if you classified it you could say she's a love interest to Garrett Hedlund's character, but it's not really a love story. It's a very unconventional sort of relationship—not dysfunctional, just unconventional. They see something in each other that doesn't make a lot of sense to other people, I suppose.

[SPOILERS] It's interesting how in your final scene of "Wolf of Wall Street", Jordan's punch to Naomi’s stomach is the final straw, but yet few people equate it with the forced sex that happened a second before. As an actress and as your character, how did you and Scorsese approach that beat? Originally it was you getting kicked down the stairs, right?
Yes, but we couldn't find a way to block it. We didn't intend it to look like rape. We just wanted it to be just the most tragic sex scene you've ever seen. Just uncomfortable, and tragic. Uncomfortable, because we wanted him to be so unaware of her repulsion towards him. Because so much of the nursery scene got cut out, something that you kind of miss is that [Jordan and Naomi] had a sick sort of aspect to their relationship. Not them as the real people, but the characters we created. He's got this sexual obsession with her, and she uses her sexuality to manipulate him, so they both play these weird sort of fucked up sex games to just mess with each other.

So since this end scene was meant to be this cathartic kind of demise of their relationship we wanted it to be just fucked up. She's kind of messed-up, saying, "Come for me", and he's kind of into it because that's what they normally do but she's forcing it—the whole thing is just meant to be painful to watch. When the sex scene's happening, I feel like I can hear a pin drop. I feel like no one's moving. And then when he punches me in the stomach everyone was like "Oh!" And it was so awesome, that collective, audible reaction. No one saw it coming.

You Mentioned The Nursery Scene Was Cut – What’s Missing?
Oh, it was when she was messing with him, saying how [adopts the Bay Ridge accent] "It's going to be nothing but short skirts for a very long time, Daddy," and she's touching herself, effectively masturbating. And he starts telling her a story about their happy life together and how they got all this money, they got these security guards and blah, blah, blah. She's getting more and more into the story, and she thinks she's totally got him, but it's just so uncomfortable once you see what's coming. So she's really touching herself a lot, really getting into it and moaning, and he's going with this story. And then he says she's on-camera and she freaks out and covers herself up. To somewhat of my relief, because I was secretly dreading that scene. That was going to be more uncomfortable to watch than the sex scene at the end. It was going to be really awkward.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is in theatres now.


This article is related to: Interviews, Interviews, Margot Robbie, The Wolf of Wall Street


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