Margot Robbie found a sneakily brilliant way to research Kayla, the young Fox News employee she plays in Bombshell.
“I just started a fake Twitter account and started following a lot of young Millennial conservative Republican girls,” Robbie, who earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for the role, told the MovieMaker Interviews podcast. “There’s a lot of young conservative Millennial women out there who are extremely vocal on their social media. And that was very helpful.”
As quickly becomes apparent on the podcast (see below), Margot Robbie commits to her work, and not just by doing social media recon on young women who parallel her character: She’s so good at accents that we sometimes collectively forget she’s Australian. She went all in on smallpox and white makeup for Mary Queen of Scots. And then there’s the time she smacked Leonardo Di Caprio during her Wolf of Wall Street audition, and jumpstarted her career in the process.
Robbie, who also received an Oscar nomination for 2017’s I, Tonya, is earning accolades galore for her role in Bombshell as Kayla, whose TV ambitions draw the attention of super-predator Roger Ailes. She talks with us about playing a character with whom she has almost noting in common, and how research helps her shape characters.
She also talks about how she used to work at Subway.
You can listen on:
And right here.
If you enjoy this interview, be sure to check out the next issue of MovieMaker Magazine, featuring a look at Robbie’s Lucky Chap Productions and their upcoming slate of female-focused films, from Birds of Prey to Promising Young Woman to Barbie.
Our second guest, Charles Randolph, talks about how his religious upbringing — including a plot to take Bibles behind the Iron Curtain — informed his script for Bombshell. He talks about why he likes writing conservative characters, his own intense research for Bombshell, and his upcoming scripts about John D. Rockefeller and Hulk Hogan v. Gawker.
Here are some highlights of the podcast, with timestamps:
1:30: Interview begins.
1:56: “In this instance, I signed on to the message of the film before falling in love with the character. And then I went back and started thinking, ‘Okay, who is Kayla, how do I play her? I don’t understand her at all. And I didn’t have a lot to go off as far as personal experience. … But. That was just a research thing.”
5:20: On accents: “Honestly, it’s so integral to my process at this point, I don’t even know how I could act in an Australian accent.”
6:30: A slight digression about Mary, Queen of Scots.
8:15: Margot Robbie’s past jobs at Subway, cleaning houses, and working in a surf store.
10:00: “I could have been arrested for assault but instead they gave me the part.”
11:30: How producing and acting go well together, and some advice from Tina Fey.
14:34: Could Charles Randolph have written Bombshell when Roger Ailes was still alive?
20:00: The only way that Bombshell resembles Marriage Story.
22:30: “Kayla is our emotional center. Kayla is the person we most identify with. And at the same time she’s the most unlike so many of the moviegoers who will go to see this film. So for me she’s always been the character who’s emotional journey is the truest to my own personal journey, having come from that world.”
32:00: Charles Randolph’s upcoming film with Robert De Niro… and about Gawker.
Bombshell, starring Margot Robbie, written by Charles Randolph, is in theaters Friday.