Margot Elise Robbie (born 2 July 1990) is an Australian actress. Robbie started her career by appearing in Australian independent films in the late 2000s. She was later cast in the soap opera Neighbours (2008–2011), which earned her two Logie Award nominations. After moving to the United States, Robbie starred in the short-lived ABC drama series Pan Am (2011–2012). In 2013, she made her big screen debut in Richard Curtis’s romantic comedy-drama film About Time and co-starred in Martin Scorsese’s biopic The Wolf of Wall Street. In 2015, Robbie co-starred in the romantic comedy-drama film Focus, appeared in the romantic World War II drama film Suite Française and starred in the sci fi film Z for Zachariah. In 2016, she will portray Harley Quinn in the superhero film Suicide Squad and Jane Porter in the action-adventure film The Legend of Tarzan.
Robbie was born in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, the daughter of Sarie Kessler, a physiotherapist, and a former farm-owner father. She has three siblings, older brother Lachlan “Lockie” Robbie, younger brother Cameron Robbie and an older sister, Anya. Robbie and her siblings were raised by their single mother. She has minimal contact with her father. Growing up, she split her time between the beach and her grandparents’ farm in Dalby. To make ends meet, Robbie worked three jobs simultaneously at the age of 16. She studied drama at school, graduating from Somerset College. When Robbie was 17 years old, she moved to Melbourne to begin acting professionally.
Robbie has been acting professionally since 2007, when she starred in two feature films, I.C.U. and Vigilante. After impressing the director with her performance during an audition, she won the lead in I.C.U. without an agent at the time. Robbie also acted in commercials and had guest roles in The Elephant Princess and City Homicide as Caitlin Brentford.
Robbie began appearing as Donna Freedman on Neighbours from June 2008. The character was originally only a guest role, but she was soon promoted to a regular cast member. In an interview with Digital Spy, Robbie said she had gone on a snowboarding holiday to Canada with her boyfriend soon after auditioning, but had to return after only two days when told that she had won the role.
In early 2009, Robbie appeared in various Network Ten promotions, featuring an ensemble of popular Australian faces on the network. In July 2009, she filled the “Generation Y” guest spot on the Network Ten show Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation. Robbie also became a Youth Ambassador for missing persons as part of National Youth Week.
In the same year, Robbie was nominated for Most Popular New Female Talent at the Australian Logie Awards. She was also nominated for Favorite Hottie at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and was up against her Neighbours co-star Dean Geyer. In September 2010, Robbie announced that she was to leave Neighbours after almost three years to pursue an acting career in Hollywood. Her final scenes aired on 26 January 2011 and in April of that year, Robbie was nominated for Most Popular Actress at the Logie Awards.
After arriving in Los Angeles for pilot season, Robbie auditioned for the new series of Charlie’s Angels. However, the producers at Sony Pictures Television preferred her for a role in ABC drama series Pan Am alongside Christina Ricci. Robbie landed the role of Laura Cameron, a newly trained flight attendant. Pan Am was cancelled after one season due to falling ratings, despite receiving positive reviews from critics.
In May 2012, Robbie joined the cast of Richard Curtis’ romantic comedy About Time (2013) alongside Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy. About Time was released in the United Kingdom on 4 September 2013 and in the United States on 1 November 2013. The film received positive reviews and grossed $87 million on its $12 million budget. In June 2012, it was announced that Robbie was in talks to appear in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey. Her casting was confirmed in August. The Wolf of Wall Street was released on 25 December 2013 to positive reviews and became a commercial success with a worldwide gross of $392 million making it Scorsese’s highest grossing film. The film was subsequently nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. For her performance as Jordan Belfort’s second wife Naomi Lapaglia, Robbie was praised by critics for her Brooklyn accent. Critic Sasha Stone wrote “She’s Scorsese’s best blonde bombshell discovery since Cathy Moriarty in Raging Bull. Robbie is funny, hard and kills every scene she’s in”. She received a nomination for the MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and won the Empire Award for Best Newcomer.
In 2015, Robbie starred opposite Will Smith in romantic comedy-drama film Focus. In the film, she plays an inexperienced grifter learning the craft from Smith’s character. The film was released on February 27, 2015 to generally mixed reviews, however Robbie’s performance was praised. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote “Robbie is a wow and then some. The Aussie actress who made us sit up and take notice as Leonardo DiCaprio’s wife in The Wolf of Wall Street shows a comic flair backed up with beauty and steel. Even when Focus fumbles, Robbie deals a winning hand.” Focus grossed over $150 million worldwide. In 2015, Robbie received a nomination for the BAFTA Rising Star Award. Also in 2015, Robbie played the leading role of Ann Burden in the film adaptation of Z for Zachariah with Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor, which was shot in New Zealand. The film premiered on 24 January 2015 at the Sundance Film Festival and had its theatrical release on 28 August 2015. The film received positive reviews. Robbie’s performance was praised by critics. Drew McWeeny of HitFix wrote “Robbie’s work here establishes her as one of the very best actresses in her age range today”. Robbie appeared in a documentary special celebrating Neighbours’ 30th anniversary titled Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite, which aired in Australia and the UK in March 2015. She also appeared in Suite Française (2015) alongside Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas and Matthias Schoenaerts, an adaptation of Irène Némirovsky’s novel. The film received positive reviews. Robbie made a cameo appearance in Adam McKay’s comedy-drama The Big Short, released on 11 December 2015. On 22 October 2014, Robbie joined Tina Fey in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016), a film adaptation of The Taliban Shuffle. She plays Tanya Vanderpoel, a British TV journalist. The film also stars Martin Freeman and Alfred Molina and was released on 4 March 2016 by Paramount Pictures.
In January 2014, it was confirmed that Robbie will star as Jane Porter in David Yates’s The Legend of Tarzan opposite Alexander Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz, scheduled for release on 1 July 2016. On 16 October 2014, she was approached by Warner Bros. for the upcoming 2016 DC Comics supervillain film Suicide Squad. In December 2014, it was confirmed that she will star as Harley Quinn. The ensemble cast includes Will Smith, Jared Leto, Viola Davis and Joel Kinnaman. Director David Ayer confirmed via his Twitter account that principal photography had commenced on the film on 13 April 2015. Warner Bros. will be releasing the film on 5 August 2016.
Robbie has been confirmed to star in the film adaptation of Marisa Lankester’s memoir Dangerous Odds and Matthew Michael Carnahan’s Violent Talent. In February 2016, Robbie was cast in Vaughn Stein’s thriller film Terminal as Annie.
Robbie lived in New York for several years. As of May 2014, she lives in London with five of her friends. Since 2014, Robbie has been in a relationship with British assistant director Tom Ackerley, whom she met on the set of Suite Française.