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The Transformation Of Margot Robbie From Childhood To Harley Quinn

After a decade on the silver screen, Margot Robbie is a bona fide A-lister with roles in acclaimed and celebrated films, having worked with such high-profile directors as Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. Since 2016, she has defined the role of Harley Quinn, all the way down to a Jersey accent so thick you'd never know her true country of origin. Next week, she will return to theaters in James Gunn's long-awaited "The Suicide Squad."

Fame and the glamour it entails seem to suit Margot Robbie. A single look at that million-dollar smile tells you all you need to know: This person was born for the screen. She's played homewreckers, heartbreakers, and iconic women both fictional and historical. With a heavyweight Hollywood history under her belt, what is it that makes Margot Robbie tick with such explosive star power? This is how Margot Robbie transformed from childhood to Harley Quinn.

Born a sugarcane scion and raised on an outback farm

Even some of her most vivacious fans don't know that Margot Robbie was born on the gold coast of Australia as the daughter of a sugarcane magnate. Although Robbie's father left when she was very young, resulting in a strained relationship between the two (her mom walked her down the aisle at her wedding), she has him to thank for her upbringing on a rural farm, and for her education at private schools, Yahoo Australia reported.

Margot Robbie has made no secret of her disdain for her father, providing a tight-lipped answer when Harper's Bazaar asked her which qualities she takes from him. "None. Nothing. I'm not like him at all," she said, refusing to expand on the subject. Other than her education at Somerset College, it does seem like Margot was left to fend for herself growing up, which goes a long way toward explaining why she's chosen to remain estranged with her erstwhile father.

Odd jobs and Subway sandwich artistry

Despite having a rich father, Margot claims she and her mom, Sarie Kessler, struggled to get by after he left. Margot picked up odd jobs to make ends meet, including a job making sandwiches at Subway. She told Vanity Fair that she was initially tasked with slicing vegetables and cleaning cutlery, but that she was promoted to the sandwich line. "I was really good at it!" she said. "I make a mean Subway. The trick is to spread everything evenly out and cut it so well that there is never a bad bite."

Robbie's other jobs included catering, warehouse work, and a stint at a pharmacy, taking her first real job at a mere ten years old. However, it's safe to say Margot Robbie got the last laugh. After landing her first big acting gig on an Australian soap drama, Subway hired her to star in a commercial spot.

Margot Robbie's first repeating role was on an Aussie soap drama

Audiences outside Margot Robbie's home country of Australia probably think of her as the avatar of Tonya Harding or Sharon Tate, but back home, she's often recognized for her work on "Neighbors," wherein she played a character named Donna Freedman, who soon became a fan favorite due to what many saw as positive bisexual representation (Donna hooked up with both men and women) and Robbie's obvious star power.

Originally cast as a one-time role, Donna soon became a recurring character on the show. She ended up staying on for three years, but in 2010, she left Australia to pursue a career on the American film scene in Hollywood, telling TVWeek, "I want to go to America; it's always been my goal to work in Hollywood. It's the one stage in my life where I have absolutely nothing holding me down." Based on what was to follow for the young star, leaving her beloved soap was a very good decision.

The face slap that landed Robbie a role in Wolf of Wall Street

After being cast in several movies, Margot Robbie wasn't yet a household name. All that changed when Martin Scorsese picked her to play Jordan Belfort's wife, Naomi Lapaglia, in the veteran director's stunning epic of greed and debauchery, "Wolf of Wall Street." The role had her playing opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, whose deranged energy she matched beat for beat, no small feat considering how committed to the part her scene partner was. She reportedly got the part by slapping Leonardo DiCaprio in the face during her audition, a move that was decidedly not in the original script. Of that day, she says, "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.'"

That slap set in motion a storied career which led to her iconic role as Tonya Harding in "I, Tonya" and a turn as the late starlet Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood." Along the way, however, she defined one of the most beloved villains in superhero history.

Margot Robbie makes Harley Quinn her own

When she signed onto David Ayer's "Suicide Squad," Robbie didn't know much about the character. "I wasn't familiar with the comics. I had vaguely heard of them, but I had no idea that there was such a big fan-base for Harley," she told the Washington Post. Even so, her take on the character was a hit, and Vogue listed the character as the number one most Googled Halloween costume of 2016. That costume was a wild departure from the Joker-themed one-piece of the comics, consisting of fishnets and a studded belt below a ripped tee shirt reading, "Daddy's Lil Monster." Robbie would later update the costume to cater less to the male gaze in films over which she had more control.

Though she initially had no plans to reprise the character of Harley, Robbie leapt at the opportunity to redeem the character with a feminist spin in "Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)," which was released in 2020. She was an executive producer on the picture, which told the story of Harley Quinn's breakup with the Joker and saw her acting opposite of Ewan McGregor as the villainous Roman Sionis. "I thought the industry needed a girl-gang action story," she told Rotten Tomatoes.

Next week, with the release of James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad" in theaters and on HBO Max August 6, Robbie will return once more to the role alongside co-stars John Cena, Idris Elba, and Nathan Fillion, among others.