Shooting for Margot Robbie’s upcoming role as fallen figure skater Tonya Harding has finally begun, and today we’re getting our first look at Robbie’s transformation for I, Harding.
TMZ captured two pictures of Robbie on set in character as Harding, wearing high waisted jeans and a curly, blonde wig that honour the 1990s timeline. It’s a stunning transformation for the A-lister, who definitely pulls off playing the real-life Olympian.
American figure skater Tonya Harding found herself at the centre of one of the biggest scandals in sports history back in the 1990s. In 1994, Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gilooly, and her bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt, hired hitman Shane Stant to attack American figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, who was also Harding’s closest competitor. Stant was supposed to break Kerrigan’s leg and take her out of the running for the Olympics, but instead he hit her with a pipe and badly bruised her knee. Kerrigan quickly gained the sympathy of the world and placed second at the Olympics, while Harding became embroiled in the scandal and placed eighth.
With Harding’s involvement in the attack never definitively determined, it will be interesting for audiences who lived through the scandal to see what stance director Craig Gillespie takes with regards to presenting Harding as an innocent bystander or willing accomplice.
In addition to Robbie, I, Harding will also star Sebastian Stan as Gilooly, Allison Janney as Harding’s mother LaVonna Golden, and Paul Walter Hauser as Eckhardt.
It’s still unclear as to who will play Kerrigan in the upcoming film, which is currently listed on IMDB as being released in 2018. We wouldn’t be surprised to see I, Hardings’ release pushed up to the end of 2017 to put it in contention for an Oscar. Physical transformations into real people often result in Oscar gold, for example Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawing, Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos, Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, Nicole Kidman as Virginia Wolff, and Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II.
Playing Tonya Harding isn’t the first time Australian actress Margot Robbie has transformed for a role. The actor surprised audiences with her seemingly effortless turn as the psychotic Harley Quinn in 2016’s Suicide Squad. We have high expectations for her next big role.