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Margot Robbie bases all her movies on animals

Babylon and Barbie star Margot Robbie has looked to animals like honey badgers and pitbulls for inspiration in some of her most iconic roles

Margot Robbie as Barbie in the Barbie movie

Of all the roles Margot Robbie has played in superhero movies, drama movies, and movies based on a true story, each character she inhabits feel extremely distinct from one another. During an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, the Babylon star revealed there was a surprising reason for this — she bases all of her characters on animals.

“It’s a thing. I didn’t go to drama school, so I don’t know if this is something that everyone does in drama school,” Robbie explained. “It’s something I actually started doing when I was on I, Tonya. So that was the first time.”

In terms of which animal encapsulated figure skater Tonya Harding, Robbie revealed that it was a familiar four-legged friend. “I was a pitbull because they’re very misunderstood,” she explained. “With her ice skates on, I wanted to be heavy on the feet… I wanted the character to feel like the world was bearing down on her all the time. But then, on the ice, she’s a mustang, like a wild horse when she’s ice skating. So she’s two animals, really.”

In Babylon, Robbie plays aspiring thespian Nellie LaRoy — and in a conversation about the Margot Robbie movie‘s infamous snake fight scene, told Clarkson that she continued her tradition of drawing her traits from animals.

“The snake fight scene? That’s all honey badger,” she said. “There are actual videos of honey badgers fighting snakes. There’s videos of honey badgers, which aren’t huge animals, fighting lions. And they have really thick skin. [Nellie] fights anything and anyone at the drop of a hat.”

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She continued, “It’s helpful because you do all this research, and you read all these books and watch all these films, and get all the facts about the real-life people at this time. Sometimes your head gets so clouded with statistics and facts and the history,” she said. “But if you just revert back to the animal, then you can just be really, really instinctual.”
It remains to be seen what animal Robbie will inhabit in her next role, but you can check out our guide to the Barbie movie, wherein Robbie plays the titular character, if you want to hazard a guess. Babylon is in cinemas on January 6.