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Margot Robbie Hits the Ice (And the Hair Products) for Tonya Harding Role in ‘I, Tonya’

Chris Cole / Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images
Chris Cole / Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images

Margot Robbie wasted no time leveraging her stardom into producing her own projects, including an upcoming DC all-female super-villain ensemble film (in which she’ll reprise the role of Harley Quinn) and, perhaps more interestingly, a biopic about disgraced former figure skater Tonya Harding. Today brings our first look at Robbie’s transformation for the title role in I, Tonya, which is a bit more physically involved than just adding a bottle of hairspray.

The Today show shared a sneak peek at Robbie on the set of the upcoming film, directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, Million Dollar Arm) from a script by Steven Rogers (P.S. I Love You). As you can see in the short clip below, Robbie received a makeover (or make-under, if you will) to play the former figure skating champ, who emerged from a blue collar background and overcame the odds to become one of the fiercest and most talented competitors:


Robbie’s transformation goes beyond merely adding a ton of hairspray and donning some ’90s clothing — she’s also been training on the ice, displaying real commitment to the role. Harding became infamous when her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly (played by Sebastian Stan) and her bodyguard were linked to a vicious assault on fellow competitor Nancy Kerrigan, Harding’s biggest rival at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Kerrigan was attacked by a man who hit her just above the knee in what appeared to be a direct effort to cripple the beloved figure skating star.

Harding was subsequently prosecuted and, after striking a plea deal, stripped of her title and banned from U.S. Figure Skating. In the years that followed, the once-promising figure skating champ became tabloid fodder.

I, Tonya also stars Allison Janney as Harding’s mother, LaVona, and Paul Walter Hauser (Kingdom) as Harding’s bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt. The film doesn’t have an official release date, but is expected to hit theaters sometime in 2018.

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