Margot Robbie embraces role in I, Tonya

I, Tonya, directed by the Australian Craig Gillespie (who also directed The Finest Hour and Million Dollar Arm), is a movie depicting, one of the most controversial and scandalous incidents in sports history.

The life story of Tonya Harding, portrayed by the actress Margot Robbie (who also starred in Suicide Squad and The Legend of Tarzan), captivated audiences and gave the viewers an inside look of Harding’s perspective of the incident.

Tonya’s dream of becoming a figure skater came to life early on as she devoted her entire life to figure skating at the age of 4. Tonya’s father was out of the picture and she underwent a life of physical and emotional abuse from her mother and later, her boyfriend/husband, as portrayed by Allison Janney and Sebastian Stan. Nonetheless, she continued to skate and compete to the best of her abilities; but, the judges refused to give her a fitting score. Working to earn a spot on the olympic team, Tonya Harding became the first female figure skater to land a triple axel in competition.

The start of the scandal began when Tonya and her husband Jeff Gillooly decided to psyche out the competition by sending an anonymous death threat to competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. After a series of miscommunications between Jeff and Harding’s bodyguard, the infamous incident occurred. Nancy Kerrigan was assaulted with a retractable baton which ended up shattering her knee.

I, Tonya follows the investigation of this incident through the recreation of interviews with the actual people involved. Since its premiere, the film has won a series of awards such as the AACTA International Award for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, Critics Choice for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Margot Robbie “spent four hours a day, five days a week, learning to ice skate, becoming obsessed with the sport.” In addition to her physical training, Robbie spent a massive amount of time studying Tonya. In her interview with Rolling Stone, Margot Robbie explained, “I watched for about six months every single thing, every bit of skating, every bit of interview, every documentary, I played it on my iPod at night …I had her face, like, painted on the inside of my eyelids and her voice just constantly in my head.” Robbie’s commitment to the film and the character was easily transparent; her rigorous training efforts paid off in her amazing performance.

This movie has received widespread praise. Regarding whether it portrays the actual truth is controversial because the film showcases the life of Tonya Harding from her perspective. Thus, it places Tonya in a position of sympathy. Overall, I, Tonya was an drama-filled, entertaining, funny, and shocking movie that is definitely worth watching.