Margot Robbie worked with a movement coach for the first time in preparation for I, Tonya.
The Australian actress portrays figure skater Tonya Harding in the biographical film, with the narrative following her tough childhood, rise to the top of her sport and connection to the infamous 1994 attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan.
To prepare for the skating scenes, Margot trained for four months with professional skaters, but has now shared that she also worked with a different kind of coach too.
“The thing I did differently with Tonya is I worked with a movement coach, I hadn’t done that before,” she said at a recent London press conference. “We incorporated a lot of Alexander Technique (retraining physical movement), and animal work and I hadn’t done that before, I didn’t go to drama school. So, I’m always trying to learn something new. So that was new to this process and really helped me find the physicality of Tonya.”
In addition, Margot also set out clear timelines and backstories, and had acting and dialect coaching. But she resisted meeting the actual Tonya until two weeks before filming kicked off.
“I kept the character of Tonya and the real-life Tonya very separate in my mind for as long as I possibly could. I needed to approach the character as a fictional character, like I would with any other one - I just had a whole lot more information to start with than I do with a fictional character,” the 27-year-old explained. “I needed that to feel like I could let this character do its own thing on set, not hold back, otherwise I think I would be (easy) to gloss over some character flaws, enhance the good.”
I, Tonya, which also stars BAFTA winner Allison Janney and Sebastian Stan, is now showing in cinemas.