Margot Robbie reveals psychological trauma of filming 'I, Tonya'

Margot Robbie has told magazines that she was so immersed in playing banned figure skater Tonya Harding that she genuinely thought she was the character for several moments off-camera.

Her latest film, I, Tonya, documents the rise and fall of the United States figure skater Tonya Harding, who pleaded guilty to hindering the prosecution following an attack on her fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan, organised by her then-husband Jeff Gillooly, which became an international scandal.

She was banned for life from participating in United States Figure Skating Association-run events as either a skater or a coach.

Margot Robbie, the Australian actor who rose to international fame for her portrayal of Naomi Lapaglia in the 2013 Martin Scorcese film The Wolf of Wall Street, recently spoke of her immersion into Harding's character, as well as the relationship Harding had with her husband.

In an interview with Grazia magazine, Robbie said:

I had lost my mind. I genuinely thought we were these people and we were off the set, running down the street screaming at each other and the cameras are running after us. I think I was screaming something about needing to go to hospital because my hand was broken.

It wasn't, but I was so caught up in the moment. And Sebastian was like, 'Margot, where are you going?' He went to pick me up because I was continuing to tear down off set and I turned and punched him in the head.

She continued:

A few times I've genuinely thought I wasn't on set and that I was that character in that time and in that place.

To truly forget there's a camera in your face is really hard. When it does happen, it's really exhilarating. I don't know if it's because you're so tired when you're filming you're almost delusional.

The role also came with a lot of physical training, Robbie told Wonderland magazine:

Sarah Kawahara, who actually choreographed for Nancy Kerrigan, was training me.

Before that point I thought I wasn’t too bad at ice skating — I used to play ice hockey. I soon realised that I’d just been running on ice, and now there was no padding.

My alarm would go off at 5.30am and I’d want to cry. Sometimes after sessions I’d get back into the car and weep.

She also injured her neck in the process of filming and training - a weekly MRI scan showed that a numb arm was actually a neck injury, as she told Grazia:

I don't think [the numb arm] was connected to the skating.

[I had the scans] to make sure we weren't doing any real damage. I herniated a disc in my neck.

I, Tonya will be released in the UK on 16 February 2018.

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