Margot Robbie is winning raves for her performance as Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya,” with IndieWire’s David Ehrlich saying the actress “has never been better” and awards prognosticators giving her pride of place as a contender. During a Vanity Fair interview, however, the actress revealed something unexpected about her process for the film: “To be honest, when I read the script, I didn’t know who Tonya Harding was, and I didn’t realize it was a true story.”
If, like Robbie, you were only three years old in 1994 and living in Australia, you’d be forgiven for not knowing either. For the uninitiated, Harding was a figure skater who so badly wanted to win the ’94 U.S. Figure Skating Championships that she hired a man to injure her rival, Nancy Kerrigan; the incident and its fallout were headline fodder for months on end. “I thought it was entirely fictionalized, and our writer Steve [Rodgers] was so creative to come up with the quirky characters and absurd incidents,” added Robbie.
The film just had its world premiere in Toronto, where it’s emerged as one of the most talked-about selections. It’s yet to receive theatrical distribution, though that’s likely to change soon.