IN A CLASS OF HER OWN
Style chameleon Margot Robbie on humble beginnings, making better films, and why she doesn’t wear her engagement ring often
Margot Robbie in Chanel Couture at the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
THE LATE EMMY AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER JERRY WEINTRAUB ONCE COMPARED HER TO AUDREY HEPBURN, not just for her classic beauty and screen charisma, but also for her attitude towards her work. Australian actress and film producer Margot Robbie is certainly deserving of the comparison.
Maud ring in 18K white gold and diamonds, which Margot Robbie wore to the Oscars, CHANEL FINE JEWELLERY
Born and raised in Queensland, Australia, to a single mother, Robbie joined her high school drama class and worked round the clock to make ends meet. “I had a million odd jobs,” Robbie shared. “I worked in a surf store, at Subway, at a pharmacy, behind a bar, and in kitchens washing dishes. I was a babysitter, part-time worker in an office, a waitress, and a check-out chick at a grocery store.”
Margot Robbie at the Oscars 2018, wearing a Chanel Couture gown and Chanel Fine Jewellery
At 17, she got her first gig on the Australian TV soap, Neighbours, and left three years later for Hollywood where she was immediately booked for a role as a blonde flight attendant on Pan Am, the short-lived ABC TV series. A few less memorable movies later, she found herself testing against Leonardo DiCaprio for Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street. The rest is history.
With her own production company, LuckyChap Entertainment, formed in 2014 with her former roommates and new husband, Tom Ackerley, she produced I, Tonya, a runaway dark comedy that earned her first Oscar nomination. She recently beat Jennifer Lawrence to play Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film about the Manson murders. At 27, it seems Robbie has got it all figured out.
So what’s your issue with the paparazzi?
The minute I eat a burger, drink a beer, or go out without any makeup on, the paparazzi will take 10 million pictures and pick out the ones that look the most heinous, and post or print them. But I can deal with that, that’s fine. If you want to be an actor you’ve got to deal with that kind of stuff, and I can. But then I get a bunch of phone calls from the studio that I’m currently working for. ‘Why are we paying for a personal trainer?’, or ‘Why are you eating a hamburger?’ They’re angry, and my team is angry. And I have to appease everyone. I’ll sit on the phone for hours and get berated for having a hamburger.
So you dress to the nines and wear makeup all the time?
Although I love the red carpet, and I think I enjoy the getting ready part more than the actual event — to be honest — normally, I prefer dressing down. If I dress like this, people don’t look twice. It’s as soon as I put on makeup and a dress and have my hair done that I can’t get 10 metres without being recognised.
Your Oscars gown this year got rave reviews. Would you mind sharing how you found this beautiful gown?
It was Chanel! I wanted it to be couture, fancy, and luxurious, but also cool. The plastic handbag and embroidery kept it modern. Sometimes, evening gowns for the Oscars can be ageing, in a way, with heavy embroidery or heavy jewellery. The embroidery on this gown is really modern and interesting. The Chanel couture team put around 550 hours of hard work into crafting the intricate design. And it paid off.
CHANEL FINE JEWELLERY
And how did you pick the jewellery?
It was all Chanel fine jewellery. We originally chose much bigger diamonds, but then we wanted the earrings to feel more organic, so we switched to my favourite, the Coco Crush. The diamond earrings’ quilted motif formed a quiet punctuation, the ideal complement to my dress.
Chanel recently introduced you as an Ambassador for the House. How do you feel about that?
It’s a dream to represent such a timeless and iconic brand. The history of the Chanel woman is so exciting and the brand has remained such a powerful feminine standard of style. I’m thrilled to be joining the Chanel family and continue their celebration of women and fashion.
You’re famous for wearing unique jewellery. You had a very interesting piece on at the 2015 Oscars.
That was a Zip necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels. Not only was the piece stunning, it has a very interesting story behind it. The Duchess of Windsor who had many Van Cleef & Arpels pieces, suggested the concept of a necklace that zipped to the firm’s artistic director back in the late 1930’s. It took more than 12 years to solve the technical challenges of making a zipper in gold. The zipper on the jewel is fully functional, a device that also allows it to be convertible. Unzip it to be worn as a necklace, and zip it up to transform into a bracelet. The piece features 150 diamonds and 300 sapphires, and set in 18K gold.
You really seem to love jewellery. What was the first important piece of jewellery you ever bought?
When I first got to New York, I took my very first pay check, walked straight into Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue, and bought an airplane charm that went on my bracelet. It was symbolic as I was playing a stewardess on the series Pan Am. It was the best feeling ever. I got my little blue box, and I got it for myself.
Is it true that you don’t wear your wedding band and engagement ring every day?
Yes, it is. I like to keep them safe, which is exactly why I only wear them on the weekends. I can’t obviously wear them during the week whilst I’m working. I don’t want to lose them on set.
You’re an ambassador for Richard Mille’s watches. Please tell us about the collaboration?
Richard Mille welcomed me on board to create a unique collection that will benefit Youngcare. For each watch sold for the collection, part of its proceeds will be donated to Youngcare, a foundation that is committed to helping young Australians with high-care needs live life with choice, independence, and integrity. The project complements the contemporary spirit of the collection, where I bring my creative energy as I participate in the design of several models.
The watch we’re working on embodies Richard Mille’s vision of horology. It’s beautiful, unique, and modern. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.