Margot Robbie: ‘I’ve been listening to a lot of TED Talks lately on new-wave feminism’

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Margot Robbie’s promoting an assortment of films these days – Goodbye Christopher Robin and I, Tonya, which will probably be an Oscar contender. I’m actually a little bit surprised that Margot hasn’t been doing more interviews and more magazine covers, but that probably has something to do with how muted the Oscar season has been so far, and how muted it will continue to be in the wake of the sexual assault and harassment revelations rocking Hollywood. Margot covers the December issue of Vogue Australia, and you can see the full editorial and full interview here. She’s an interesting woman, but… not the most quotable young actress. Say what you will about Jennifer Lawrence, but she makes every interview count. Some highlights:

Margot’s career goals: “I already work with a ton of female writers who are brilliant, and I want to work with female directors. I really want to work with actresses my own age. I’m trying so hard to get projects up and running with an ensemble of young female characters, because that’s my life, my group of girls, we’re a gang and we roll together and I’m like: ‘Why is that not reflected in film?’”

She’s working in Albuquerque, New Mexico: “It’s stunning here. I went for a walk this morning trying to tire Boo out. It’s like walking into the set of an old Western. Apparently, it’s the cleanest air in America here, too. I think we’re 5,000 feet above sea level. And the crew are just so great to work with. It’s so beautiful, we’re really lucky.”

Whether life is different now that she’s married: “That’s the thing, we were best friends and roommates before and now we’re like best friends and roommates still, so nothing’s really changed at all. Other than the fact that I get to wear this [her ring] on the weekends. I can’t obviously wear it during the week when I’m working – I don’t want to lose it on set.”

Women are resilient: “To me, when I think of women, I think the word that sums up women so well but isn’t used as often as it should be is ‘resilient’. Women are so resilient and I think the response to the whole Weinstein situation kind of proved that. Because it’s astounding how quickly everyone pivoted from being heartbroken about the news to, how do we move forward? How can we move forward? What good can come out of this? Everyone was so supportive immediately and then automatically looking to the future, which made me even more proud to be a woman.

Whether she considers herself a feminist:
“I do, I do. But a couple of years ago I was almost scared to say I was because it had so many negative connotations, like: ‘If you’re a feminist, you hate men.’ I’ve been listening to a lot of TED Talks lately on new-wave feminism and it’s not about hating men, and men can be feminists too. My favourite definition of a feminist is ‘any person who believes in gender equality in a social, emotional, financial respect’, and that means Tom’s a feminist, I’m a feminist.”

[From Vogue Australia]

I sort of appreciate the idea of Margot thoughtfully YouTubing TED Talks on feminism and figuring out how to talk about it. I appreciate that. I think women are resilient too, but it’s depressing to realize, in the wake of everything, just how resilient so many women had to be. And what about those women who weren’t “resilient,” whose careers were destroyed or hampered by perverts and abusers? What about them? I’m not expecting Margot to have the answer to that, I just think we – as a society – shouldn’t be so eager to act like “okay, so all of these women have come forward and now we’re completely focused on what to do next so everything is fixed!” That’s not the way it works, and that’s not the way it will work.

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Cover courtesy of Lachlan Bailey for Vogue Australia, additional photo courtesy of Getty.

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7 Responses to “Margot Robbie: ‘I’ve been listening to a lot of TED Talks lately on new-wave feminism’”

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  1. Hh says:

    i Only skimmed this post. But I wanted to say, Kaiser you are really working it today. I hope you got a good rest on the extended weekend.

  2. Alleycat says:

    This may be my biased because I don’t like her, but everything she says sounds like bullets she was told to hit. Everything was elementary feminism, which is fine, not everybody will be super educated and it takes time. But I don’t think I need a whole article on it from her just because it’s oscar season. Give me actual depth, please.

    • KLO says:

      I agree with you. Just to add – it was still a good start. And very digestible for her 13-year-old fans and the elderly white gentlemen who dont know much about the subject at all.


      • detritus says:

        this is how i feel, she’s just barely scratching the surface, but we were all there at one point. I’m glad shes making the effort. she may be better served by reading Ariel Levy than listening to Ted talks, but hey, its effort and thats worthy of praise.

  3. Who ARE These People? says:

    Feminism was never about hating men. Not from Day 1.

    Also, there have been allegations about sexual harassment at TED Talks. Feh.

    Kaiser, you are having 1 busy day and thank you for all the great coverage!

  4. INeedANap says:

    I like Mizz Robbie. She could have easily coasted on her looks but she is slowly carving out an interesting career for herself.

    Kaiser, I love what you have to say about resiliency. Women have put up with a lot in every male-dominated industry, but should we have to? No. We’ve made progress, it’s time for everyone else to catch up.

  5. K (now K2!) says:

    One of the things that most galls me about all the revelations are the number of snide comments – on how various women victimised by Weinstein can’t have been that abused, because they had photos taken with him at various events afterwards. It makes me even angrier that the idiots commenting can’t seem to connect the dots, and understand how much that underlines the women’s powerlessness, and inability to speak out – he controlled their careers to such a point that they either walked away from a work life you need huge dedication and commitment to pursue (because let’s face it, most actors fail) or they had to socialise with and play nice with a serial harasser and even rapist, whom they knew continued to predate, after he had abused them. What a horrific choice. The resilience demonstrated by their doing that, with visibly clenched fists and gritted teeth, is striking. I admire them.