What It Was Like To Meet The Real Tonya Harding, According To I, Tonya's Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie in I, Tonya

There are few more iconic 90s moments than the figure skating rivalry between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. During their showdown during the olympic games, the entire country seemed fixated on which of the athletes would take the top spot on the US team, possibly winning medals in the process. And things only got crazier when Harding's and her husband Jeff Gilooly arranged Kerrigan's leg to be broken backstage. Now that iconic scandal will be adapted for the silver screen with I, Tonya, starring Margot Robbie as the title character. The Suicide Squad actress recently opened up about her own interactions with the infamous figure skater, describing their meeting as both surreal and lovely.

I've texted her and things like that since [we left Portland]. She was lovely and understanding that I needed to inhabit the character. I wasn't trying to replicate her and I wanted to embody her spirit. At the end of the day, there is a difference, for me, between her and the character.

It looks like Tonya Harding isn't too sore about the upcoming film based on her, and she's been happy to communicate with Margot Robbie about her role. Robbie also seems to have a good attitude about the part, which is likely what helped Harding be such a class act about I, Tonya.

Tonya Harding has had to deal with being in the pop culture lexicon for decades at this point. She and Nancy Kerrigan are synonymous with their feud and Kerrigan's attack, and a variety of projects have already been produced about their story. From musicals, TV episodes, to movies, their story wand feud has never really been allowed to die. Nancy Kerrigan also recently competed on Dancing with the Stars, with rumors swirling that Harding might be cast in a future season.

But Margot Robbie's comments to Variety seem to prove that Tonya Harding has gained perspective and maturity when it comes to her time in the national spotlight. And considering that I, Tonya is arriving just in time for awards season, she's going to need it. Margot Robbie and Allison Janney already have awards buzz around their performances as Tonya and her mother LaVona Golden. If they manage to get Oscar attention, Tonya Harding will once again be a household name, and will likely be approached for a ton of press opportunities as well.

While based off of Tonya Harding's real life, Margot Robbie seems to understand that she's not going for complete accuracy with her performance in I, Tonya. She's trying to capture Tonya's spirit, rather than a completely identical version of the disgraced figure skater. This will likely help Harding separate herself from the film as well, and maybe even allow her to enjoy Robbie's performance.

I, Tonya will arrive in theaters on December 8, 2017. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.