Margot Robbie's acting profile has steadily risen over the past several years. In that time, she's taken on a wide range of roles, playing a DC member of the Suicide Squad, a problematic U.S. Olympian, Jordan Belfort's lover in The Wolf of Wall Street, famous Tarzan character Jane Clayton, and a naked character in a bathtub in The Big Short. She's recently played a stripper in Terminal, and now she's speaking out about nudity and sexual power in films, and how she feels about nudity in particular roles. As she has been naked on film before, she's not opposed, but she says there needs to be a motivation and self-awareness for the scenes to work. According to Robbie:
If I see it in a character that's using it as a weapon, or a tool, or doing it intentionally. Like in Wolf of Wall Street, she's wearing a short dress for a reason. She knows it's her currency. She's going to get her own. That feels empowering. When it's used in a way that there isn't that self-awareness, then it does feel like you're kind of taking advantage. And then I don't really vibe with it.
In The Wolf of Wall Street, Margot Robbie's character is in various states of undress throughout the movie. Margot Robbie's character Naomi --spoilers!-- starts out as the other woman. However, after Jordan Belfort's wife finds out about the relationship, she becomes his wife. Through part of the movie, there's always the feeling that if she wants to keep the decadent lifestyle she must keep Belfort happy, and that shows onscreen early on. Eventually the character no longer needs to use her sexual commodity and decides to divorce him. In previous interviews, Margot Robbie revealed that she was given the option to not go fully nude for Wolf of Wall Street, but she chose to portray Naomi in a way that made her vulnerable. Robbie would also get naked in a bathtub for a bit part in The Big Short.
While she doesn't get naked in Terminal, her sexuality is still a commodity in the film, only this time around Margot Robbie had a say in what the character did with it. She also spoke with Yahoo about the pitfalls of being told what to do in Hollywood, especially when she was just breaking out as an actress.
I think it's also something that comes with age. Even if I wasn't doing the producing stuff, I would have started having those kinds of opinions, or being vocal with those opinions anyway. Just because I'm starting to get to the age of working on films pretty consistently for the past ten years. I do have an opinion, and I'm ready to be vocal about it. But at the beginning, to be honest, you're just so grateful that you even have a job that you don't want to rock the boat sometimes.
In Terminal, clearly Margot Robbie could be more vocal about her role. She was a producer on the movie, and she has spent the last several years gaining more autonomy in the industry through producer roles, including a Harley Quinn project. If there's more nudity onscreen in the future, it will likely be on her own terms.