Before Margot Robbie was Barbie, she was Harley Quinn, Naomi Lapaglia, Tonya Harding, and many more characters. There’s no doubt Robbie loves her job as an actor, and while tackling the role of an iconic children’s toy wasn’t initially on her career bucket list, it’s clear she’s happy she took a chance with the role.
A month before the highly anticipated July 2023 release of “Barbie,” Robbie spoke to Vogue about how playing the role never even crossed her mind. “It wasn’t that I ever wanted to play Barbie, or dreamt of being Barbie, or anything like that,” she explained. “This is going to sound stupid, but I really didn’t even think about playing Barbie until years into developing the project.”
And while “Barbie” might arguably be Robbie’s most hyped-up movie in her career so far, it’s by no means the only role she’s slayed. Take a look back at Robbie’s best movies below.
1. “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013)
Robbie stars as Naomi Lapaglia, the onscreen wife of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort, in this Martin Scorsese-directed film. The 2013 movie — which is deemed her breakout role — follows the highs and lows of Belfort’s life as he ran his own brokerage firm and engaged in illegal activity both at work and in his personal life.
2. “I, Tonya” (2017)
This 2017 biographical film tells the story of former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding (played by Robbie) as she finds herself engulfed in a scandal after she stages an attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan in 1994. The cast also includes Sebastian Stan as Jeff, Tonya’s now ex-husband, and Allison Janney as the athlete’s mother, LaVona.
3. “Babylon” (2022)
Set in the 1920s, Robbie (Nellie LaRoy) stars alongside Brad Pitt (Jack Conrad), Diego Calva (Manny Torres), Olivia Wilde (Ina Conrad), and more in this film, which is about “the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood,” according to the film’s official description. The film garnered mixed reviews.
4. “Bombshell” (2019)
Three women (two based on real-life people and one fictional) take on Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News, amid the toxic atmosphere he created. Robbie stars as the fictional Kayla Pospisil alongside Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, and John Lithgow as Ailes.
5. “Peter Rabbit” (2018)
Robbie voices Flopsy in this adorable animated film, which is based on the books by Beatrix Potter. The movie follows Peter, a mischievous rabbit, as he causes chaos in Mr. McGregor’s garden. Robbie went on to voice the character again in “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” and “Flopsy Turvy.”
6. “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” (2006)
This film is based on war correspondent Kim Barker’s memoir, which recounts her time on assignment in Kabul, Afghanistan. Robbie plays Tanya Vanderpoel, a fellow journalist whom Kim meets and helps her adjust to her new life.
7. “Goodbye Christopher Robin” (2017)
Robbie plays Daphne Milne in this film, which tells the story of the inspiration behind “Winnie the Pooh,” which includes writer A.A. Milne’s relationship with his son, Christopher Robin. Speaking about the film at its premiere in London’s Leicester Square in September 2017, Robbie told the Press Association (via Irish News) that she learned a lot while making this movie. “In every film the greatest gift is getting to explore a certain time in history,” she said. “I now have a much deeper understanding of that time and what it was like to live between World War One and World War Two — especially as a woman — it was fascinating.”
8. “Amsterdam” (2022)
“In the 1930s, three friends witness a murder, are framed for it, and uncover one of the most outrageous plots in American history,” reads the official synopsis for this film, in which Robbie stars as Valerie Voze. The film also stars Christian Bale as Burt Berendsen, John David Washington as Harold Woodman, Alessandro Nivola as Detective Hiltz, Chris Rock as Milton King, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Libby Voze.
9. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (2019)
Set in 1969 — the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in Los Angeles — a washed-up actor and his stunt double set out to find success. Robbie portrays Sharon Tate, a real-life actor and model.
10. “Dreamland” (2019)
Robbie plays fugitive Allison Wells in this love story set amid the Great Depression. Independent (UK) critic Clarisse Loughrey praised Robbie for her performance, writing, “It’s fascinating to watch an actor like Robbie, who so consciously uses beauty as a tool to define the way her characters drift through the world.”
11. “Mary Queen of Scots” (2018)
Saoirse Ronan’s Mary Stuart attempts to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, played by Margot Robbie. Her plan lands her in trouble, leading to years of imprisonment and her ultimate execution. The cast also includes Jack Lowden as Lord Darnley, Joe Alwyn as Robert Dudley, David Tennant as John Knox, and Guy Pearce as Sir William Cecil.
12. “Suicide Squad” (2016)
Iconic characters, including Joker, Harley Quinn (Robbie), Deadshot, Enchantress, and Batman, are among the supervillains who make up a defensive task force to help save the world from the apocalypse. Robbie is in good company surrounded by top actors, including Will Smith, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, and Ike Barinholtz.
13. “The Legend of Tarzan” (2016)
Robbie plays Jane Clayton in this movie about Tarzan’s return to the jungle. The movie didn’t receive the greatest reviews but was still entertaining, with Kevin Maher of the Times (UK) writing, “The Legend of Tarzan is a Marmite blockbuster that will repel and attract in equal measure.”
14. “Barbie” (2023)
Playing the title role, Robbie’s character sets out for self-discovery alongside her pal Ken, played by Ryan Gosling. The movie attracted incredible talent, including America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Michael Cera, Issa Rae, Will Ferrell, Simu Liu, and many more.