Margot Robbie is one of Hollywood’s most bankable actresses. She has been nominated for two Oscars, and has established herself as not only a leading lady, but also as a powerhouse producer with her production company LuckyChap. She skyrocketed to fame after starring in The Wolf of Wall Streetalongside Leonardo DiCaprio when she was only 22 years old. The breakthrough role moved mountains for the actress, and she has spoken over the years about how much the part meant to her when she was cast. At the time, she was flabbergasted when director Martin Scorsese asked to meet with her, so much so that she didn’t know who people were talking about when they referred to him by his nickname.
When Martin Scorsese was casting The Wolf of Wall Street, hundreds if not thousands of actresses vied for the role of Naomi. Even on the page it was a star-making part, and a juicy role alongside one of cinema’s most well-regarded leading men. There was something about Robbie’s audition tape that caught his eye, and he wanted to meet with the young Australian actress. When she heard the news, she couldn’t believe it, and almost couldn’t comprehend that Scorsese had actually seen her tape. She told CBS Sunday Morning:
Being asked to meet with Scorsese must’ve been such a whirlwind experience, it’s no wonder that her head was spinning when she first got the news. Nicknames like “Marty” and “Leo” may have been easily recognizable for a longtime Hollywood actress with a lot of industry experience, but for someone so green like Robbie, using nicknames felt beyond the realm of possibility. She has since evolved into one of the biggest movie stars, so the Barbie actress is probably on a first name basis with everyone now, however it’s still endearing to hear her reminisce about her humble beginnings.
While it may have been surprising for her to get the call, it wasn’t surprising for the world when they saw her performance in The Wolf of Wall Street. Robbie holds her own against powerhouse performances by DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, and clearly was the right actress for the role. She is funny, animated, sexy, and effortlessly switches between comedic and dramatic scenes. The role could have easily been one note in the hands of another star, but she truly steals the show in every one of her scenes. Robbie is one of the most memorable parts of the 2013 film, and is one of the reasons The Wolf of Wall Street is so rewatchable.
Since then, Margot Robbie has not only made an effort to take on challenging roles like Tonya Harding and Harley Quinn, but her experience with Scorsese also influenced her in consistently choosing to work with auteur directors. She has worked with big names like Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, and Greta Gerwig, and continues to seek out interesting material. She also worked with DiCaprio again in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood…, and probably now confidently calls him “Leo.”
You can revisit Margot Robbie’s tremendous breakthrough performance in The Wolf of Wall Street, which is currently available to stream for Netflix subscribers. Fans of the actress should also check out our feature on the best films by the Babylon star as well as her latest film, Barbie, which is now streaming with a Max subscription.