Men have dominated the entertainment industry for hundreds of years. Whether it’s their roles as directors and producers, or the leading characters they portray in films, they’ve always been seen as the gods of Hollywood, while women have been relegated to sit in the sidelines and applaud their achievements. Australian actress and producer, Margot Robbie has chosen to shed some light on a handful of disregarded female characters and actresses, as well as female writers, by moving them from the sidelines to center stage in Hollywood.
Robbie has quickly become a trailblazer for other women in the short time she’s been in the film industry. She has established her career by pushing the boundaries of female roles, managing to pick up a handful of Critics’ Choice Awards along the way, and breaking a lot of misconceptions about herself, as well as female actors as a whole. Her first role on the big screen in America was when she played the “hottest blonde ever” according to the script for “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Robbie received a lot of praise for her role in the film, and it was easy for people to see her as the newest pretty blonde actress in Hollywood that will play the role of someone’s “hot girlfriend” in other films. She however, did just the opposite.
Since that role, she has been a number of blockbuster films including “Suicide Squad”, “The Legend of Tarzan” and her latest, “I, Tonya” for which she was the first women to be nominated for an Oscar in the best actress category for playing an athlete.
Her roles in these films are unconventional and she has been able to completely transform herself into stunning, larger than life characters who are far more complex and inherently beautiful than “hot girlfriend.” Robbie said in an interview with Daily Motion that she’s “never wanted to play the damsel in distress” and her roles in films so far has been far from it.
Robbie is reshaping the mold of young women in Hollywood in both the acting world, as well as the producing world. She runs her own production company, LuckyChap Entertainment, alongside her director husband Tom Ackerley.
Her once side-project movie production company has steadily been rising to the top, filling in the void in Hollywood of female filmmakers, post-fall of the Weinstein Company.
In an interview with MTV, Robbie talked about how vital it is to promote female filmmakers and female roles and have them be directed by women instead of men.
“The idea was to have as many female filmmakers working a project with a female voice and female characters at the center of it,”said Robbie.
Her newest project with LuckyChap involves a ten-part series written by female writers to bring to life updated versions of Shakespeare’s writings, this time focusing on the female roles.
This production, which has yet to be named, is a big deal for a number of reasons, the biggest being the fact that it is honing in on the works of Shakespeare. Teenagers grow up familiarizing themselves with Juliet Capulet, Lady Macbeth, and Bianca and Katherine as part of their mandatory high school curriculum. But they never see them play a big role or receive the respect they deserve.
To have a show where these well known female characters are given the opportunity to shine, allows teenagers to see the importance of having a strong woman lead and not just be forced to stay quiet, be ridiculed or killed for standing up for themselves as they are seen in most Shakespeare plays.
Robbie is in some sense rewriting history by changing the way women have been perceived in literature and film for centuries, allowing them to get the attention they deserve. Most importantly, she is inspiring young girls to want to grow up to be these brilliant, level-headed women she plays both on screen and off.
She has used her platform to draw attention to the prejudice women in show business have received, even going as far as writing a letter to Hollywood, describing how difficult it is to to deal with sexism and unrealistic expectations on a day-to-day basis. She acknowledged the importance of women standing together to make a real change.
“We can not only highlight the painful inequities, but we can continue to speak out as long as they exist,” she wrote. “And we can keep drawing attention to injustice wherever we find it and to use our talents and intellects and privilege to help a new chapter of women, a chapter for all of us.”
Robbie is the true embodiment of the female icons the entertainment industry so desperately needs and is adding to the feminist movement by fighting through the degrading situations women in film have had to endure in the past.