Margot Robbie Parties With Love Islanders (Leaving Her Husband At Home)
AS MARGOT ROBBIE stepped on to the red carpet at last week’s London premiere of her new film, Birds Of Prey, the Australian actress was an image of confident glamour in a gown from Dries Van Noten’s collaboration with Christian Lacroix. But her husband, Brit Tom Ackerley, stayed decidedly out of the limelight – despite being a co-producer of the film.
Birds Of Prey marks Margot’s return to a blockbuster franchise first explored in 2016’s Suicide Squad and the character of Harley Quinn. In that film, she played third fiddle to Jared Leto’s manic Joker and Will Smith’s assassin Deadshot. Naturally, images of Margot in hot pants nevertheless featured prominently in promotional images. Now, though, she has taken charge of Harley’s trajectory. This film’s subtitle – And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn – is well chosen. Margot has taken an overly sexualized character, enlisted a female director and like-minded actresses, and given Harley her own narrative. She addressed this when asked why she
wanted to revisit the part: ‘I wanted to see what Harley would be like without someone to take care of her.’
It’s down to LuckyChap Entertainment, the production company that Margot and Tom run with the aim of making female-led content. Their next project is A Promising Young Woman, written by Emerald Fennel and starring Carey Mulligan as a woman seeking vengeance on all men after a traumatic incident. They are also working on a film adaptation of Ottessa Moshfegh’s cult book My Year Of Rest And Relaxation. Margot is not in the cast of those projects; instead of taking control of big decisions and acting as a behind-the-scenes powerhouse.
However, she still finds herself fighting sexist tropes when Hollywood investors assume that a man must be the secret brains of the operation. Last month, she bemoaned the misogyny prevalent in the business. ‘When people are asking a question and I have the answer, they readily turn to my producing partners – who are guys – and ask them,’ she explained. ‘And they are like, “Actually she is the one with the answer, you should ask her!” It’s the construct we have grown up knowing.’ She is perplexed too by how men dominate casts. ‘I can’t understand why there aren’t more female ensemble films,’ she told Grazia last week. ‘I want that to change.’
According to friends, Margot and Tom are a formidable team, but they’re careful to strike a balance. ‘When getting the job done, they are firm, knowledgeable and have an answer for everything. But at home, they are funny and have a breezy attitude to life,’ a friend tells Grazia. ‘Their approach to the boardroom versus the bedroom couldn’t be more different.’ Of course, working closely together comes with challenges: they had to push back their honeymoon to work on Oscar-nominated I, Tonya.
After meeting on the set of 2013’s Suite Française, they remain utterly down-to-earth, with Margot fangirling over former Love Island stars Lucie, Michael, and Jordan (for more of which, see box, right).
The couple is famously intensely private, socializing with a close unit of friends. Most of their circle have known Tom for years, and have welcomed Margot into the fold. ‘They all get together to play tennis in the summer or hold barbecues and low-key parties.’ So close is the circle that Tom and Margot marked their third wedding anniversary with a group trip to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Nevertheless, there are difficulties that come with keeping a low profile. The privacy they have gained by sustaining a barrier between public life and personal has meant that she continues to be linked with other men. When she and Will Smith paired up for 2015 drama Focus, much was made of their explosive chemistry and US tabloids reported that Brad Pitt was besotted with her after they worked on. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. ‘There have been real-life scenarios where people have asked questions about
the nature of the relationships. Aside from being pretty disrespectful to Margot, it’s rude to Tom, too. There have been occasions where one of them has had to step in and say, “You know we’re married, right?”’ Tom may not always be standing by her side when the cameras start flashing, but there is no doubt they are a Hollywood power couple to be reckoned with… when they’re not watching Love Island, that is.