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How Margot Robbie Prepared For The Role of Harley Quinn

Gettyimages | Jon Kopaloff
By Nora Pattugalan

Margot Robbie landed the role of Harley Quinn back in 2016 for the movie ‘Suicide Squad’. Other than the hair and makeup, Robbie prepared herself mentally and physically to fully envelop the character’s being. What people may not know is that the actress had to go through extreme measures to ensure Harley Quinn’s authenticity as a live-action version. From appearance change to mental and vocal changes, here are some of the things Margot Robbie had done to prepare for the role.

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Getting the Offer

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When you become an actor, you are presumably offered movie roles and television gigs to start out. For the movie 'Suicide Squad', Margot Robbie told during an MTV interview in 2015, that she was simply asked if she would like to partake in the role of Harley Quinn. In part, she had already known fellow actor Will Smith who seemingly comforted the idea of her being in the movie. The casting and timing worked out perfectly as she outstandingly embodied the character.

Voice Change

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Tuning into her inner Harley Quinn, the actress, being unfamiliar with the comics taught herself to change voice by watching ‘Good Fellas’ and impersonating the character Karen Hill. This was in addition to watching ‘Batman: The Animated Series’. With steady discipline, Margot Robbie managed to adapt to the new voice, bringing Harley Quinn partially to life. In order to complete the new and improved Harley Quinn, she added carefully detailed acting and a killer look for the character. The choices Robbie made allowed her to become the infamous Harley Quinn. Currently, it is revealed that the actress couldn’t stop using her Harley Quinn voice post-filming.

Transforming Appearance


As part of skin preparation, Margot Robbie modernized Harley Quinn with temporary tattoos and face makeup. This process was done before filming each day. As for the costume change, Robbie was forced to exercise and tone her body shape to fit the character’s shape. Cardio exercises such as ballet jumps were added to Robbie’s routine to stay in shape. As character development became more contemporary, it was decided that Harley Quinn would wear shorts and that were definitely uncomfortable for the actress to wear in ‘Suicide Squad’ and she was given more comfortable and colorful outfits in Birds of Prey to note character development.

Examine the Relationship Between Joker and Harley Quinn

At the beginning, Margot Robbie was asked about her opinion on the dynamic between Harley Quinn and Joker. Truthfully, the actress was confused. In her story arc, Harleen Quinzel is a woman transformed. Her infatuation and lunacy for the diabolical Joker corrupted and sculpted her into someone else. This can be seen again in the movie 'Birds of Prey'. At the time, Jared Leto's portrayal of the Joker was unpredictable. As she prepared for this role, there were a lot of mental and emotional considerations. In order to be Harley Quinn, she must understand Harley Quinn.

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