When I first wrote about Margot Robbie starring as Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, I said this: “…they can use prosthetics and makeup to plain her up—a blatant Oscar ploy, by the way”. And now there are set photos of Robbie in character as Tonya Harding and they have indeed used prosthetics and makeup to plain her up, and it does indeed recall Charlize Theron “going ugly” for Monster, for which she won an Oscar. The hair and makeup on Robbie are great, but the body suit under her clothes is really freaking me out.
I don’t remember Tonya Harding being that stocky? She was athletic, sure, and noticeably more muscular than Nancy Kerrigan, who had the long balletic extension that is so popular in figure skating. Gymnasts have swung around to a stronger, more muscular build, but figure skating is still taking its body cues from ballet. Maybe this is related to Tonya Harding, though? She represented a different style skater, stronger, more powerful, with huge leaps but less of that long extension. Had she succeeded in 1994, maybe figure skaters would look a little different today. But she didn’t succeed, and ended up disgracing the sport, and figure skaters still look like Nancy Kerrigan. (Lainey: see also Surya Bonaly, who did not engage in a criminal act and was never given the respect and reward she deserved.)
I’m really not picking on Margot Robbie. I am SO into a Tonya/Nancy movie, and her overall look makes me feel a lot better about her casting as Tonya Harding, although I still think Robbie herself is too inherently charming a performer for a person whose athletic career was directly affected by her lack of personal charm. (Really did my best to write around the “knee-capped” pun there and I think I deserve a medal for it.) The body suit seems a bit over-compensating, and you can’t ignore that this is the exact kind of “transformation” used to build Oscar campaigns—Margot Robbie’s bravely portrayed a plain person!—which makes I, Tonya look like a vanity project meant to net Robbie an Oscar nomination, at the least. But I’m still here for Nancy and Tonya—which, by the way, is a better title for this movie. And speaking of Nancy, they still haven’t cast their Kerrigan. Who should play the ice princess? Who do you want to hear wail Whyyyyyy?
You can Margot in her strong suit here.