The actress recalls feeling like she "couldn't get" the character before filming
Margot Robbie experienced a case of imposter syndrome before playing Barbie.
The actress, who also produced the blockbuster film, recalls in a new Los Angeles Times interview with writer-director Greta Gerwig how she was in a full-on panic right before filming began on Barbie.
"I went to Greta’s house and had that crisis. I’d spent years trying to get this movie going. And suddenly we’re going to shoot the thing," recalled Robbie, 33. "I was like, ‘Oh my God, I dunno how to do this.’ It happens before every single movie I’ve ever done."
"A few weeks out, I have this meltdown where I’m like, ‘What am I doing? I don’t know how to act. Everyone’s going to suddenly realize that I can’t do any of this, and it’s going to be terrible.’ And then it is just sheer panic," she explains.
Robbie said when she went to Gerwig's house that time, her "panic was palpable and debilitating," and she was saying: "'I don’t know how to apply any of this research I’ve done, and I’ve done all the things, and I still don’t know who she is.'"
“It was so hard, because it was trying to pick up something that had nothing to hold onto," said Robbie. "It was like when you’ve got just a grape left in your bowl and you’re trying to get it with your fork, and I’m like, ‘I can’t get you.’ There’s nothing here to hold onto, because she doesn’t have childhood trauma and she doesn’t have all these things that I normally latch onto and then build off. She doesn’t have any of it, and I couldn’t get her."
But, Gerwig "helped me through that and pointed me in all the right directions, and we talked through it," recalled Robbie.
Gerwig also recalled the visit from a worried Robbie before production began. "I have a distinct memory of Margot coming over to my house before we started shooting and having a bit of an actor crisis: ‘How am I doing this?’ It’s the actor equivalent of facing a blank page," the Lady Bird and Little Women filmmaker told the LA Times.
Barbie earned eight total Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture.
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Robbie previously told Vogue about experiencing imposter syndrome in her career. The Oscar-nominated star broke into Hollywood over a decade ago in The Wolf of Wall Street and has since had memorable roles in I, Tonya, Suicide Squad and Bombshell, to name a few.
"After 10 years of going to red carpet events, and for sure for the first couple years, I had major imposter syndrome, where every time I'd go, I was like, 'I can't believe they've let me in. Someone's gonna notice that I don't belong here, and they're gonna kick me outta Hollywood.' ... [But] you go to these [industry events] and you're saying hi to everyone, and you realize like, 'Oh wow. I don't have that imposter syndrome anymore. I'm really in this industry.'
She added, "It's not this wonderful dream that I'm gonna wake up from, and it's all gonna disappear. It's like, no, it's real."
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