Why Margot Robbie Felt ‘Alienated’ On The Mary, Queen Of Scots Film Set

Playing Queen Elizabeth I was a 'very lonely' experience for the star...

margot robbie

by Katie Rosseinsky |

Margot Robbie has described the ‘alienating’ process of transforming into Queen Elizabeth I on the set of her latest film Mary, Queen of Scots, in which she stars opposite her fellow 2018 Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan.

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, the 28-year-old Australian actress explained how her castmates and crew would treat her differently on set when she was in full hair and make-up, describing the experience as ‘lonely.’

‘I’d say, “Hey, how’s your weekend?” But they wouldn’t even get close to me,’ she told the magazine. ‘It was very alienating. And I felt very lonely. It was an interesting social experiment.’

Margot, who previously drastically altered her appearance for her Oscar-nominated performance in I, Tonya earlier this year, also explained what the three and a half hour transformation process entailed. In order to accurately recreate the Tudor Queen’s distinctive appearance, she revealed, ‘they’d start with a head wrap. Gelling and pinning my hair down. Then we’d do a bald cap.’ Different wigs of varying thicknesses would be selected for different stages of the narrative, and prosthetic scarring would be applied to her face (to reflect Elizabeth’s smallpox marks).

‘Surprisingly, the quick part was the white makeup,’ she added. ‘And the heavily drawn-on blush, eyebrows, lips.'

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The Favourite

Before Olivia Colman stepped into Claire Foy's shoes as The Crown's new Queen Elizabeth, the British actress and national treasure took on a very different royal role. In The Favourite, the latest from The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos, she plays the eccentric Queen Anne, with Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone co-starring as rival courtiers viciously striving for a place in her affections. This central trio is already generating serious awards buzz for their work (it's thought that Colman will compete in the Best Actress category) and Lanthimos's trademark pitch black humour and surrealist flourishes will make this a period drama like no other.Released 1st January 2019

‘Normally there’s someone who steps in and says, “No, keep all the girls looking pretty!”’ she said, alluding to past experiences on set. ‘But Josie Rourke, the director, was keen to explore how Queen Elizabeth’s looks affected her relationships, and everyone had the guts to do it.’

‘Normally there’s someone who steps in and says, “No, keep all the girls looking pretty!”’ she said, alluding to past experiences on set. ‘But Josie Rourke, the director, was keen to explore how Queen Elizabeth’s looks affected her relationships, and everyone had the guts to do it.’

Margot and Saoirse, who share just one scene in Mary, Queen of Scots, did not see one another in their full Tudor get-up until said scene was filmed, giving a more authentic dimension to their shocked reactions. Speaking of the feud that arises between her and Saoirse’s characters, Margot added, ‘I feel like Mary and Elizabeth could have just sat down and worked it out over coffee. But all those men kept getting in their way.'

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