No movie character’s image was more prevalent last year than Harley Quinn, the clown-faced villainess (and girlfriend of the Joker) played to unforgettable effect by Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad. That performance proved that the 27-year-old Australian actress was more than capable of disappearing into a larger-than-life role. And as the initial pictures from her latest period drama confirms, she’ll once again be undergoing a radical transformation to embody an icon of female strength and resolve.
Currently slated to arrive next year, Mary Queen of Scots will tell the story of the 16th-century Scotland ruler, who after being forced to abdicate her throne, returned to England, where she was beheaded at the age of 44 for conspiring to assassinate her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. Robbie will be playing Elizabeth opposite Saoirse Ronan’s Mary, and as the first snapshot of her bears out (above), she’ll be virtually unrecognizable in the part.
With a curly mop of red hair sitting just behind her exaggerated forehead, and decked out in an all-black Tudor outfit, Robbie cuts an imposing figure as Queen Elizabeth, who was most recently brought to big-screen life by Cate Blanchett in 1998’s Elizabeth (for which she won a Best Actress Golden Globe and received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination) and its 2007 sequel, Elizabeth: The Golden Age. While these photos don’t portend that sort of critical acclaim just yet, they do suggest that Robbie will be diving deeply into her part for the film, which is being directed by Josie Rourke and co-stars Jack Lowden (Dunkirk), David Tennant, and Guy Pearce.
Mary Queen of Scots only began principal photography last Monday, so these are only the first of what will likely be many more glimpses of the actress in costume. The period drama has no firm release date yet but is scheduled to arrive sometime in 2018.
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