Australian actress Margot Robbie (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Focus”) emerged as a breakout star with her captivating onscreen presence and has quickly become one of the busiest actresses in the industry.
Now, she stars as a feisty Jane to Alexander Skarsgård’s “king of the jungle” in Warner Bros. Pictures' new action-adventure, “The Legend of Tarzan” (opening in Philippine cinemas June 30.)
Robbie appreciated the film’s more contemporary approach to the couple. “It’s set in the 1800s, but it has a very modern feel to it, with universal themes that are applicable no matter what day and age it is,” she says. “There is a fantastic adventure, but with a wonderful romance at its core. I liked that it’s not the origin story of Tarzan and Jane meeting in the jungle. Their relationship is more complex now.”
One crucial quality in the casting of both Skarsgård and Robbie was the chemistry between the two actors. “It was vital to immediately feel the love between John and Jane,” director David Yates affirms, “because they are separated not long after arriving in Africa. Although they are kept apart for a significant amount of time, you have to believe their bond is unbreakable.”
“I think their romance is what gives you the emotional investment in the outcome of the story because, at the end of the day, you want them to be reunited,” Robbie relates. “I’m a sucker for a good love story, and the mere notion that Tarzan will go to the ends of the earth to get Jane back can make you a little giddy…especially when it’s Alexander Skarsgård,” she smiles. “He has a great presence and was so committed to his role, but beyond that, he’s just the nicest, nicest guy and a dream to work with.”
The feeling was mutual. “Margot is so lovely and has the most effervescent personality,” Skarsgård says. “It was so much fun working with her. She’s also a pretty tough Australian girl, and definitely tapped into that in creating Jane.”
The director points to Robbie’s innate strength as a reason he wanted her for the role. “Jane has to be feisty and passionate. She’s not a wilting flower waiting to be saved; she can kick some ass. Margot is not only an amazing actress, she has spunk and I love that about her. She made Jane a formidable, contemporary woman.”
Robbie makes it clear she would not have had it any other way, stating, “I’ve never wanted to play the damsel in distress, and Jane is anything but. David and I both agreed that she should be perceived as a very fiery and strong person, so I was excited about that. She is capable of fighting back, which also creates a terrific dynamic with Christoph Waltz’s character, who is the main villain. It’s more like mind games between them, which is interesting because while there are physical battles going on, you also have fighting on an intellectual field.”
From Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures comes the action adventure “The Legend of Tarzan,” starring Alexander Skarsgård as the legendary character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The film also stars Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou, with Oscar winner Jim Broadbent and two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz.
It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Robbie) at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom (Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.
“The Legend of Tarzan” is distributed in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.