Margot Robbie: Babylon challenged me in so many ways

Margot Robbie at the Global Screening of Babylon credit:Bang Showbiz
Margot Robbie at the Global Screening of Babylon credit:Bang Showbiz

Margot Robbie says playing Nellie LaRoy in ‘Babylon’ “took everything from” her.

The 32-year-old actress admitted the role in Damien Chazelle’s tale of old Hollywood was one of the most demanding in her career because her “tornado” alter ego was so “exhausting” to play.

Speaking to HELLO! magazine, she said: “She’s like a tornado and she’s not going to let anyone stand in her way.

“I love her so much but she’s so exhausting. She took everything from me, physically and emotionally.

“During dance sequences or whatever, months into the shoot, I had to really keep up the energy levels.

“I remember I had written on the front of my script, ‘Demand their full attention, always.’ She did that to me.”

Margot - who is married to her producing partner Tom Ackerley - insists the ‘Babylon’ shoot was the hardest she’d ever worked on a set.

She said: “By the end of the first week of shooting, I came home and I remember I said to my husband, ‘This is the hardest I have ever worked.’ And he was like, ‘What? You always work hard.’

“But this was something else because Damien expects so much of you as an actor.”

The Australian star based her character on Clara Bow, Hollywood’s original ‘It’ girl who had struggled with the transition from silent movies to talking pictures in the 1920s.

She said: “I definitely found a lot of inspiration from researching a lot of people but Clara was probably the biggest influence for me.

“I spent a long time crafting her childhood in my head.

“I know I’m talking about a fictional character, but to me she had a horrible childhood.

“I did take a lot of Clara Bow’s life history and she had as bad as a childhood anyone could have.

“Once I had that in my head, it was very easy to justify Nellie’s actions.”