By Javier Romualdo
Los Angeles, Aug 4 (EFE).- Once a secondary DC Comics character, Harley Quinn now competes in popularity with Batman thanks in large part to the talents of actress Margot Robbie.
But the 31-year-old Australian acknowledged in an interview with Efe that even she has had a hard time understanding the phenomenon and started visiting fan forums to find out what is so appealing about her crazed yet multi-faceted female supervillain/anti-hero.
“I go on fan forums and I’m like ‘what is it that they like about her?’ People are like, ‘oh I love this, I love this about her,’ And likewise I feel like directors and filmmakers or writers gravitate towards different aspects of the character,” Robbie said in a joint video call with Efe along with director James Gunn, who convinced her to reprise her role once again in the upcoming DC Extended Universe film “The Suicide Squad.”
Although the actress says she now needs a break from the character after portraying the unpredictable and charming, but also sadistic, former girlfriend and sidekick of Gotham crime lord Joker in three films (“Suicide Squad,” “Birds of Prey” and “The Suicide Squad”), she has not closed the door on a potential future installment.
“I’ve said this before, but I love the character so much and I think there’s so much to her,” the actress said.
The first of the three movies – the 2016 film “Suicide Squad” – was directed by David Ayer and starred Will Smith, Robbie and Jared Leto.
It grossed $746 million worldwide despite being panned by critics and DC Comics fans alike. Even Ayer himself said he did not identify with the final product and had no control over the studio edit.
Yet despite the poor critical reception, distributor Warner Bros. Pictures was aware it had something special in Robbie and insisted she be brought back for a standalone sequel directed by Gunn and titled “The Suicide Squad,” set for release in theaters in the United States on Friday.
Like in the earlier film, government official Amanda Waller gives a second opportunity to a cast of characters dubbed the Suicide Squad, an anti-hero team of incarcerated supervillains who are let out of prison to undertake extremely dangerous clandestine operations.
The obedience of the different squad members is assured by an explosive device inserted into their necks, although they also are promised parole or a reduced sentence for successful completion of their mission.
“This is an action-adventure that’s all-out, risky, allowed to go in every direction, take risks,” Gunn said. “Not only cinematically in terms of the way we shoot it but also in the way the plot moves and how we go off on Harley’s private adventure for 15 minutes in the middle of the movie.”
“And I think the other thing that feels so risky about this movie is we have explosions and sharks ripping people in half, but there’s also this deep emotional component of Harley’s journey and Bloodsport (Idris Elba) and Ratcatcher 2’s (Daniela Melchior) journey,” he added.
Smith and Leto, who had played the roles of Deadshot and the Joker, respectively, in “Suicide Squad,” did not return for the sequel, whose new cast members include professional wrestler John Cena, Taika Waititi and Latin American actors Alice Braga, Joaquin Cosio and Juan Diego Botto.
Sent along with the other members of the squad of obscure and unknown villains to the fictional island nation of Corto Maltese, Harley Quinn falls in love there with its authoritarian governor Silvio Luna (Botto).
Robbie said that was one of her favorite aspects of the film because it showed a more human side to her character. “As an actor, you’re just constantly thinking: What’s her trauma? Where’s it coming from? What’s her pain?” she said.
Those questions are left hanging in the air, but perhaps an even deeper character study could answer them if Robbie reprises her role some time in the future. EFE