Money and fame are known to turn even the most likeable people into egomaniacs, so by rights, Margot Robbie should be a bloody nightmare. By 2023, she'd already banked a cool $62 million. And that doesn't even include the $77 million payday she and her company pocketed from Barbie, which pulled in over $2 billion at the global box office.
Despite this, Margot presents to the world with a humility rarely seen from the Hollywood A-list. She comes across as sweet-natured and authentically likeable, so much so you'd want to be friends with her (or at least go and see her movies). Take last weekend, for example, when she stopped by a Sydney restaurant to shout everyone a cocktail and spend over an hour chatting with fans.
Margot is like your much hotter sister or the gorgeous girl in your friendship circle. She possesses an otherworldly beauty but is also adorably clueless about her effect on those around her, and you can't help but love her for it.
Reminiscent of fellow international superstar Kylie Minogue, Margot gives me beautiful inside-and-out vibes despite now being Hollywood's highest-paid actress. Yet for all the money, Academy Award nominations, red carpets, Vogue covers, luxury fashion house endorsements and hit movies, Margot appears to be, in Australian parlance, not up herself.
If you grew up in a small Aussie town or come from the suburbs like me, you'll know no one likes people with tickets on themselves. But to keep your feet on the ground when millions of fans around the world are losing their heads over your talent and beauty is quite extraordinary.
Margot was born in the friendly rural town of Dalby, Queensland, where her grandparents had a farm, before moving to Currumbin Valley, a stunningly lush suburb on the fringes of the Gold Coast and home to 2,000 people. Down the road is Currumbin Beach, where Margot learned to surf, complete her homework in camphor laurel trees, run around in boardies, mismatched T-shirts and farm boots, and embrace her inner metalhead listening to Slipknot. She spent her 18th birthday skydiving and watching the State of Origin final — as Queensland as you can get, mate.
Unlike the nepo babies of Hollywood, who grew up in extreme privilege or with grand wealth and connections, Margot was brought up by her mum, with her two brothers and a sister living on a tight budget. While Margot's family had farming, medical and business backgrounds, there were no connections in the entertainment business to give her a leg up. Therefore, instead of entitlement, Margot exudes the humility of a superstar who inwardly appears to be saying, "Pinch me, is this real?".
Using true Aussie girl grit and determination, Margot forged her career out of the 'burbs of Queensland's Gold Coast. She supported herself before her career took off, slinging sangas at Subway and working in a pharmacy, in an office, and at a warehouse, with some catering gigs on the side.
Then Neighbours changed her destiny, and within 13 years, she's become one of the most influential players in Hollywood. Not that you'd know it. Margot is still the same Goldie girl to her group of Aussie besties. "We're all so tight-knit," she said, "They are still my best friends today." Telling of their close relationship was when one of the gang yelled, "Hey Maggot!" when she was interviewed on the red carpet at the Australian premiere of her movie, Babylon. Rather than look mortified in front of the world's press at her childhood nickname, Margot beamed and waved, delighted to see her mates.
But my favourite Margot story is when she abandoned the US just as her star had risen in America following her appearance as Leo DiCaprio's sexed-up wife in The Wolf of Wall Street. Instead of basking in the afterglow, in 2014, Margot undertook a right of passage known to many young Aussies by relocating to London. She moved into a house in Clapham with eight friends, including her now-husband Tom Ackerley, who she went on to marry in 2016, barefoot in a low-key ceremony in Byron Bay.
Beyond necking pints down the local pub, the group's party house, known as The Manor, was used as a base for clubbing at the famous Clapham nightclub, Infernos. Margot told The Sunday Times that inside the club, "Everyone is wasted and so sweaty... everyone looks a mess. By the time I make it to Infernos, I look so revolting that nobody's going to look twice." Somehow, I'm not so sure about that, Margot.
In these formative years in London, Margot, Tom and her best mates Sophia Kerr and Josey McNamara started LuckyChap Entertainment to make female-focused movies because films with strong female leads were still niche at the time. Now, with 14 movies to her name, including the all-conquering Barbie, Margot is changing culture and how girls and women see their place in society.
Not bad for a chick from the 'burbs of the Goldie. Maggot, we salute you.
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