Margot Robbie and Allison Janney on

Margot Robbie Thought Tonya Harding Was a Fictional Character

Stars of “I, Tonya” — Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, Sebastian Stan, and Paul Walter Hauser — along with screenwriter Steven Rogers and director Craig Gillespie spoke about Variety’s Screening Series presented by FilmStruck.

Robbie, who also produced the film, says she was looking for female-driven content when she picked up “I, Tonya.” “It was just an incredible script,” she says. “I knew not only would we love to produce it, but I wanted to play Tonya as well. At that point, I thought Tonya was a fictional character. I didn’t know it was a real life person.”

Though she eventually realized the movie was based on a true story, Robbie didn’t let the real Harding influence her portrayal. “I wanted to keep them separate in my mind, and they always have been, which gives me a lot more freedom on set to really go for it,” she says.

Allison Janney, who played Tonya’s mother in the film, says she was intimidated by portraying a real person. “I was kind of let off the hook we couldn’t find LaVona, we couldn’t find her anywhere, Tonya didn’t know where she was,” Janney says. “I felt a sort of, ‘Oh thank god, I can just make her up.’ I would have asked her a million questions had I met her.”

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