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The Suicide Squad: James Gunn Says Margot Robbie Is "The Greatest Actor [He's] Ever Worked With"

Robbie will once again portray Harley Quinn in Gunn's upcoming Suicide Squad.


Harley Quinn has become something of a throughline for DC movies, if such a thing exists. Margot Robbie's iconic version of the character has appeared in disparate movies including David Ayer's Suicide Squad, Cathy Yan's Birds of Prey, and now James Gunn's The Suicide Squad. In all these ensembles, she's stolen the show. And in a recent Q&A following a screening of The Suicide Squad, Gunn said that Robbie is "the greatest actor [he's] ever worked with."

"I came to Margot, and we talked about the script after she read it," Gunn said. "And when we said something about Harley, she would always be like, 'Yeah, but you know more about her than I do.' Because I've read every single comic book Harley Quinn has ever been in. I've watched every animated movie she's ever been in. So she has no ego, is one of the reasons why she's probably the greatest actor I've ever worked with--not because she says I know more than she does, but because she just comes into it in such a way that she's willing to go as far as she possibly can with the character.

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"And she's incredibly prepared, incredibly disciplined, able to do the action stuff, able to do the comedy, able to do the drama, and she's an incredibly well rounded actor."

Continuing on the subject of Harley, Gunn pointed out that the comic book characters he often adapts for his movies, including The Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy, tend to be thinner on the page than typical A-list superheroes and villains.

"Usually when I'm writing most of the characters I've written, I'm sort of recreating them for the screen," the director said. "It's probably one of the reasons why I'm attracted to characters who have been in a few comic books, or characters like Star-Lord, who never really had a well defined personality. ...I mean, Bloodsport [for example] isn't especially well drawn or well known."

That's obviously not the case with Harley Quinn, a character Gunn nevertheless has high praise for in general. "One of the reasons why I think people were so attracted to Margot in this role from the beginning is because she's so perfectly embodied a character who is actually one of the most well written characters in superhero comics that's ever existed, from the time she first existed in [Batman: The Animated Series] with [Harley Quinn creator] Paul Dini," he said. "And so it really is about Paul Dini's initial character, and really staying true to that."

Harley Quinn in The Suicide Squad
Harley Quinn in The Suicide Squad

Despite the disparate writers and directors involved in the movies in which Robbie has portrayed Quinn so far, it feels like the character has had an arc, from her tumultuous relationship with Jared Leto's Joker in the original Suicide Squad, to the aftermath of their breakup in Birds of Prey, and onward into The Suicide Squad, which features no mention of the Joker whatsoever.

"I also felt like there were things that we could bring out in this movie that we didn't see as much in the other two movies. She is the chaotic trickster," Gunn said. "And to me, Harley Quinn belongs on the wall next to the Batman and Spider-Man and Wonder Woman and Superman and the Hulk, when you're talking about the all time greatest superheroes--or whatever, comic book, she's not a superhero, but, you know, comic book characters. She's up there, and she deserves to be there, and to give her her full chaotic life on screen was a big goal of mine."

The Suicide Squad hits theaters August 6. Reviews aren't out yet, but critics have already posted their initial reactions online following early screenings. For more, check out why The Suicide Squad isn't the movie you think it is, plus why Margot Robbie needs a break from playing Harley Quinn.

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