The confronting I, Tonya scene that was never supposed to be in the movie.

I, Tonya is an unmissable movie.

The biopic tells the “irony-free, wildly contradictory” story of Tonya Harding, a polarising Olympic figure skater from the “wrong side of the tracks”.

In the early 1990s, Harding made headlines around the world when her on-ice rival, Nancy Kerrigan, was kneecapped just before the 1993 US Championships.

It was eventually revealed that Harding’s dirtbag ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, and his dodgy friend, Shawn Eckhardt, were behind the attack.

Listen: The Binge discuss the true story behind the I, Tonya scene that was never meant to happen. Post continues after audio…

While Harding (played by Margot Robbie in the movie) maintained she had nothing to do with it, she was vilified by the media and the wider public. And the scandal ultimately put an end to her figure skating career.

I, Tonya takes a closer look at Harding, her rough childhood, and the domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of Gillooly.

The movie paints a broader picture of Harding. It takes us behind the headlines to see the real person at the center of the scandal.

While there are many funny moments in the film, there are just as many scenes that pull at your heartstrings and really make you feel for this young woman who was embroiled in such a huge international scandal.

One scene in particular is haunting in its stark emotion. It’s the scene just before the 1994 Olympics when Harding is sitting in the change room applying her own makeup.

As she’s looking into the mirror she tries to smile and put on her “game face” while tears stream down her face. Harding knows she’s about to compete in the biggest event of her professional life, in front of an arena full of people who hate her. She knew this was her last chance to prove herself.


During her appearance on The Project last week, Robbie revealed that scene wasn’t even supposed to be in the movie.

She explained that as they were filming the director of photography asked her to do one take, just looking straight into the camera and applying her makeup.

The scene wasn’t planned and it wasn’t in the script.

As she began applying her makeup, Robbie started to think about how terrible Harding would have felt in that moment, and she became overwhelmed with emotion.

Listen: I, Tonya and everything else you need to watch this week. Post continues after audio…

When she snapped out of it, the whole room was quiet.

“Everyone was looking at me and I thought ‘Oh, did I do something wrong?’,” Robbie explained to the panel. “And Craig [the director of photography] just gave me a hug and said ‘OK, we’re moving on’.”

They moved onto the next scene and Robbie completely forgot about that moment, thinking it wouldn’t even make it into the final cut.

That off-the-cuff, candid moment became the most powerful scene in the whole movie.

I, Tonya is showing in cinemas around Australia right now.

To read more from Keryn Donnelly, follow her on Facebook.