From the farm to Hollywood: How Margot Robbie made her own big break.

You might be curious as to why photos of Margot Robbie are all over your news feed right now.

Some four years on from being dubbed “Australia’s newest movie goddess” by Vanity Fair, the 27-year-old has truly cemented herself as a fixture in Hollywood with an Oscars nomination for Best Actress for her role in biopic I, Tonya.

The film – which follows the life of Tonya Harding and the violent figure skating saga that saw the athlete stripped of her 1994 US Championships title – premiered in Sydney on Tuesday night and marks yet another milestone for Robbie, whose farm life upbringing couldn’t be more removed from Hollywood glamour.

For Robbie’s depiction of Harding, Variety noted that I, Tonya is “built around something piercingly sharp and sincere: Margot Robbie’s canny, live-wire, deeply sympathetic performance.”

Meanwhile, BBC‘s Caryn James said, “Margot Robbie’s performance as disgraced champion figure skater Tonya Harding is so energetic, vivid and entertaining that [the film] overcomes the challenge of redeeming its problematic heroine.”

But the accolades, critical acclaim and mainstream success did not come overnight for Robbie, who called her family’s modest farm in Dalby, Queensland, home for so many years. She did not come from fame, or wealth (her mother is a physiotherapist, her father ran the farm), and wasn’t exactly connected when it came to theatre or the arts.

Margot Robbie didn’t win the lottery when it came to her glittering career, she worked bloody hard for it instead.

LISTEN: Why Margot Robbie is our favourite Lady StartUp right now…


After attending Gold Coast’s Somerset College, where she discovered a love of drama in her final year, Robbie made the decision to move to Melbourne alone at 17 and live with her agent’s friend. From there, rumour has it she cold-called production companies, including the Neighbour‘s producers – determined to open a door for herself.

Somehow, that phone call out-of-the-blue worked.

Rumour has it Margot Robbie cold-called production companies, including the Neighbour's producers - determined to open a door for herself. (Image: Getty)

Robbie was invited onto the Channel 10 set in a guest role capacity, before being asked to play fiery teenager Donna Freedman full time for the next three years.


When she wasn't Donna, Robbie was spending her nights working with voice coaches to nail the American accent, and five days after her contract expired in January 2011, was on a plane to L.A. just in time for pilot season. There, she auditioned for TV shows with the major networks.

The Neighbours producers were so enamoured with Robbie, they refused to kill off her character when she decided to leave.

"I didn't get killed. I asked, but they did not," Robbie told Sunrise in 2016. "They said, 'If it doesn't work out in America you can have your role back.'"

But really, a return to the small, nostalgic streets of Erinsborough was off the cards from the moment Robbie landed in the US.

Within weeks she landed ABC's Pan Am, which was cancelled after one season due to disappointing ratings, but opened other avenues for Robbie; she was subsequently cast in British romantic comedy About Time alongside Rachel McAdams and Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street. Her portrayal of Jordan Belfort's second "badass" wife Naomi Lapaglia acted like a rocket for her celebrity.

Lead roles in Focus, Z is for Zachariah, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, The Legend of Tarzan and Suicide Squad soon followed, making Margot Robbie one of the most successful Australian actresses to conquer the world stage.

Listen to the latest episode of Mamamia Out Loud here, where we discuss Margot and more....

If Margot Robbie proves anything, it's that sometimes you can make your own luck.

"Everyone's like, 'overnight sensation.' It's not overnight. It's years of hard work," Robbie once told the LA Times

"I feel so fortunate that everything worked out according to plan. But it definitely was a plan."