Margot Robbie explains why she nearly turned down the role of Elizabeth 1 in Mary Queen of Scots Movie

She has appeared and impressed in multiple big budget films including ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ ‘I, Tonya’ and ‘Focus’. But Margot Robbie has recently finished a new project. ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ is currently in cinemas worldwide.

The film is based on John Guy’s 2004 biography of Mary. The Mary Queen of Scots Chronicles focus on the deterioration of the two women’s relationship after Mary returns to Scotland. Unlike most on screen and stage representations of this historic rivalry, the new film does not purely focus on the victor, Elizabeth 1.

Instead, this version takes a different approach. The story follows two women who were thrust into positions of power at a young age. Being a woman in the 16th century had unique challenges, and this is portrayed in the film; both women have to struggle to hold on to their power as influential men tried to take their thrones.

In order for these complex characters to be convincing, the casting had to be perfect. Director Josie Rourke knew exactly who she wanted to play the lead roles.

Those of us who have seen the film may find it difficult to imagine anyone else portraying the young Elizabeth 1, but Robbie has confessed that she almost turned down the iconic part.

“It took a lot of convincing from [director] Josie Rourke, because I was like, ‘I am not able to take this on, I am not good enough’.

It’s no surprise that the actress felt pressure before taking this part, considering how many actresses have played the iconic Queen in the past. The list of women who have portrayed Elizabeth 1 is nothing short of impressive. This list includes Cate Blanchett, Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Judy Dench. Interestingly, all of these impressive female actors are Oscar winners.

The casting choice of Robbie, who picked up an Oscar nomination for her lead in the 2017 biopic ‘I, Tonya’, was clearly perfect. But how did director Josie Rourke convince the actress to take the role? Robbie admits that Rourke was “relentless” in perusing her for the part.

“She was like, ‘No, no, no — this movie is different. They’re young women, they’re just young women. Just look at her as a woman, not a queen’. And that helped.”

Robbie clearly made the right decision by choosing to accept the part and certainly does the complex and powerful Elizabeth 1 justice.

Rebecca Kellett
Rebecca Kellett
Rebecca is a writer and an editor at 'Best in Australia' who has written on a range of topics. She is enthusiastic and passionate with an interest in food, health, entertainment and politics. She is the editor responsible for our health section.
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