The Margot Robbie True Story On Streaming That Is Wilder Than Fiction

By Jessica Goudreault | Updated

I, Tonya

Before Margot Robbie donned her many pink outfits for Barbie, she laced up a pair of figure skates to play Tonya Harding in I, Tonya. You can watch the R-rated true story that is wilder than fiction on MAX.

I, Tonya tells the story of the real-life Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding who became a household name in the 1990s after a sensational sports scandal. Harding devoted her life to becoming a professional figure skater, but she never reached her full potential due to her abusive mother and her “white trash” attitude.

Margot Robbie‘s portrayal of Tonya Harding in I, Tonya is one of her best performances.

So, when her figure skating rival Nancy Kerrigan proved to be too much of a threat to Harding, her husband, Jeff Gillooly, orchestrated an attack on Kerrigan.

He hired two men to attack Kerrigan with a baton in an attempt to stop her from competing in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and the 1994 Winter Olympics. When the news of the attack broke, the public couldn’t get enough of the wild story. The events inspired screenwriter Steven Rogers to write I, Tonya, with Margot Robbie portraying a perfect likeness of the figure skater.

The film is a mockumentary that declares it is based on “contradictory” and “totally true” interviews with Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly. This allowed the filmmakers to use true events while adding in their own creative moments, allowing the audience to decipher what was real and what was fiction.

I, Tonya stars Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding, Sebastian Stan as Jeff Gillooly, and Allison Janney as Harding’s mother, LaVona Golden. In addition to starring in the film, Margot Robbie made her producing debut alongside fellow producers Tom Ackerley, Steven Rogers, and Bryan Unkeless.

Sebastian Stan and Margot Robbie in I, Tonya

When Margot Robbie first read the script, she didn’t know that it was based on a true story. This is likely because she was a young child living in Australia during the media frenzy in 1994, so she had probably never heard of it.

To prepare for her role in I, Tonya, Margot Robbie spent several months learning how to figure skate, so you really do see her skating throughout most of the film. When needed, skating doubles Heidi Munger and Anna Malkova would step in.

There was only one scene that neither Margot Robbie nor her skating doubles could perform, and that was the iconic triple Axel. Tonya Harding was the first woman in the world to land this figure skating move during a competition, and only a handful of others have been able to do it since. Visual effects were used in I, Tonya to accomplish the scene.

To prepare for her role in I, Tonya, Margot Robbie spent several months learning how to figure skate, so you really do see her skating throughout most of the film

Margot Robbie also prepared for her role by meeting Tonya Harding. The two discussed how difficult figure skating training was, and Harding even offered to help the Barbie actress learn how to skate. Unfortunately, Margot Robbie did not have her skates with her, so they did not get the chance to skate together.

Margot Robbie and Allison Janney in I, Tonya

Similarly, Sebastian Stan met with Jeff Gillooly to help develop his character. Despite his name and appearance in I, Tonya, Gillooly refused to take any money for the film. Supposedly he takes responsibility for the attack on Nancy Kerrigan and would not like to earn any profit from his wrongful actions.

Upon its release, the film grossed a worldwide total of $53.9 million against a budget of $11 million. It currently holds an impressive 90 percent on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer and a 7.5 out of 10 on IMDb.

For her role in I, Tonya, Margot Robbie won Best Actress at the 7th AACTA International Awards, Best Actress in a Comedy from the Critic’s Choice Movie Awards and was nominated for Best Actress at the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.

Critics hailed Allison Janney’s portrayal of Tonya Harding’s mother, winning both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.

Allison Janney played Tonya Harding’s abusive mother, LaVona Golden, and won several awards for her portrayal, including the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.

The film received much high praise for its innovative storytelling and outstanding performances, especially from Allison Janney. However, some critics found the film distasteful and did not appreciate that it framed Tonya Harding in a sympathetic light.

We recommend watching I, Tonya on MAX and trying to determine which moments are real and which ones are not.