— -- Margot Robbie is fresh off of a Golden Globes win and SAG nomination for her portrayal of Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding in the film "I, Tonya." And, in just over a week, Robbie will appear at the Academy Awards as a nominee for the best actress Oscar.
Robbie was just 4-years-old when the plot unfolded to take down Harding's competitor in Olympic figure skating, Nancy Kerrigan. She talked to ABC News about why she decided to take on the role, even though she did not follow the story when it happened.
"Because I didn’t know about any of it, I could approach the character and the story with no preconceived notions and no judgement already passed on them," Robbie said in an appearance on “Popcorn with Peter Travers.” "And honestly, reading the story, it doesn’t inform you of the person she was. And I feel like everyone let that inform them as to who she was as a person. Everyone quickly painted her as just the villain, the monster, whatever. And no one seemed to be curious as to, like, how did she get to where she is."
Robbie said she admires Harding's accomplishments.
"She’s kind of incredible in a lot of ways," the actress said. "She was the first U.S. woman to land a triple axle and that was a huge sporting achievement. And the whole lot was overshadowed by the incident, which kind of seemed to me to snowball out of control into this huge global scandal."
Because she was playing a real-life person, Robbie was able to study video clips to get the gist of what of Harding was like at the time.
"For six months, I watched clip after clip after clip of her and listened to her dialect in my iPod just over and over," Robbie said. That was before she actually met her face to face.
"Then when she was sitting in front of me and I was like, 'This is so weird'," Robbie, 27, told Travers. "I thought, 'I’ve done nothing but look at videos of you and listen to you for the last six months. And now I’m looking and listening to you in real life. It’s really odd. But it didn’t alter any of the decisions I’d made. So I’d decided exactly how I was going to play the character. And meeting her didn’t change that."
“I, Tonya” is in theaters nationwide.
Be sure to watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Margot Robbie in the video above.