Inside Margot Robbie’s high school: How former teachers remember her.

AT Somerset College, a private school in the central Gold Coast suburbs, there’s a buzz in the air.
The 2018 Academy Award nominations have been announced and the Mudgeeraba school has scored some serious bragging rights.

Current Somerset drama students tell me that’s her biggest legacy: the knowledge that even without connections you can make it in the industry with a bit of grit and a lot of hard work.

Year 12 student and aspiring actor Sebastian Angliss-Li, 17, says Robbie is often a topic of conversation, particularly among those interested in the arts.

“She walked the same grounds that we now walk on,” he says.
“It sounds cliche but it really shows us that anything is possible if you chase your dreams.

“It’s really cool when we do (in-house) plays because she directed and starred in one when she was at Somerset. That comes up a lot and every year there’s jokes about it.

“She was in Andrews House, the yellow house.”
Deputy Principal Michael Brohier, who was working at the school while Robbie was a student, says she was “normal and well-adjusted”.

“Most of the current students wouldn’t remember her because she graduated 11 years ago but there are quite a few teachers she still stays in touch with or has as a friend on Facebook,” he says.

“When she got a role on Neighbours we were very proud … but the fact she’s come this far so soon is incredible. She’s in the upper echelon of actors in Hollywood.”

Mr Brohier says Robbie “never got into trouble” at school and had a big group of friends.
“We’ve always had a big arts program at Somerset and entrepenurship is a big focus for us,” he says.
“Margot was so smart about everything and had a real strategy for how she was going to make it.
“She was very good academically and took a range of subjects like Spanish and legal studies but it was drama where she shone.

“She was a very normal student and well-adjusted. She graduated with a really strong bunch in her cohort including some fantastic young women … it’s great to see they’re all still friends.”
The school, which has undergone extensive renovations in the past decade, is also opening a new performing arts centre.

“We’d love to get Margot out here to open the building,” Mr Brohier says.
“I believe she actually got in touch with her old Italian teacher (Mr Scott Ham) when she was nominated for the Academy Award, which is quite significant.
“We wish her the best of luck.”

Student Piper Nairn, 15, who has worked on professional sets including Pirates of the Caribbean and Mako Mermaids, says Robbie’s portrayal is “flawless”.

“I’ve been doing a lot of acting workshops like those that Margot did,” she says.
“In I, Tonya you can really tell how much she’s grown as an actress … her American accent is flawless
“I have an agent in America who helps me get auditions … you have to accept 1000 ‘nos’ before you get a yes. That’s what Margot taught us: you have to learn to accept rejection then one day you’ll get a yes.”


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Margot Robbie: ‘I asked my girlfriends what they’d been through. And they were angry’. – The Guardian

The actor talks to Tom Lamont about speaking out, hanging with the crew on set, and going from Neighbours to an Oscar nomination for I,Tonya

Nostalgic, nodding to herself, Margot Robbie walks around the deserted London bar a little in the manner of a soldier returning to the site of a heavy battle. A few years ago, when the Australian actor’s film career was getting going, when she was a Neighbours graduate who had been cast in a Martin Scorsese film, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Robbie lived nearby. The 27-year-old was one of a cluster of friends who squeezed into a rented home in Clapham meant for half that number, to save money. In the evenings, to stretch their limbs and get drunk, the gang would roll out to this bar.

“The best times,” says Robbie, remembering meandering conversations, in-jokes, budding love affairs and business decisions, big hangovers. The bar looks different at 10 in the morning, day-lit, set up for brunch. But, she remembers, there used to be a good sofa upstairs, past the table-football table, near the fireplace… “Here,” she says, pleased, settling in.

Robbie left London about a year ago, around the time she married her husband, Tom Ackerley, and moved to Los Angeles. She has flown back in to attend a screening of her new film, I, Tonya, ahead of its UK release. In a few hours she’ll be at a posh cinema, sitting in the dark and evaluating the audience’s every response. Robbie stars in this dark, low-budget comedy-biopic about the wayward American figure skater, Tonya Harding – and also produced it. This means having more skin in the game. It means “daily emails, saying what percentage we’re up or down in what cities, what demographics are responding in what way, what the reviews are saying”. Robbie collapses back on the sofa. “Super nerve-racking. Super exciting. I hadn’t been involved in this part before.”


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Graham Norton lines up Margot Robbie and more for later this month.

On Friday, February 16, we’re being treated to both Oscar-nominated actresses from true-life drama I,Tonya, Margot Robbie and Allison Janney.

With them will be Get Out’s British star Daniel Kaluuya (yes, Oscar-nominated, it’s getting a bit tiresome now, isn’t it?), whose next movie is upcoming Marvel film Black Panther.

Finally, for a bit of variety, we’ll hear from Oscar winner Alicia Vikander, who will be playing Lara Croft in the new Tomb Raider, and there will be music from Camila Cabello, performing her hit song ‘Havana’.


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