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Being Elizabeth I: Margot Robbie talks about her new royal role

With just weeks to go until cinema viewers get to see Margot Robbie in action as Elizabeth I, the Hollywood star has been talking about what it’s like to play one of the most famous royals in history. The Oscar-nominated actress plays the Tudor monarch in the new film, Mary, Queen of Scots. And Margot Robbie revealed that being Elizabeth left her feeling trapped.

Speaking to the Today show on Australian TV, the Queensland born star admitted that the costumes she wore during filming were ”restrictive”, adding ”I felt claustrophobic, I felt trapped”. But the actress, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in I, Tonya earlier this year, said the outfits also helped her performance as the Virgin Queen as she felt she was ”kind of upholding this image the whole time, which is kind of what she did. She kind of created an image and then was imprisoned by it.”

Margot Robbie also spent hours in make up every day to complete her transformation into Elizabeth for the film which is set eleven years into the Queen’s reign. By then, Elizabeth had recovered from a bout of smallpox but had been left with scarring on her face which she began to cover with lead paint leading to the distinctive pale appearance seen in so many portraits. The actress revealed that brought new challenges too as she found it more difficult to move as ”there was so much prosthetics, it’s glued down plastic on your face”.

The film, Mary Queen of Scots, centres around the 1569 uprising in the north of England which aimed to topple Elizabeth from the throne. A group of nobles hoped to replace the Protestant monarch with her Catholic cousin, Mary, who by then had been forced to abdicate her own throne in Scotland in favour of her baby son, James. The film examines the relationship between the two women who would remain rivals until Mary was executed on Elizabeth’s orders in 1587 following a plot to have the English queen assassinated.

Mary, Queen of Scots is set to be released in the United States on December 7th 2018 meaning it makes the cut to be in contention for next year’s Oscars. Both Robbie and her co-star, Saoirse Ronan, who plays Mary, are tipped as potential nominees for the Academy Awards. Cinema-goers in the UK will have to wait until January 18th 2019 to see the film.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.