Actress Margot Robbie says that she started receiving death threats after she appeared as Harley Quinn in the DC Extended Universe film Suicide Squad.
The 2016 movie was the third entry into the DCEU franchise. It focused on a group of supervillains who are coerced by the government into doing dangerous missions in exchange for better treatment while in prison. It was directed by David Ayer, and while it had an ensemble cast, Robbie shared the starring role with Will Smith’s Deadshot.
Though it was not very successful critically (getting the worst reviews for a DC Comics film since Batman and Robin, in fact) and was divisive among audiences, Suicide Squad was financially successful—it made money with a $747 million gross, despite a $145 million budget and not getting a release in the important Chinese market. This also launched Robbie from a relatively small time actress into a global star.
But of course, fame comes at its price, and while Robbie does not make it clear if people have a particular beef with her, she seems to have acquired a fair number of odd “fans” since her launch to stardom.
“You’re about to be in a comic book film; now here’s the worst-case scenario of how big and scary it can get,” she said, speaking to hypothetical young actors out there.
She says that every time that she gets a death threat, she has to spend about $2,000 doing a background check on the culprit to see if they are really dangerous. In fact, she admits that while she would like to do a lot of smaller projects, like her newest film, I, Tonya—however, she feels like she has to keep being in blockbusters just to afford the security measures.
There’s a certain irony to this turn of events—Robbie’s character, Harley Quinn, is a former psychologist who was obsessed with dangerous personalities, to the point that she fell in love with one of her patients, the supervillain Joker, and became his lover and partner in crime. Now, her role as the insane but lovable supervillain seems to have got her some crazy followers of her own.
Despite these problems, Robbie will reprise her role in future DCEU films, including Gotham City Sirens, Harley Quinn and the Joker and Suicide Squad 2.