‘Suicide Squad’ Star Margot Robbie on How ‘Goodfellas’ Influenced Her Harley Quinn
“My spectrum goes from Lorraine Bracco to animated Harley, and it’s just a roller coaster between those two throughout the film.” – Margot Robbie on Harley Quinn
With the biggest August opening of all time and adding more fuel to the “box office vs. critics” debate, Suicide Squad has led to a lot of discussion among movie fans. Above all, the most talked-about character in the film is the fan-favorite Harley Quinn, who is portrayed by Australian actress Margot Robbie. Robbie completely redefines herself as an actress in playing the Joker’s main squeeze, making herself virtually recognizable from her previous roles, like in The Wolf of Wall Street. One of those changes was Robbie’s unique voice for Harley.
Robbie tells USA Today, “She’s got a very high-pitched voice, which for the lighthearted stuff, the crazy stuff, works really well. But when it’s a pretty raw emotional scene, you lose the gravity when you’re speaking in such a high voice.”
Of course, the primary influence on Robbie’s Harley voice was the character on Batman: The Animated Series, which was where Harley was first introduced in 1992. She was originally voiced by Days of Our Lives actress Arleen Sorkin, who also influenced the creation of the character.
The other main influence on Robbie’s voice for Harley came from Robbie’s desire to give her a tougher edge. She decided to use Lorraine Bracco, whose no-nonsense Karen Hill in Goodfellas sounded like the type of mob wife you wouldn’t want to mess with.
Robbie reveals that she listened to Braco’s Goodfellas scenes on her iPod before coming to the Suicide Squad set, and adds, that Bracco is “nuts in some scenes, completely crazy, but it’s never a high-pitched crazy doll voice. It comes from a very real deep primal place. My spectrum goes from Lorraine Bracco to animated Harley, and it’s just a roller coaster between those two throughout the film.”
So, anybody else want to hear Harley Quinn smack the Joker and ask him, “Who the hell do you think you are? Frankie Valli or some kinda bigshot? “