Margot Robbie Didn’t Initially Like Her ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Character, Naomi

For Margot Robbie, winning a role in The Wolf of Wall Street was akin to winning the lottery. Not only did she get to work alongside one of Hollywood’s premier actors, Leonardo DiCaprio, but she also got to work with renowned director, Martin Scorsese. Though Robbie was a working actor prior to booking the role of Naomi, starring in the film would catapult her into new heights. The character would become very important to Robbie over time. However, she actually didn’t like her character at all at first read.

The Wolf of Wall Street cast member Margot Robbie
‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ cast member Margot Robbie | Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Some actors have an affinity to the characters they play almost immediately. Rachel Brosnahan, for example, knew she wanted to play Miriam “Midge” Maisel after reading only one page of the pilot episode. Robbie, however, had a completely different reaction to Naomi when she first read the script for The Wolf Of Wall Street. In fact, she viewed her character in a pretty one-dimensional way.

Margot Robbie didn’t initially like her character in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

“In the first draft that I read it very much seemed like a transaction, and that’s why I didn’t like the character when I first read it,” Robbie explained in an interview that IndieWire transcribed. “I was like, she’s a gold digger, very superficial and very transactionary. I thought it didn’t seem much deeper than that.”

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But what eventually changed Robbie’s mind? According to the I, Tonya alum, as she did more character work she started understanding how complex Naomi truly was. Once she understood more of those complexities she found more to empathize with and get excited about. Examing the relationship between Naomi and Jordan also helped Robbie see Naomi in a new light.

Doing character development helped change the ‘Suicide Squad’ actor’s mind about Naomi

“But the more we worked on the character the more we kind of beefed it up and the story and the relationships developed and became multi-faceted,” Robbie shared about her character in The Wolf of Wall Street. “It was like a complete marriage. They had kids over those years. I think it was more that she got caught up in the whirlwind and that was fine—she enjoyed the lifestyle. But when that lifestyle stopped and that coincided with his drug habit, it became more of an issue and more dangerous as opposed to a fun by-product of the lifestyle. She had different priorities, so that’s how I see it. I guess everyone sees it from their character’s perspective.”

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Robbie got to meet Nadine Caridi, who Naomi is based on

Another thing that helped Robbie understand her character on a deeper level was meeting Nadine Caridi. Caridi, of course, is the real-life person who served as the inspiration for Robbie’s character, Naomi. While Robbie wasn’t trying to mimic or portray Caridi in any way, meeting someone who had experienced many of the circumstances that her character was going through was extraordinarily helpful for the actor. Robbie may not have liked her character in The Wolf of Wall Street at first glance but, clearly, she eventually came around to the role.