Australian actor Margot Robbie has announced that she will be taking a “break” from playing DC villain Harley Quinn because “she’s exhausting”.
Robbie has portrayed the iconic character in three DC films throughout the past five years. She first appeared as the Batman villain in 2016’s Suicide Squad and again in her 2020 spin-off Bird of Prey. Robbie’s Harley Quinn is also set to appear once again on the big screen in the upcoming movie The Suicide Squad.
But she told Entertainment Weekly in June that she intends to give the character a rest after enduring such a gruelling filming schedule. Robbie also revealed that she doesn’t know when she will reprise the role again.
“It was kind of back-to-back filming Birds… and filming this, so I was kind of like, oof, I need a break from Harley because she’s exhausting,” Robbie said.
“I don’t know when we’re next going to see here. I’m just as intrigued as everyone else is.”
Fans have not taken the news well, and many have expressed their devastation via social media that they may never see Margot Robbie step into the iconic role again.
In the comics, Harley, whose name is Dr Harleen Quinzel, worked as a psychiatrist at Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum when she met the Joker and eventually became a supervillain and sometimes sidekick to the Joker. She also frequently teams up with Poison Ivy and Catwoman across the DC comics.
During the EW interview, Margot Robbie was shocked to learn that her character dies in Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League, which was released earlier this year. In one of the movie’s final scenes, Ben Affleck’s Batman describes how Harley Quinn dies in his arms.
The revelation caught Robbie off guard, causing her to exclaim “Whaaat?” during the EW interview. She also thanked the reporter for telling her because she “didn’t know that”.
After taking a moment to reflect on the bombshell revelation, Margot Robbie responded that Harley Quinn’s death in one movie is “kind of like in the comics”. She suggested that “each movie is its own sort of thing” much like picking up different comic books in a store.
“You pick up one comic and something’s happening and then you pick up the next comic and maybe that character’s not alive, maybe that character’s not with that person, maybe that character looks completely different,” Robbie explained.
Robbie has long been “pestering” for more LGBT+ representation in the DC movies. She told Den of Geek in May that she had been pushing movie bosses for a Poison Ivy-Harley Quinn romance in the franchise.
“Trust me, I chew their ear off about it all the time,” she said. “They must be sick of hearing it, but I’m like ‘Poison Ivy, Poison Ivy. Come on, let’s do it’. I’m very keen to see a Harley-Poison Ivy relationship on screen.”
With Robbie’s departure, it’s unclear if fans will ever see an onscreen Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn romance. DC revealed the two villains are officially a couple in 2017, and the franchise confirmed in the Birds of Prey movie that Harley Quinn is bisexual.