Margot Robbie refused to budge Barbie for Oppenheimer: "If you’re scared to be up against us, then you move"

Margot Robbie wouldn't budge Barbie for Oppenheimer
Margot Robbie wouldn't budge Barbie for Oppenheimer
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Margot Robbie; Cillian Murphy

At this stage of cinema history, there’s a general air of goodwill, of rising tides lifting all boats. If a big movie succeeds, it helps preserve theater-going culture for all. But that doesn’t mean there’s zero competitiveness (or pettiness) behind the scenes in Hollywood. Christopher Nolan “has this superstition around that date, the 21st,” Cillian Murphy says in Variety’s Actors on Actors interview with Margot Robbie. So it was perhaps a little suspicious that his old studio, Warner Bros., scheduled its own tentpole film Barbie against Nolan’s Oppenheimer on July 21.

In fact, “One of your producers, Chuck Roven, called me, because we worked together on some other projects,” Robbie recalls in the conversation with Murphy. (Margot was a producer as well as the star of Barbie.) “And he was like, ‘I think you guys should move your date.’ And I was like, ‘We’re not moving our date. If you’re scared to be up against us, then you move your date.’ And he’s like, ‘We’re not moving our date. I just think it’d be better for you to move.’ And I was like, “We’re not moving!’”

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“And I think it happened because both movies were good,” Murphy adds. “In fact, that summer, there was a huge diversity of stuff in the cinema, and I think it just connected in a way that you or I or the studios or anybody could never have predicted.”

“You can’t force that or orchestrate that,” Robbie says.

Murphy agrees: “No, and it may never happen again.”

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