Actress Margot Robbie suffered a herniated disc in her neck as she prepared to portray disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in a new biopic.
The Suicide Squad beauty spent four months training hard to perfect her ice skating skills as the fallen athlete, and the intense practice sessions took their toll on Margot.
"I played ice hockey at one point, but this was a whole new world of pain," the Australian star told Vanity Fair about suffering for her art ahead of filming I, Tonya.
The movie, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday (08Sep17), chronicles the tumultuous life of the fallen ice princess, who allegedly schemed with her then-husband Jeff Gillooly and one of her bodyguards, Shawn Eckardt, to attack her fellow American skater and Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, Michigan in 1994 - a month before that year's Winter Olympics. Nancy was left with a bruised leg and forced to withdraw from the competition, while Tonya won a silver medal.
The incident remains one of the most high-profile scandals in American sports history, but Margot, 27, confesses she had no idea the film was based on a real-life event, as she was just a kid Down Under when the drama hit the headlines.
"I think I was about four years old when the incident took place," she said. "I was in Australia and totally unaware of the whole incident and the crazy controversy.
"To be honest, when I read the script, I didn't know who Tonya Harding was, and I didn't realize it was a true story. I thought it was entirely fictionalized and our writer Steve (Rogers) was so creative to come up with the quirky characters and absurd incidents."
Margot, who serves as a producer on the movie, soon learned all about the rivalry between the two Olympians as she researched the story, and now she's very proud of the finished product after joining director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter/producer Rogers for a screening session with Harding herself.
The former athlete was moved to both tears and laughter watching her tough life story unfold onscreen, and Margot was touched by her reaction to the biopic.
"I think it is a lot for someone to have the most traumatic events of their life encompassed in a two-hour film," the actress said. "I feel like you have to be very brave to let someone do that. I don't know if I could do that, and she handled it incredibly."
Harding, now 46, still denies any role in the ambush. She struck a plea deal with prosecutors in March, 1994 and pleaded guilty to conspiring to hinder prosecution. She was handed three years probation and ultimately banned from the U.S. Figure Skating Association for life.
Gillooly was sentenced to two years behind bars for racketeering after a judge ruled he was the mastermind behind the vicious plot. He is portrayed onscreen by Captain America: Civil War star Sebastian Stan.