“Margot Robbie’s not getting enough credit, in my opinion,” Downey Jr. said while participating in a SAG-AFTRA conversation with actors Sterling K. Brown and Willem Dafoe that was posted to YouTube on Tuesday.
The “Oppenheimer” star, who earned a best supporting actor nod for his performance in the Christopher Nolan-directed film, further spoke about the nuances of Robbie’s performance in “Barbie” that he felt were overlooked.
“America (Ferrera) has this amazing speech – and by the way, she nails it – I’m watching and I go, ‘Wow!’ Like, that was a really tough one. That was like a little one act play, the whole movie hinges on it,” he said, in reference to Ferrera’s character’s now-famous monologue toward the end of “Barbie.”
When the camera captures Robbie “so actively listening” to Ferrera’s speech, Downey Jr. said, “it’s when I realize, oh okay. Now I see Greta (Gerwig) is really on to something here. But it was Robbie who had to trust that.”
He also mentioned the inherent challenges of acting on a set where another performer has all the dialog, but when the director wants a shot of the person listening, “it’s hard,” he said, adding the thought, “I’ve been listening to this all day, now I have to listen to it, and make it work?!”
Earlier this month, there was widespread outcry when Robbie, who stars as the Mattel doll, and Gerwig, who directed the film, did not earn individual Oscar nominations in the lead actress and best director categories, respectively.
Gerwig did earn a nod for best adapted screenplay and Robbie, as a producer, was recognized with the movie’s best picture nomination. But many, including Robbie’s co-star Ryan Gosling, were outraged by their individual omissions.
“To say that I’m disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement,” Gosling said in a statement last week, reacting to his own Oscar nomination for his performance as Ken.
The “Barbie” movie earned a total of eight nods, including a surprise nomination for Ferrera in the supporting actress category.
The Oscars will be held on March 10 in Hollywood with Jimmy Kimmel returning to host.
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