There are few modern sports figures with poorer reputations than figure skater Tonya Harding, which is definitely a subject confronted by I, Tonya, director Craig Gillespie’s multiple-narrator take on the athlete’s domestic abuse-riddled upbringing at the hands of her mother, and the assault on rival Nancy Kerrigan (orchestrated by her husband, Jeff Gillooly, and his buddy Shawn Eckhardt) that ended her professional career. While it didn’t make it into the Best Picture race at this year’s Academy Awards, star Margot Robbie will vie for the Best Actress prize at this Sunday’s show, and those who missed the film during its theatrical run will soon have a chance to catch up with the ripped-from-the-tabloids drama when it debuts on home video later this week. Ahead of that bow, we have an exclusive deleted scene from the critically acclaimed drama.
Gillespie’s film is structured around interviews with Robbie’s Harding and Sebastian Stan’s Gillooly (as well as Harding’s mom, played by Oscar nominee Allison Janney), and in the above scene — titled “Conspiracy” — Harding recounts an anecdote she once heard about Kerrigan plotting the attack on herself with Gillooly. Even without Caitlin Carver’s Kerrigan refuting this idea directly to the camera, it’s clearly a story of delusional lunacy. And that impression is only further hammered home when Robbie’s chain-smoking Harding says that she heard this tall tale from a reliable source, at which point Gillespie’s camera zooms into close-up of Paul Walter Hauser’s demented Eckhardt.
Given that I, Tonya barely includes Kerrigan herself in its plot, this deleted scene would have fit nicely into the film’s theatrical cut — as well as further enhanced its you-can’t-trust-any-of-these-people perspective.
I, Tonya arrives on VOD on March 2 and on Blu-ray and DVD on March 13.
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