Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, features a star-studded cast, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and the lovely Margot Robbie. She is playing one of the most icon actresses from the 1960s, Sharon Tate.
Much like Tate was before her sudden death, Robbie is blonde, beautiful, and building up an incredible portfolio of roles in hot, new films. However, it’s arguably difficult to take on such an emotionally-taxing role as a Manson Family murder victim, especially one who lost her life to such a tragically public act of violence.
So, how accurate is Robbie’s portrayal of the late Sharon Tate? According to Tate’s sister, no one could play the role better.
The life and legacy of Sharon Tate
While Sharon Tate is frequently remembered as a target of the Manson Family murders, she led a life far more fascinating than one of a victim of tragedy. The blonde, barefoot beauty (who gladly embraced the no-shoes trend of the hippie era) was a free-spirited yet motivated woman throughout her career.
Despite being a military brat and frequently having to relocate for her father’s job, Tate got her start in entertainment in beauty pageants and worked her way into the world of modeling and acting. As a gorgeous young woman who fully encompassed society’s conventional definition of beauty, Tate scored modeling gigs with ease. She slowly began to claim roles in television shows and films.
When Polish director Roman Polanski took interest in casting Tate in one of his films, the duo began to work together frequently, quickly falling in love and eventually marrying.
As Tate immersed herself fully in the Hollywood scene, earning larger roles in flicks that propelled her career forward, she developed connections with a number of actresses, actors, directors, film-set workers, and more. Her kind personality, childish vibrancy, and radiant energy made everyone in the vicinity of her adore the stunning young woman…and these qualities made her death an even more unbearable tragedy.
Loved by many, Tate’s devastating murder at the hands of Charles Manson’s cult broke hearts across Hollywood and the nation. Across the years, the murder of Tate and her party guests became the focus of numerous films, documentaries, books, art pieces, and more.
The latest to take on the task of portraying Sharon Tate is Quentin Tarantino, gifting the role to another blonde beauty working her way to the top of the Hollywood charts: Margot Robbie. But just how accurate is Robbie’s portrayal of Tate?
Robbie as Tate: Earning Sharon’s sister’s approval
In addition to the striking resemblances between Robbie and Tate (both of whom are blonde bombshells who took Hollywood by storm), Robbie seemed to perfectly capture the vibrancy and character of Sharon Tate. Her sister, Debra, spent a great deal of time with Robbie before and during the filming of Tarantino’s visionary movie, and highly approved of her portrayal of Tate.
Lending Robbie a number of Tate’s personal pieces of breathtaking jewelry, Debra helped Robbie develop a true connection with the deceased actress, who Robbie encompassed with ease. Despite the fact that Tate’s lines are limited in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, clearing way for DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters to shine, it was clear that Robbie did the best she could to encompass Tate’s vibrant qualities in every scene she was in.
While Debra already fully approved of Robbie playing Sharon, one instance, in particular, convinced her that Robbie was bringing her sister back to life. Debra was able to sit in on the filming of one of Robbie’s most notable scenes, as the scripted moment encompassed Tate’s kindness, humbleness, and grateful spirit.
Although she couldn’t fully witness the scene without accidentally being in the background of the shot, Tate’s sister was able to listen in on the audio of the scene as it was being recorded. She was taken aback when she heard Robbie’s voice come through the headphones, as she sounded just like her sister. She couldn’t help but burst into tears on set.
“She made me cry because she sounded just like Sharon. The tone in her voice was completely Sharon, and it just touched me so much,” Debra said.
Many critics have already praised Robbie for her performance as Tate, yet a family seal of approval truly confirms just how well she encompassed the former star.
The striking connections between Robbie and Tate
Robbie also testified to feeling a personal connection with the deceased actress while portraying her.
“It was kind of, sometimes very sad to be that closely connected with real-life Sharon. It would kind of hit you at moments. Suddenly the tragedy of it all would kind of hit you and you’d be tremendously sad. And other times she just made me feel so happy. But yes, there were moments where it was very sad,” she said.
The actresses seemed to share many similarities in their careers, as well. Both were motivated, self-made women who were extremely passionate about the film industry, both working hard to improve their craft and score the roles they wanted. Additionally, Robbie and Tate spent years in the industry battling to be seen as more than sex symbols in the media.
The duo fought to be leading ladies recognized for their abilities, persistence, and talents rather than their conventional beauty. Alike in both skill and personality, it seems that no one but Robbie could pull off playing the legendary actress.