Thursday 15th February saw the premiere of the brilliantly dark-humoured sports biopic I, Tonya in London. The film follows the true story of Tonya Harding, a skating star who was caught up in one of the most notorious sports scandals of all time in the 90s.
With a dry as a bone tone, Australian director Craig Gillespie tells the stranger-than-fiction tale from the angle of multiple characters’ own version of the truth in a documentary-real gritty style to enthralling effect.
We were there at the premiere to grab a fleeting few moments with the stunning and straight-talking Margot Robbie, who plays a wholly convincing Harding, director Gillespie and screenwriter Steven Rogers, who told us about the motivation to put Harding’s story on the big screen, the role of humour in dealing with some sensitive topics such as domestic abuse, and what the themes of class and how we treat women in the public eye might have to say to a contemporary audience.
Allison Janney, who puts in a career-topping performance as Tonya’s mother, LaVanna, also brought some glamour to the catwalk. Both Janney and Robbie’s performances have been recognised with BAFTA and Oscar nominations, suggesting this film that dwells on the underdog may also have underdog success in the awards season.
We also had the chance to speak to some of the contestants from TV show Dancing on Ice about their experiences of the challenges of the sport.
By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 16th February 2018.
Videos: Marta Starczynowska
I,Tonya will be in UK cinemas from 23rd February 2018.
Watch the trailer for I, Tonya here: