After the 2024 Oscar nominations were announced last week, Barbie fans were quick to share outrage about two perceived snubs: Margot Robbie for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Greta Gerwig for Best Director. It's been a hot topic of conversation amid award season fans ever since, and it's inspired reactions from many sources, including the woman who inspired the toy on which the film is based. Last night, Robbie herself finally commented on the backlash that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has received, and she most definitely took the humble approach to the topic.
Margot Robbie participated in a panel at a SAG screening of Barbie Tuesday night (as reported by Deadline), and it was during her time on stage that she talked about her "snub." Given all of the positives that have surrounded the film – including widespread critical acclaim and the fact that it's the biggest Warner Bros. box office hit of all time – she explained that there really is nothing for her to be upset about:
There’s no way to feel sad when you know you’re this blessed... Obviously I think Greta [Gerwig] should be nominated as a director, because what she did is a once-in-a-career, once-in-a-lifetime thing, what she pulled off, it really is. But it’s been an incredible year for all the films... I just suspect it’s bigger than us. It’s bigger than this movie, it’s bigger than our industry.
The Barbie star was asked about both of the missed nominations, but she apparently didn't focus too much on the Best Actress In A Leading Role part of the conversation. Instead, she said that Greta Gerwig not getting a Best Director nod is the more notable mistake – but she even minimized that in the grand scheme of all the film's accomplishments.
While Barbie isn't nominated in the aforementioned categories, it did still manage to get attention in eight others – including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (for America Ferrera) and Best Adapted Screenplay (a nomination that Greta Gerwig shares with her co-writer/husband Noam Baumbach). Margot Robbie pointed to the large scale success that the film had when the nominations were announced, saying,
[I'm] beyond ecstatic that we’ve got eight Academy Award nominations, it’s so wild. Everyone getting the nods that they’ve had is just incredible, and the Best Picture nod... We set out to do something that would shift culture, affect culture, just make some sort of impact. And it’s already done that, and some, way more than we ever dreamed it would. And that is truly the biggest reward that could come out of all of this.
It seems that Margot Robbie doesn't see it as her place to make an argument as to why her Barbie performance should be nominated for an Oscar... but she has someone else that is independently doing that for her: Robert Downey Jr.
Unlike Robbie, the Iron Man star did walk away from the nominations announcement last week with a nod (Best Supporting Actor for his work in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer), but he has made the case for why the lead of Barbie should also be up for Hollywood's highest honor this year. He recently participated in a SAG-AFTRA Foundation-organized roundtable with fellow nominees Willem Dafoe (Poor Things) and Sterling K. Brown (American Fiction), and it was while discussing depictions of active listening on camera that Downey Jr. heaped praise upon the Australian actress:
Margot Robbie is not getting enough credit in my opinion. Because America [Ferrera] has this amazing speech. And by the way, she nails it! I’m watching it and go, ‘Wow, that was a really tough one. That’s like a one act play. The whole movie hinges on it.’ But it’s the cuts away to Robbie so actively listening. It’s when I realize ‘Oh, ok, now I see Greta [Gerwig] is really on to something here.’ But it’s Robbie who had to trust.
Its a well-worn maxim that "acting is reacting" (thank you, Lee Strasberg), and that's what Robert Downey Jr. is highlighting here. America Ferrera has the big monologue moment in Barbie (we'll certainly see a clip of it when the Best Supporting Actress category comes up at the 2024 Oscars), but based on his own personal experience being on set, Downey Jr. feels that Margot Robbie doesn't get enough love for her work in that very same scene. He continued,
[L]et’s not kid ourselves: it’s hard when someone else has the fucking two-page passage and they go, ‘Ok, now, let’s jump in and get Bob,’ and you’re like, ‘I’ve been listening to this all day, and now, I have to make it work!'
Margot Robbie may not be up for an Oscar this year, but hopefully she feels the widespread love and appreciation for her work that has been pouring out from the industry in the last few days.
Those of you who want to rewatch Barbie before the big award show can do so easily with a Max subscription, and be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend in the coming weeks for all of our coverage in the leadup to the 2024 Academy Awards, which is scheduled for March 10.