Margot Robbie: Why She Punched And Bruised Her Naked ‘Tarzan’ Co-Star During A Sex Scene

Margot Robbie, who plays Jane in the currently-in-production screen production of The Legend of Tarzan, recently punched her in-movie love interest, Tarzan, who is played by Alexander Skarsgard, while the two were in the middle of a simulated onscreen lovemaking session. Robbie later opened up about why she struck Skarsgard, and her reason is pretty satisfying.

Basically, Robbie told Entertainment Weekly, the punch was a way to show female empowerment. She and the people making the movie, including former Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 and 2 director David Yates, did not want Margot Robbie’s Jane character to come off as the stereotypically passive and harmless woman.

The tired “damsel in distress” stereotype, as Yates calls it, was especially important to dispel in the case of Robbie’s role because the Tarzan and Jane love saga has been reenacted by so many actresses in that same dainty fashion that audiences might walk into 2016’s The Legend of Tarzan expecting Robbie’s Jane to be a helpless maiden.

Margot Robbie's 'Legend of Tarzan' Outburst
The public has been treated to literally dozens of cinematic versions of Tarzan and Jane since 1934's 'Tarzan and His Mate,' pictured above. [Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

“They’re doing this love scene together, and I said to Margot, ‘Just slap Alex while you’re making love, just kind of give him a punch,'” Yates continued.

“It was sort of an earthy, sensual moment of her enjoying sex with Alex, and the only bruise he picked up during the entire shoot was probably that punch from Margot. Which says a lot about her feistiness.”

It would seem that Robbie did more than just give her “partner” a playful love tap, though, if she actually hit him hard enough to leave a bruise.

Maybe her overzealousness was due to some unplanned Freudian slip, or maybe Margot is just really passionate about showing Jane is not a girl to be messed with.

Also, points out Vogue, Margot Robbie had been undergoing extensive amounts of physical training lately as part of her preparation for her Harley Quinn role in Suicide Squad, and maybe she has not yet adjusted to her newfound strength.

You would think that Skarsgard would be a little irked at Robbie after she delivered a real punch instead of a playful slap, but he was a good sport, voicing his complete understanding of her intentions and the reasoning behind them. He also voiced his approval of the casting of Margot Robbie in the role of Jane.

“It was very important that we didn’t want it to feel archaic or dated, where it’s like, tough guy has to save the poor girl. You have to feel that she’s strong and independent, and when you cast Margot, you’ll definitely get that.”

Yates agrees that Robbie carries that attitude, and he maintains that casting her as Jane was a perfect choice.

“If you enter the jungle with anybody, you want to go with Margot Robbie. She’s practical, she’s smart and she’s resourceful. She can take care of herself.”

Those involved with the making of the movie are not the only ones that support Robbie’s casting as a more modernized take on Jane. Fans have long been of the opinion that Margot Robbie definitely exudes a “strong yet elegant feminist icon” vibe.

Whether Robbie striking her on-screen romantic partner hard enough to leave a mark is an acceptable demonstration of empowerment is up for debate, but it seems that The Legend of Tarzan‘s casting director does not have to worry about job security.

You can watch Robbie beat on Tarzan, and the rest of The Legend of Tarzan, when it hits theaters July 1.

[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]