Tonya Harding may have been banned from the U.S. Figure Skating Association, but red carpets are fair game. Harding, who’s the controversial subject of the Craig Gillespie-directed biopic, I Tonya, posed with actress Margot Robbie and several other stars of the film on the opening night red carpet. Robbie plays Harding in the buzzy new film about one of the biggest sports scandals of the 1990s.
Tonya Harding made headlines during the 1994 Winter Olympics when she was implicated in the attack to sabotage fellow USA figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Harding’s ex-husband concocted a plan to incapacitate Kerrigan’s legs with a club to ensure his wife’s Olympic gold win. While Tonya Harding was not involved in the attack, she was later banned from the sport for life after being convicted of hindering the investigation into the incident.
While she was once seemingly blacklisted from the entertainment industry, Tonya Harding seemed to be the belle of the red carpet ball at the I, Tonya premiere. According to Entertainment Tonight, I, Tonya star Margot Robbie ran back over to the red carpet when Harding arrived so she could pose for photos with her.
Harding also posed for photos with Allison Janney, who plays her mother, Lavona, in the film. Janney, who wore a Rani Zakhem dress with gold accents, told ET she wanted to bring gold to the premiere via her outfit since Tonya Harding never got a gold medal at the Olympics.
Margot Robbie told the Hollywood Reporter she studied Tonya Harding’s dialect and trained for five months on the ice before she met the former Olympic skater in person.
“She was really sweet,” Margot told THR of Harding.
“We spoke a lot and it’s just nice to hear where she is at in her life now, how much she loves her son; it was comforting to see that she found her happy ending in that way.”
As for Harding’s reaction to the film about her life, the movie’s writer, Steven Rogers told THR the former Olympian screened the film a week before it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and that she “laughed, cried,” and “loved Margot and Allison.” Harding also told the screenwriter there were “things she didn’t like about it.”
In addition to Margot Robbie and Allison Janney, I, Tonya stars Caitlyn Carver has as Nancy Kerrigan, Sebastian Stan as Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, and Julianne Nicholson as Tonya’s coach.
You can see a trailer for I, Tonya below.
I, Tonya will hit select movie theaters on December 8 before its nationwide release in January.