Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival was in full swing last night as Margot Robbie and Allison Janney stormed the red carpet outside the Arlington Theatre. The Oscar® nominees greeted screaming fans and signed autographs before heading into the theater to receive the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award, presented by Belvedere® Vodka.


SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling greeted the audience and introduced moderator and Awards Columnist for The Hollywood Reporter, Scott Feinberg. Scott then played a montage of Allison and Margot's work, and brought them on stage to a standing ovation.

Allison touched on THE WEST WING, a show for which she won four Emmys. She explained that she grew up during a time in which there wasn't a lot of trust in politicians, and that she "wasn't very savvy about the world of politics, so when I got cast, I was surprised." She also mentioned that the cast of the pilot did not think that the show would stay on the air. "We thought it was too smart for television audiences. We couldn't be more surprised."

She spoke about playing "smart" characters, and that for SPY, it was difficult for her to play the director of the FBI and try to improvise opposite Melissa McCarthy. She also touched on being cast in JUNO, and that from reading the first page of the script she knew that it was something extraordinary. She went to a meeting with director Jason Reitman in Los Angeles, remarking that "I didn't know that he had already decided I was gonna do it."

Margot spoke about the audition process for THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, and that it was a rare instance in which the producers didn't need a "name" for the lead actress role because they already had Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio on board. She described her first meeting and audition with Leonardo, and that there was "lots of yelling and screaming, and using every swear word I knew." The scene called for her to kiss him, but Margot instead smacked him because she felt as though that's what her character would do. Leonardo and Martin loved it, and she was cast in the role.

Margot touched on forming Production Company LuckyChap Entertainment with her friends and that I, TONYA is one of the company's first films. She said that she delved into the business side of the industry to help "control her fate." She also mentioned that she received some advice on producing from Tina Fey on the set of WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT, including that it's "a lot like planning a wedding day, where if you do a lot of preparation in advance, you can just enjoy the day." She also mentioned SUICIDE SQUAD, and that she signed on without a script and without any other actors attached because of a Skype call she had with director David Ayer, during which he vividly described two scenes involving her character, Harley Quinn.

Allison touched on her history with I, TONYA screenwriter Steven Rogers, who she's known since the 1980s. Steven initially wanted to pursue acting but had lots of success with screenwriting, and that his stipulation with LuckyChap producing I, TONYA was that Allison had to play the mother character. Scott touched on the challenges of the shoot, including that Margot had to age from 15 to 44, and that Allison had to play the role with a bird on her shoulder. Allison explained that she "auditioned three birds for the role....and 'Little Man' was my favorite animal co-star." The cast and crew also had to film all 267 scenes during a 31-day shoot.

I, TONYA director Craig Gillespie then took the stage to present Margot and Allison with their awards. Craig spoke about his admiration for Margot and Allison and that they were a huge part of the reason that he signed on for the film. Craig then presented the awards to Margot and Allison, who received another standing ovation to close the night.

Photo Credit - Getty Images for SBIFF

high res photos

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
SBIFF executive director Roger Durling

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
Actress Allison Janney

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
Actress Margot Robbie

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
Actress Margot Robbie, director Craig Gillespie and actress Allison Janney

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
Actress Margot Robbie, director Craig Gillespie and actress Allison Janney

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
Moderator Scott Feinberg, actress Margot Robbie, director Craig Gillespie and actress Allison Janney pose

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
Allison Janney

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
Margot Robbie

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
Scott Feinberg and Margot Robbie

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
Roger Durling and Allison Janney

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Sebastin Lelio, SBIFF executive director Roger Durling and Allison Janney

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Sebastin Lelio, SBIFF executive director Roger Durling, and Allison Janney

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
Allison Janney and director Craig Gillespie

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
Roger Durling (left) and actress Margot Robbie (middle)

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
SBIFF executive director Roger Durling and actress Margot Robbie

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
Scott Feinberg and SBIFF executive director Roger Durling

Photo Flash: I, TONYA Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Receive Outstanding Performers of the Year Award
Brian Baumgartner and Allison Janney

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