Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan were kept apart on set

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 4 October 2018
Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie

'Mary Queen of Scots' director Josie Rourke has revealed why she kept Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan apart on the set of the movie

Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan were deliberately kept apart on the set of 'Mary Queen of Scots'.

The Australian actress Robbie – who stars as English Queen Elizabeth I – and Irish-American actress Ronan – who plays the Scottish queen – star in the new historical drama, but English director Josie Rourke has revealed the unusual way she tried to create on-screen tension between the duo in a climactic seven-minute scene.

Speaking to, Josie explained: "Working with Margot and Saoirse – we worked with them differently than I would do in the theatre.

"We kept them apart when they were doing that scene together. They only meet once in the film so the film drives towards this climactic scene.

"When they look each other in the eye during that scene, they're looking at each other as those characters for the first time and we managed to capture that on film in the most extraordinary way."

Josie is best known for her theatre work, and the director is thrilled that she's been able to bring her usual approach to the big screen.

Reflecting on the dramatic final scene, she said: "That's the amazing thing for me as a theatre director because I see these moments in rehearsals but when I show it to the audience for the first time in a theatre, we've already been through it in rehearsals.

"To capture the magic of that and the coming together in that moment and to have it immortalised is an incredibly wonderful thing."

Mary Queen of Scots

  • 3 stars
  • 2018
  • UK / US
  • 2h 4min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Josie Rourke
  • Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden, David Tennant, Martin Compston, Joe Alwyn, Brendan Coyle, Guy Pearce
  • UK release: 18 January 2019

Mary Stuart (Ronan) and Elizabeth (Robbie) would like to be sisters but political rivalry drives them apart. Ronan gives a sophisticated performance and Robbie as Elizabeth is a blend of nervous uncertainty and confident outrage. Over the top, perhaps, but its ridiculousness hits a raw nerve in the current political…

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