Margot Robbie Didn’t Get An AHS: Asylum Part Despite Wowing Casting Director

The actor quickly became out of the “realm of possibility of hiring.”

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 12: Margot Robbie attends the European premiere of 'Barbie' at the Cin...
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Years before she moved into the Barbie Dreamhouse, Margot Robbie was poised to haunt nightmares. In 2012, the actor auditioned for American Horror Story: Asylum, according to casting director Eric Dawson. “Margot is probably one of my favorite auditions of all time,” he recently recalled on Backstage’s In the Envelope podcast. “She was just such a star. It was just crazy, her star appeal and when she walked in the room and her voice. Everything about it. ... That was one of those things as a casting director you go, ‘This is a star. What do we do with her?’”

He didn’t specify which part Robbie was in the running for, but fans have speculated it was either Sister Mary Eunice or Grace, roles that ultimately went to Lily Rabe and Lizzie Brocheré, respectively. The Emmy-winning second installment of Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series, which centered on the fictional Briarcliff Manor’s atrocities, also starred Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Zachary Quinto, Joseph Fiennes, and James Cromwell, among others.

As Dawson also noted, the casting process was in full swing “right before she broke out,” however. “Then, immediately she started, just boom, boom, boom, and she was out of our sort of realm of possibility of hiring, but that’s really the fun part of casting, is seeing the people whose careers are just rising,” he added, also citing Robbie’s numerous “it” factors.

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Coming into the audition, the actor’s most famous role was in ABC’s one-season period drama Pan Am, which ended in early 2012. Shortly after auditioning for AHS, however, Robbie scored her breakthrough role as Naomi Lapaglia in The Wolf of Wall Street, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. Though she doesn’t appear to have discussed her audition on the FX horror series, she previously revealed to Harper’s Bazaar that an improvised slap is what ultimately landed her the role in the Martin Scorsese-directed film.

“In my head I was like, ‘You have literally 30 seconds left in this room, and if you don’t do something impressive, nothing will ever come of it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance, just take it,’” she said. “So I walk up really close to his face and then I’m like, ‘Maybe I should kiss him. When else am I ever going to get a chance to kiss Leo DiCaprio, ever?’ But another part of my brain clicks and I just go, whack! I hit him in the face. And then I scream, ‘F*ck you!’ And that’s not in the script at all. The room just went dead silent and I froze.”

Scorsese confirmed the story in the Australian actor’s 2017 Time 100 Most Influential People profile. “She clinched her part in The Wolf of Wall Street during our first meeting by hauling off and giving Leonardo DiCaprio a thunderclap of a slap on the face, an improvisation that stunned us all,” the Academy Award winner wrote of Robbie, who went on to score her own Oscar nominations for 2017’s I, Tonya and 2019’s Bombshell. She’s also currently starring in Greta Gerwig’s record-breaking Barbie movie.