"Welcome to the summer of Margot Robbie," writer Rich Cohen declares in Robbie's first cover story for Vanity Fair. The profile piece itself is gushing—in the gross way gushing always sounds. Cohen's retelling of his interview with Robbie is painful to read, his yearning for the young actress dripping thick off the page:
"She wandered through the room like a second-semester freshman, finally at ease with the system... I don't remember what she was wearing, but it was simple, her hair combed around those painfully blue eyes. We sat in the corner. She looked at me and smiled.__"
"I asked Robbie about the sex scenes. In Wolf_, she partakes in some of the most graphic on-screen shenanigans I've ever seen, famously short-skirted in one scene, pushing a crawling DiCaprio away with the toe of her designer shoe."_
Predictably, Twitter has been having a lot of fun calling out Cohen's A-Grade creepiness.
Yet there's another victim of Cohen's syrupy writing, an entire country shat on in his broad-brush attempt to capture what makes Robbie so damn alluring. To understand her he writes, "you must first understand that Margot Robbie is an Australian." He continues:
"Australia is America 50 years ago, sunny and slow, a throwback, which is why you go there for throwback people. They still live and die with the plot turns of soap operas in Melbourne and Perth, still dwell in a single mass market in Adelaide and Sydney. In the morning, they watch Australia's Today_show. In other words, it's just like America, only different. When everyone here is awake, everyone there is asleep, which makes it a perfect perch from which to study our customs, habits, accents."_
Alright, Rich Cohen, let's break this down a little bit.
I get the soap operas in Melbourne thing, we're all partial to a little Neighbours. Although if we were living and dying by its plot twists, I'm not sure the show would've been punted onto Eleven—the barren wastelands of Channel 10, home to Becker re-runs and Toasted TV.
But what soap opera is set in Perth? Googling "soap opera Perth," yields only a few sad stories about footballer Ben Cousins. Admittedly, Cousins has lived enough drama to make the Real Housewives of Melbourne seem dull.
I'm really not sure what "single mass market" in Adelaide Cohen is referring to either. Having visited Adelaide the average number of times most Australians have—once—I can safely say there were at least a handful of markets, and as many Coles supermarkets as you'd expect in any major city.
The Today slag is just rude. Firstly, if Cohen did any research at all he'd know Australia watches Today for one reason and one reason only: We are waiting for Karl Stefanovic to finally go off the rails.
Secondly, America's version of the Today show features two women drinking wine at 10 AM, and having mad drunk chats about landing strips on morning TV. It sounds amazing and I wish it was ours. Actually, this kind of sounds like the most Australian thing ever. Maybe Cohen is right, maybe we aren't so different—America and us.
Yet there's still the sting of people called a land of "throwback people." Cohen asserts Australia is like the America of 1966, a full 50 years behind our forward-thinking allies. What's the comeback to this? W e've probably pulled the "at least we reformed gun laws" card too many times. And maybe at this stage suggesting neither Malcolm Turnbull or Bill Shorten is Donald Trump would be too mean. Plus, we did just elect One Nation's Pauline Hanson to the Senate, so there's one 90s throwback nobody wanted.
All I will say is that the realisation you've been labelled a nation of "throwback people" by some bloody galah who's writing reads like a sappy noir paperback you thumb through from the op shop discount bin—it feels better than shotgunning a VB.
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