Harley Quinn is inarguably one of the most beloved characters in comics, but it hasn’t always been that way. Introduced by Paul Dini in the award-winning Batman: The Animated Series, based on and voiced by Arleen Sorkin, Dr. Harleen Qunizel started out as an Arkham Asylum psychiatrist. She was great at her job, that is until she met and eventually fell in love with one of her patients, the Joker. Everything changed, her accent became more pronounced, she adopted the look of a court jester/harlequin, and quickly joined the Joker and his gang.
She’s been a mainstay in Batman and DC canon ever since, getting her own comic series and appearing in the Batman: The Animated Series extended universe — Justice League and the Batman Arkham series (Sorkin returned for Asylum, but the sequels featured the lovely pipes of Tara Strong). Now Margot Robbie is bringing the character to the big screen, in a big way. In an interview with the LA Times, the actress confirmed Quinn’s origin story would remain in tact and spoke on why she is the most manipulative of the Suicide Squad bunch.
“She’s definitely one of the more unpredictable members of the squad,” Robbie said. “She also used to be a psychiatrist so she has an extensive knowledge of mental illnesses and how to manipulate people — I’m sorry, well, she has a lot of knowledge on how to profile people, pick their triggers, and as Harley Quinn she kind of utilizes that to just manipulate people and mess with them. And she definitely does that with the squad. She’s always picking someone to be dissecting and playing off and messing with.”
Robbie also addressed the mad love between her character and Mistah J. “It’s an incredibly dysfunctional relationship. She’s mad about him — like, literally, mad. She’s crazy. But she loves him. And it’s a really unhealthy, dysfunctional relationship. But an addictive one.”
The actress also admitted to taking pieces of the character’s costume from set for her own personal use. “I did take the jacket. And I did take the bat. I have it next to my bed, so if anyone breaks in I’ll be like, ‘nuh-uh!'” Perhaps Robbie will show up at a convention or the like dressed as the beloved maniacal villain.
Suicide Squad hits theaters on August 5.
Images: Warner Bros.