Aka: Dr. Harleen Quinzel
Played by: Margot Robbie
Impish bad girl Harley Quinn, the bubble-blowing princess to the Joker’s Clown Prince of Crime, is already one of fiction’s most cosplayed characters. That’s only going to increase after the release of Suicide Squad — and Margot Robbie feels a bit guilty about it. “When I got the role I started looking up Harley costumes online, with my mum sitting next to me,” she laughs. “She was like, ‘My daughter is going to dress like a prostitute!’ There are a lot of angry mothers out there!”
Suicide Squad’s Harley is tamer than some of the ones that strut Comic-Con, but still eye-catching. It’s an instantly iconic ensemble: bracelets (“I’ve got scars all over from them”), fishnets (“They rip all the time”) and towering boots (“They take 20 minutes to lace up”), plus dyed hair, face tattoos and the very hottest of hot pants. “Everything that looks cool is also the most difficult to wear,” Robbie says. “But when I came on set without it all on, everyone was like, ‘You look weird. Go get dressed — this is freaking us out!’”
It could be the role of a lifetime for Robbie, who gets to play both Harleen Quinzel, the doctor assigned to probe the Joker’s psyche, and Harley, the result of his ghastly seduction. The actress has also been the main focus of Mr. J’s off-screen affections. “Jared sent me a rat,” she says. “A black one with cute white paws, like he’s wearing little socks. I named him Rat Rat and my assistant Soph and I would sit down on the carpet with him and all drink tea. I passed Rat Rat onto Jai (Courtney), then he went to one of the girls in wardrobe. He’s now with Guillermo del Toro.” Expect a casting announcement for Hellboy 3 any day now.
Origins: Harley is an unusual creation in the DC Universe in that she first appeared in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series in 1992 and proved so popular that she was added to the comic books. Created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, she’s a frequent accomplice and often lover for The Joker (not the healthiest relationship, as you might imagine), sharing his penchant for madness, violence and unpredictability. She is also usually portrayed as her talented psychiatrist alter ego Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel. In the relaunched timeline of the comic books, she goes on a murderous frenzy of vengeance after a falling out with ol’ smiley face and is forcibly inducted into the squad. Robbie’s performance will be the second time Harley’s been seen in live-action form, after short-lived DC TV series Birds Of Prey.
Read our exhaustive Suicide Squad guide here.