Harley Quinn doesn’t have the (traditional) voice of an angel, but regardless, there’s something iconic about the Clown Princess of Crime’s squeaky pipes, which can make it tricky to translate to live-action. It turns out Margot Robbie, who plays Harley in the upcoming “Suicide Squad” film, went to some surprising lengths to find the character’s voice for the movie.
As revealed in an interview with USA Today, Robbie looked first to 1992’s “Batman: The Animated Series” for inspiration. The series marked Harley’s introduction to DC Comics canon, before she made her way into comics in 1993’s “The Batman Adventures” #12. Arleen Sorkin voiced the original take on Harley in her animated appearances.
Robbie said Sorkin’s high-pitched take on Harley was good for establishing the character’s mania, but felt it wouldn’t be appropriate for more grounded moments. For drama, Robbie had to look elsewhere — “Goodfellas.”
Lorraine Bracco’s character in the film, Karen Hill, was a major influence for Robbie’s Harley Quinn voice — Bracco’s Brooklyn accent in “Goodfellas” was the perfect mix of New York and absolutely crazy that the Australian actress was looking for. Robbie would even listen to some of Bracco’s scenes on her iPod each day before heading to the set.
For “Suicide Squad,” Harley’s voice lies somewhere between Bracco and Sorkin — but the secret, unique combination of the two lies with Robbie alone.
“Suicide Squad” debuts in theaters August 5, 2016.
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