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Cannes 2019: Margot Robbie’s secret red carpet tribute to Sharon Tate

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Kayleigh Dray
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CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 22: Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Leonardo DiCaprio attend the photocall for "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 22, 2019 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Margot Robbie stars as the late Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. And, at the film’s Cannes 2019 red carpet photocall, the actor decided to pay tribute to Tate by recreating the Valley of the Dolls star’s 1968 Cannes Film Festival look…

Sharon Tate was a critically-acclaimed actress, earning a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Jennifer North in the 1967 cult classic, Valley of the Dolls.

She was also a model, a sister, a daughter, a wife and a human being. Tragically, though, the majority of people know just one thing about Tate: that she was murdered by members of Charles Manson’s “family” on 9 August 1969, when she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with her first child. 

With the 50th anniversary of her death falling this year, a number of films about Tate and the Manson Family murders have been made. On Netflix, there is Hilary Duff’s portrayal of Tate in psychological horror film The Haunting of Sharon Tate, which focuses on her “dreams about ghosts haunting her house and foreseeing her own death at the hands of a satanic cult.” Elsewhere, The Crown’s Matt Smith stars as Charles Manson in independent movie Charlie Says, which is set to follow the lives of the three young women who were sentenced to death following the 1969 murders.

And Margot Robbie is playing Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which opened to critical acclaim at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (it’s sat at a whopping 96% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes).

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Debra Tate, who famously attended almost every parole hearing related to the death of her sister, previously slammed filmmakers for profiting of Sharon’s murder.

“These people are taking horrific situations and making them even more graphic than they were without any concern for the living victims of these crimes and I think that’s horrible and crass,” she said last year. However, since seeing Robbie’s performance in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Debra has well and truly changed her mind.

“Depending on how Margot played it, it could’ve appeared egotistical,” she told TMZ. “But, no, she did a beautiful job. Sharon did not have an egotistical bone in her body. Margot captures Sharon’s sweetness very nicely.”

And, as it now turns out, Robbie made an effort to “capture Sharon’s sweetness” on the Cannes red carpet, too.

That’s right: Robbie looked like a spitting image of the Valley of the Dolls star from the 1968 Cannes Film Festival, choosing to wear her hair in an almost identically braided hairstyle.

It was a subtle beauty nod to Sharon, and one which initially went unnoticed by many (writer Evan Ross Katz drew attention to the beauty tribute on Twitter). All it took were two thinly braided parts on each side of Robbie’s head to perfectly recreate the legendary actress’ look

Check it out:

The hairstylist behind Robbie’s look is Bryce Scarlett, who also made sure to share a snap of Robbie’s look on their Instagram feeds.

Of her role in Tarantino’s film, Robbie previously told IndieWire that she was going to respectfully portray Tate in the movie.

“I feel a responsibility with every character I play, whether they’re fictional or real life,” she said.

“To play her right, play her truthfully, and kind of understand her emotional journey.”

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And at Cannes, when Tarantino dodged a question from a female journalist demanding to know why he had given Robbie so few lines in the film, Robbie spoke up.

“I always look at the character and what the character is supposed to serve to the story. I think the moments that I got on screen gave an opportunity to honour Sharon and her lightness,” she said.

“I don’t think it was intended to delve deeper. I think the tragedy, ultimately, was the loss of innocence. To show those wonderful sides of her could be adequately done without speaking.

“I did get a lot of time to explore the character even without dialogue specifically, which is an interesting thing because I often look to the interaction with other characters to inform me on the character.

“Rarely do I get to spend so much time on my own as a character. That was actually an interesting thing for me to do as an actor. I actually really appreciated the exercise.”

Some could argue that this still doesn’t adequately address the fact that the Oscar-nominated female lead actor was given fewer lines than the two male leads. But, with Tate’s story being the backdrop to the film, Robbie’s answer is fair enough.

Image: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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