Credit: Getty ImagesMargot Robbie arrives at the 2016 Academy Awards in Tom Ford 

It made perfect sense for A Bigger Splash director Luca Guadagnino to base his provocative thriller on the Italian volcanic island of Pantelleria, off the Sicilian coast. And like a few roles at the moment (a la The Girl On The Train), Margot Robbie was tipped to be part of this must-see film.

The Dior-clad remake of Jacques Deray’s 1969 psychological thriller La Piscine (The Swimming Pool) tells the story of Marianne (Tilda Swinton) – a wounded David Bowie-esque rock star – and her filmmaker lover, Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts).

When Marianne’s ex-partner, the wild and incessantly naked Harry (Ralph Fiennes) visits the island with his daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson), Marianne begins to have feelings for him again. Harry, in all his desperately jealous and exhibitionist ways, is more than happy to play on her nostalgia and remind her of their crazy years together in the music industry. 

While these two lust after a pained past, a sexual chemistry – revealed only through glares at first – begins between Paul and Penelope. Johnson’s sexy and scheming character (made famous by Jane Birkin in the original French film) was originally intended to be for Australian export, Robbie. And as we get to know Penelope – a toxic mix of narcissism and one who cannot help but relentlessly trade in her main currency; sexuality – we begin to imagine Robbie in her (character) element. Johnson though is hardly an understudy. In fact, she’s every bit brilliant.

A conflict in working schedules has been blamed for her dropping the part. See her next in The Legend of Tarzan (July 7) and The Suicide Squad (August 4).

A Bigger Splash is in cinemas now.


Cover Image: Getty Images