Margot Robbie explains why Harley Quinn is the most manipulative member of the ‘Suicide Squad’

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Perhaps one of the most hotly fan-anticipated characters in the DC cinematic universe is Warner Bros.’ adaptation of comic book baddie Harley Quinn. And now “Suicide Squad’s” Margot Robbie will brandish her giant bat in real life (a prop the actress coincidentally lifted from the set).

Created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm as a cartoon in the beloved “Batman The Animated Series,” Harley Quinn’s on-again, and off-again relationship with Batman villain the Joker (whom she lovingly refers to as Mistah Jay) is probably one of the more complicated and dangerously codependent affairs in the DC world. And it sounds like the twisted relationship between the two villains will continue into David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad.”

FULL COVERAGE: CinemaCon 2016

In a behind-the-scenes interview at CinemaCon, Robbie confirmed that most of the character’s origin story roots are still in place, and that Harley Quinn uses her past to manipulate the rest of the pack of villains that were all drafted into the “Suicide Squad.”

“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.”


As for her current status with the Joker, played by actor Jared Leto? “It’s an incredibly dysfunctional relationship,” Robbie said. “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.”

But despite the dark nature of the Quinn and Joker romance, the movie is still looking to lighten things up a little. The last “Suicide Squad” trailer was a collection of pop tunes and villainy mugging for the camera.

Because even though Quinn the character has had her share of truly dark moments, it’s her character’s constant cheer and utter glee at being a bad guy that makes fans fall for her. She is still one of the most constantly cosplayed characters at comic book conventions across the globe. And it looks like Robbie is aware of future costumed appearances herself.

“I did take the jacket,” Robbie admitted. “And I did take the bat. I have it next to my bed, so if anyone breaks in I’ll be like, “nuh-uh!”

Times staff writer Amy Kaufman contributed to this report.