Legendary movie director Martin Scorsese has been the recipient of many a gushing tribute or lifetime achievement award.
But rarely is he the one handing them out.
Leave it to Australian golden girl Margot Robbie to make the 74-year-old Hollywood great gush.
Scorsese penned a short piece on Robbie for Time magazine’s list of The 100 Most Influential People, in which he praises her “comedic genius, all-bets-off feistiness, grounded, hardscrabble toughness and emotional daring”.
The director, who first met Robbie, 26, when she auditioned for his 2013 blockbuster, The Wolf of Wall Street, revealed she won the breakout role with one dramatic, unconventional move.
“She clinched her part in The Wolf of Wall Street during our first meeting— by hauling off and giving Leonardo DiCaprio a thunderclap of a slap on the face, an improvisation that stunned us all,” Scorsese wrote.
Since Scorsese cast her as Naomi, the feisty wife of wayward millionaire Jordan Belfort (played by DiCaprio), Robbie has appeared in seven major Hollywood films.
She’s even scored her own superhero franchise after starring as Harley Quinn in last year’s Suicide Squad and started her own production company, LuckyChap Entertainment.
Next, she will appear as troubled American competitive ice-skater, Tonya Harding, in the 2018 film, I, Tonya, for which she learned to figure skate and underwent a dramatic physical transformation.
Scorsese is clearly a big fan of his protégée, who affectionately refers to him as “Marty”.
“[Margot has] a unique audacity that surprises and challenges and just burns like a brand into every character she plays,” Scorsese wrote.
“Margot is stunning in all she is and all she does, and she will astonish us forever.”
The admiration is mutual. In 2014, Robbie told GQ magazine of Scorsese: “[I]t’s mind-boggling the amount of knowledge he has. Also, he doesn’t underestimate anyone.
“He mentioned this film shot in Germany in the early 1900s and then said to me, ‘Did you see that film?’ (I said) ‘No, Marty I didn’t, but I appreciate the fact that you thought it was a possibility’.”
Robbie is joined on the Time list by a swag of fellow actors, musicians, politicians, authors, public figures and scientists, alongside names such as Julian Assange, Margaret Atwood and Pope Francis.
Controversially, US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared also feature on the list as “pioneers”.
Rupert Murdoch’s former wife Wendi Deng wrote the entry for Ivanka, hailing her as a fellow “modern working mom”.
“Ivanka continues to earn my respect and admiration for how she has chosen to use her new visibility,” Deng wrote.