Margot Robbie goes for the gold in new Tonya Harding biopic "I, Tonya"

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"I, Tonya" tells the true story behind the 1994 figure skating scandal that shocked the world: Tonya Harding vs. Nancy Kerrigan. (KABC)

It's been 23 years since Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding had a meteoric rise and fall squarely in the public eye.

Harding is the subject of the new movie, "I, Tonya," an often dark comedy that tells the athlete's life story, from the high of being the first woman to land a "triple axel," to the lows, including the scandal that caused her to hang up her skates.

Margot Robbie plays Harding, and the actress really did have to learn how to skate. But she admits she did have some help.

"Any of the axels, the triple jumps, any of that, was skate doubles," said Robbie. "Everything else is me: the dancing, the forward and back crossovers, ends of the spins -- that was all me. And that took months to even get to that point. The rest was skate doubles, but even our doubles couldn't do the triple axel so we had to CGI that."

Harding endured a rough upbringing and struggled to fit into the elite figure-skating world. Then there was the 1994 attack on rival figure skater Nancy Kerrigan and the question of whether or not Harding was involved.

"I was fascinated by it," said Robbie. "The script was genius, but it seemed insane. It seemed so over-the-top!"

Which is also how you would describe many of Harding's skating costumes. She just didn't have the money to have them professionally made.

"I could just see how much fun our wardrobe department was having making these costumes," said Robbie. "Like, replicating them sequin for sequin. It was fun. I had something like 80-something costume changes in this film, where I've done films before where I've had two," Robbie said.

"I, Tonya" also stars Allison Janney and Sebastian Stan. The film is rated R and is in theaters in limited release Dec. 8.

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