Focus Features debuted the first official photos of Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I in Mary Queen of Scots on Wednesday, July 11, and they’re just as remarkable as the previously released images of Saoirse Ronan as the formidable title character.
The movie, directed by Josie Rourke, explores the life of young Mary Stuart (Ronan) and her family rivalry with Elizabeth (Robbie) in the 1500s.
“Each young Queen beholds her ‘sister’ in fear and fascination,” a synopsis from the studio reads. “Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones — and change the course of history.”
Robbie’s transformation into Elizabeth, who ruled over England and Ireland from 1558 until her death in 1603, includes red ringlets and elaborate period costumes, such as the green corseted gown she wears in the image above, and the red coat she wears in her character poster (below), which reads “Born to Power.”
Ronan’s character poster is similar in composition, but with a deep blue background to match her blue ensemble. Across her poster are the words “Born to fight.”
Ronan talked to Collider in November about her character, saying, “Mary did have a lot of fun, in the earlier part of her life, but by the time she was put under house arrest for 17 years, it was a much tougher life.”
Despite that, Ronan said she “could totally identify with Mary. I found that with Mary and Elizabeth, and with any woman in power, they remind me of actors. There’s so much hand-shaking that you need to do. There’s a public persona that Mary had to put on with people, and she had to have so much strength from such an early age, and that’s something I could totally identify with, being someone who’s grown up doing this earlier than you would usually. She was thrown into that world very young, too.”
The Lady Bird star also spoke about immersing herself in the role, saying, “It was so brilliant. I was chatting with one of the other actors and saying, ‘When I’m on set, I’m still me!’ And he said, ‘No, you’re Mary! You’re still nice, but you’re Mary.'”
Mary Queen of Scots also features Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, Gemma Chan, Martin Compston, Ismael Cordova, Brendan Coyle, Ian Hart, Adrian Lester, James McArdle, David Tennant, and Guy Pearce. It hits theaters on December 7.
What do you think about Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan’s transformations into the royal rivals? Let us know @BritandCo!
(photos via Parisa Tag/Focus Features + Focus Features)