Margot Robbie and Alexander Skarsgård play Jane and Tarzan in the upcoming film “The Legend of Tarzan.” In a new interview, director David Yates opened up about directing the two and revealed that Robbie accidentally gave her co-star a huge bruise on his face while filming one of the most intimate scenes in the movie.
“They’re doing this love scene together, and I said [to Robbie], ‘Just slap Alex while you’re making love, just kind of give him a punch,’” Yates said. “It was sort of an earthy, sensual moment of her enjoying sex with Alex, and the only bruise he picked up during the entire shoot was probably that punch from Margot - which says a lot about her feistiness.”
Yates, who is responsible for the final four films in the “Harry Potter” series, said that it was incredibly important to him to find an actress to play Jane who would have great chemistry with Skarsgård, but who could also handle herself and play the character as a strong woman, not just the wife of Tarzan.
“If you enter the jungle with anybody, you want to go with Margot Robbie,” Yates said. “She’s practical, and she’s smart, and she’s resourceful. And she can take care of herself.”
“It was very important that we didn’t want it to feel archaic or dated, where it’s like, tough guy has to save the poor girl,” Skarsgård explained of Robbie’s casting. “You have to feel that she’s strong and independent, and when you cast Margot, you’ll definitely get that.”
Yates’ take on the classic tale of Tarzan will be different from the original story, which was published in 1912. The story has been adapted countless times over the years, including 1932’s “Tarzan the Ape Man,” 1984’s “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes” and Disney’s 1999 animated “Tarzan.” In “The Legend of Tarzan,” Tarzan, now known as John Clayton III, is living in 1880s London with his wife Jane before he goes back to the jungle where he grew up.
“It’s almost the opposite of the classic tale, where it’s about taming the beast,” Skarsgård said. “This is about a man who’s holding back and slowly, as you peel off the layers, he reverts back to a more animalistic state and lets that side of his personality out.”
"The Legend of Tarzan" hits theaters July 1.