Production is already well underway on the Atlanta set of Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya, but the figure skating drama has made room in its ranks for Julianne Nicholson, star of Black Mass, August: Osage County, and Sophie and the Rising Sun.
Joining Allison Janney, Paul Walter Hauser, Sebastian Stan and Margot Robbie for the upcoming sports pic, Nicholson has landed the part of Diane Rawlinson, the first skating coach to train disgraced Olympian Tonya Harding (Robbie). Once celebrated as the ice princess of the figure skating world – Harding made history after becoming the first American woman to complete the triple axel in major competitions in the early ’90s – Tonya Harding’s career and public image were left in tatters after her and her husband Jeff Gillooly (Stan) were found guilty of ordering a vicious attack on skating rival Nancy Kerrigan. However, karma prevailed after Kerrigan’s limped out of the assault with only some mild bruising, eventually going on to outperform the scheming Harding at the Winter Olympic events of ’94.
It’s a truly bizarre story, and one that’s considered to be one of the most high-profile scandals not just in figure skating, but the entire world of sport. In 2014, Nanette Burstein’s The Price of Gold presented an in-depth account of how pettiness and sheer jealously mutated into an international scandal, but it’ll be fascinating to gauge how Craig Gillespie dramatizes the mostly one-sided spat between Harding and Kerrigan through I, Tonya. The cameras are now rolling, so expect further story details to emerge over the coming weeks and months.
I, Tonya is currently lensing in Atlanta ahead of an expected release later this year. Down below, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of Robbie hitting the ice as the disgraced sportswoman.