Margot Robbie talks about her role in the upcoming film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

By Mia McNiece
May 03, 2019 09:35 AM
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Margot Robbie got a very important blessing to play Manson family murder victim Sharon Tate.

The actress, 28, prepared for her role in the upcoming Quentin Tarantino movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by talking to Tate’s family members and friends.

“They all said how kind, loving, and good-hearted she was,” Robbie, 28, tells PEOPLE in the latest issue. “I was fortunate enough to step on to set with Debra Tate’s blessing, Sharon’s sister.”

Tate, just 26 at the time of her death, was married to director Roman Polanski and was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with their first child — a boy — when she was stabbed in her home by Charles Manson’s followers.

In the Quentin Tarantino-directed film, Leonardo DiCaprio, 44, plays actor Rick Dalton, while Brad Pitt, 55, stars as his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth. The two are struggling with a changing Hollywood in the 1960s and Tate is Dalton’s next door neighbor.

Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Andrew Cooper

For more on Margot Robbie, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands now.

Robbie, who worked with DiCaprio six years earlier on The Wolf of Wall Street, says it was a thrill to watch DiCaprio and Pitt team up.

“Leo and Brad are both so talented, it was great to see them evolve into their characters,” she says. “They were quite the duo.”

But for Robbie, the most important part of filming was being able to show audiences the real Sharon Tate.

“It was immensely important for me to honor Sharon’s generous spirit,” she says. “I felt an enormous sense of responsibility. She really was such a beautiful character to play.”

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood opens in theaters on July 26.