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How Margot Robbie kicked butt on set as Harley Quinn

CANOGA PARK, Calif. – Harley Quinn is not here for organic produce. 

On a sunny spring day, Margot Robbie is in full Harley mode on the set of “Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” (in theaters Friday) inside Fields Market, her ghostly metallic white body paint a stark contrast to aisles stocked with colorful provisions.

“Ugh,” groans the spikily pigtailed star, tossing fresh vegetables and gluten-free items out of a stolen shopping cart. Clad in a graphic white T-shirt over a neon sports bra and striped denim shorts, Robbie’s arm is handcuffed to 12-year-old pickpocket Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco). Cass, as she’s called, mopes behind her in a hoodie.

“Cheez Whiz,” Harley demands, as the young actress grabs a can, adding it to their growing pile of marshmallows, pudding and cookies.

Suddenly, Robbie snaps out of character and into producer mode. “Annnd my cuff came undone,” she says, lifting up a wrist to show a dangling silver manacle, the tape used to keep it locked broken. “I just need a bit more tape so it will stick.” 

Margot Robbie (as Harley Quinn) and Ella Jay Basco (as Cassandra Cain) hit the grocery store for junk food in

The cast and crew are four days away from completing the shoot for “Birds of Prey,” a project that Robbie, 29, has been manifesting for nearly half a decade. She originated her anti-heroine during 2016’s “Suicide Squad,” a much-hyped mashup of DC Comics characters that crashed and burned upon arrival (let the 27% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score speak for itself).

Still, Robbie’s Harley emerged a fan favorite, and the actress seized upon an opportunity to explore the Joker’s psychotic girlfriend on a deeper level, inviting along DC characters Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and police detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez).

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