Remember when we knew Margot Robbie would play Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, and everyone was desperate to know who would play Nancy Kerrigan? Remember when fan castings exploded, with names like Anne Hathaway and Allison Williams appearing on wish lists? And then when Caitlin Carver was ultimately cast in the role?
Well, dear readers, retrospect is a funny thing.
Warning: Some I, Tonya spoilers ahead!
The HYPE was real, but it was premature because Kerrigan — the Olympic hopeful whose dreams were nearly dashed when Shane Stant, who was linked to Harding, took a baton to her knee — hardly appears in I, Tonya as a character. Like, maybe she’s on-screen for a few minutes. That’s next to nothing, considering the movie is nearly two hours long.
For perspective, some — myself included, and this can’t be said enough — could see ANNE FREAKING HATHAWAY in the role of Kerrigan, but that A-lister would’ve only appeared on-screen for A FEW MINUTES, AND L-O-L. (Although, let’s be real, Hathaway wasn’t in Les Misérables for *that* long, and she won an Oscar…but Kerrigan’s appearance in I, Tonya is next-level brief.)
And can you imagine if Hathaway, or a comparable actress, were in the role? I mean, it wouldn’t be the first time a big-name talent took on a bit part, or even a cameo. Just look at Thor: Ragnarok, which featured Matt Damon, Luke Hemsworth, and Sam Neill in blink-and-you’ll-miss-them roles. BUT STILL.
To be fair, I, Tonya has been billed as the Tonya Harding story.
Read: Not the Tonya Harding AND Nancy Kerrigan story. So it does makes sense that Kerrigan takes a backseat. But appearing for only a few minutes, maybe? It just really took me, personally, by surprise because the two skating legends have become so linked, so intertwined.
What the movie does is separate the two, and that has to be a conscious decision on the filmmakers’s parts. It shows Harding as her own person — leading up to, during, and in the aftermath of the scandal. But Kerrigan’s hot-second appearances are somewhat shocking in their hot-secondness. Because while Harding is the first U.S. woman to land a triple axel in competition, that’s not what she’s known for by most.
Don’t get me wrong, the lack of Kerrigan doesn’t take anything away from the movie. (I loved I, Tonya, it’s great, you should see it in theaters this weekend.) But it is a bit of a surprise. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.