Margot Robbie Explains How Joker & Harley Quinn's Relationship Has Changed Across 3 Movies

By Julia Delbel Updated:
harley quinn joker the suicide squad dceu margot robbie

The Suicide Squad will mark the DCEU debut for the vast majority of its characters, but there are a couple of franchise veterans set to appear in the movie. One of them is Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, who will make her third DCEU appearance after 2016's Suicide Squad and 2020's Birds of Prey.

Harley Quinn's two movies so far have featured contrasting sides to the character. In Suicide Squad, she was all about the Joker and had confidence he would prevent anything bad from happening to her. In Birds of Prey, the two break up and she is forced to navigate the world on her own, without the perks that came with being attached to him.

With no sign of the Joker or the newly-formed Birds of Prey team in The Suicide Squad, Harley will be dealing with a distinct set of characters and experiences. Trailers for the film show she will be as silly and over-the-top as ever, but according to Robbie fans will also see how her character has grown since she was last on the big screen.


Joker Harley Quinn Jared Leto Margot Robbie

In an interview with The Toronto Sun, DCEU star Margot Robbie described what she loves about Harley Quinn.

Robbie detailed how "[Harley] has so many facets to her personality, it’s an endless thing to explore with people.” She went on to further explain that the Harley seen in The Suicide Squad is one who understands her own abilities away from the Joker, saying the character "[isn't] waiting for Mr. J to show up and she’s not wondering if she can do it on her own."

“I think in the first Suicide Squad film she had a certain confidence and cockiness, knowing that she had the protection of the Joker. She was like, ‘I’ll go on this mission, and he’ll get me out of here in a second’ … that was kind of her prerogative on that film. Then in Birds of Prey it was, ‘Oh s—, it’s a scary, cold world. Maybe I can’t do it.’ In this film, time has passed, it doesn’t directly link to either of those films, but it’s not something that Harley is wrestling with anymore. She’s not waiting for Mr. J to show up and she’s not wondering if she can do it on her own. She knows.”


Harley Quinn has enjoyed one of the most in-depth character arcs in the DCEU.

Much like in the comics, she started off as the Joker's sidekick. Even though she got much more screen time in Suicide Squad than her "Puddin'" did, she was largely presented as eye candy in that movie, even though her wild and quirky personality was definitely a highlight of the film.

Harley was the clear star of Birds of Prey, but that didn't mean she had it all together right away. She was seen sobbing in a onesie while spraying cheese from a can directly into her mouth at the beginning of that film, but by the end, she had become "emancipated" and ready to grab life beyond the Joker by the horns.

It sounds like this independent and confident Harley is the one fans can expect to see in The Suicide Squad. While she might not be the central protagonist in the movie, her role does appear to be a big one once again and will surely allow for even more new sides of the character to be shown off.

The Suicide Squad releases theatrically and on HBO Max August 6.

- About The Author: Julia Delbel
Julia Delbel joined The Direct when the website launched in 2020. She is primarily a features writer for the Marvel section of the site, though she has also dabbled in the DC Universe. Besides these, Julia covers other major franchise content, particularly those under the Disney banner.