So her reaction to making her Vogue cover debut back in 2015 right before she was a household name should come as no surprise.
Speaking to news.com.au to mark the magazine’s 60th anniversary, Vogue editor-in-chief Edwina McCann has discussed the most humble celebrities she’s worked with, the hardest thing about being editor and the game-changing cover that almost didn’t happen.
The 29-year-old Oscar nominated actress from the Gold Coast made Ms McCann’s list of favourite stars from day one, and has remained on it ever since.
“Margot Robbie is a superstar. The minute she hit our cover four years ago it was incredible how readers took to her immediately,” Ms McCann said.
“Margot sent me an email (at the time) saying, ‘My mother has bought every issue on the Gold Coast’. She was so excited.
“She’s enormously well respected for her craft and that can be seen by the caliber of people who want to work with her, an example of that is with (director) Quentin Tarantino, he’ll answer an email positively when we ask him if he wants to interview her for our cover.
“He was fascinated by her journey, it was so rapid to stardom, but the fact she has remained so confidently herself and really is committed to her craft, but also committed to having fun with it, it’s so likeable.”
MOST MEMORABLE COVER STARS
As well as Robbie, Ms McCann cites fellow Australians Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Naomi Watts among the best people to work with.
“It’s often the ones who have made it, the Nicoles, Cates and Naomis, they’re the least difficult on shoots,” McCann said.
“Nicole thanks everyone, right to the person who makes her coffee. She is so warm and lovely.
“There is no diva antics from that level of talent, quite often it’s the ones who are on their way up that can be the most tricky to deal with.”
Having been editor of the prestigious fashion magazine for nearly eight years, Ms McCann has helped produce a one-hour documentary special for Foxtel, Vogue Australia: Sixty Years Through the Lens, which will celebrate the evolution of the brand.
Premiering on Foxtel’s Fox Showcase tomorrow at 8.30pm AEDT, it will feature interviews with stars who have graced the pages of Vogue through the years, and follow the creation of the coveted anniversary edition, featuring Kidman on the cover.
THE ARCHITECT BEHIND VOGUE
In what was a complete pinch-me moment, we will also see Ms McCann in Paris choosing the Cartier diamonds Kidman would wear for her shoot in the documentary. The job of dreams, many would say.
For the most part it is, but Ms McCann said there was one thing she struggled with.
“The hardest thing for me is probably some of the front work,” she said.
“I started as a journalist and as a girl in the cupboard in Vogue. I was always behind the scenes, never envisioning that to become an editor you would need such a public profile.
“I don’t like my photo being taken and I don’t like talking about myself. It’s the hardest thing to balance.
“But the most exciting things are the opportunities in taking this business forward, the job creation in our digital team, and to know we’re creating cadetships … it’s an entrepreneurial environment where you can create opportunity, I know what it did for me. It opened up a whole world.”
One of her most surreal moments was this year, when Ms McCann attended a Fendi fashion show with the historic Colosseum in the backdrop.
“It was extraordinary, I just thought, I am so privileged to be here,” she said.
To see such beautiful fashion, Fendi couture, with such an extraordinary backdrop, it was a real pinch me moment.”
COVER THAT ALMOST DIDN’T HAPPEN
With the task of filling hundreds of pages each month, sometimes things don’t go to plan – but that can end up being a rewarding surprise.
Ms McCann said one of their most successful cover stories both online and in print was that of 19-year-old singing sensation, Billie Eilish, in July this year.
But it almost didn’t happen.
“We had someone else booked in for Billie’s cover, which turned out to be one of our most successful covers both on digital and in print,” she said.
“We wanted a cover with her but we didn’t have one open, as we do them so far in advance.
“It just happened that something fell through for us, and she was in Australia touring at the time. She said ‘yes’ and we were able to jump on a place and do a shoot very quickly.
“She was hugely popular, we love Billie. Both my daughters are huge fans. It helped us engage with a whole new generation.”
Ms McCann said their anniversary issue featured must-read stories with Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech, Australian model Gemma Ward and American model Alton Mason.
The special edition is on sale now.