Margot Robbie and Will Smith play professional thieves who fall in love in “Diversion.” To be credible in their respective roles, the two actors were trained in the art of pilfering by a real expert.
Diversion : the more swindler of the two
After I Love You Phillip Morris and Crazy, Stupid, Love, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa reflect on a new romance with Diversion. Released in 2015, the film is a scam love story, in which Margot Robbie and Will Smith rip each other off and fall for each other.
The first lends her features to Jess, a young thief who mounts modest shots with a partner. One evening, when she tries to rob Nicky – embodied by the second, she fails and understands that he is a professional in the trade. Jess asks him to train her and Nicky accepts. She discovers the ambitious organization put in place by the pickpocket and his associates to win the day, especially during major events like the Super Bowl.
Between the two criminals begins a game of seduction and manipulation. Who is about to overtake the other? Are their feelings really mutual, or even just real?
Rodrigo Santoro, Adrian Martinez, Gerald McRaney and BD Wong round out the cast of Diversion. A feature film for which Margot Robbie and Will Smith have really learned to steal property without being detected. For this, they were able to count on the advice of a real expert in the field.
Margot Robbie and Will Smith at Good School
In order to be able to extract a wallet while diverting their victim’s attention, the duo of Diversion is entitled to training from Apollo Robbins during production. Recognized US sleight of hand professional and self-described magician a gentleman thief, this security consultant developed his talents at a very young age, alongside his two older half-brothers who had embarked on a criminal career.
Rather than go that route, Apollo Robbins stayed on the right side of the law, trying his luck in Las Vegas in his early twenties. In 2001, during a number at Caesar’s Palace, he stood out by succeeding in fooling the close guard of the former president American Jimmy Carter.
Twelve years later, he therefore trained Margot Robbie and Will Smith in flight for Diversion and looks back on this experience with the Mirror while promoting the film. He explains that the first quickly learned his techniques, adding about it:
I tried to show her how she could exploit her appearance to take advantage of men. In real life, this often happens. I’ve seen this in Las Vegas where a hot girl would suddenly approach a guy and start talking to him, then steal his wallet from his jacket pocket or even some tight jeans. (…) Margot is beautiful. But, surprisingly, she doesn’t seem conscious of her appearance. She just thinks of herself as an ordinary girl who grew up on a farm with her parents.
A star stressed for her first flight in public
During their discussions, Apollo Robbins also wanted to confront the two actors with guilt and the adrenaline of breaking the law. For this, he asks Will Smith to steal a product from a grocery store in Las Vegas. An instruction that puts the actor uncomfortable, frightened at the thought of being recognized during his larceny. The illusionist remembers:
I told him not to give anyone that chance – to get in, do it, then get out. I told him to just steal a pack of gum, but Will was extremely nervous. He wasn’t the super confident guy one would expect. I wanted him to feel stress. And it struck him to see how much the heart rate increases. (…) He did it and he came out with a really dark look on his face. But he trusted me and in the end we went to return what he stole. I actually knew the owners of the store, so everything was fine. But he didn’t know that at the time.
In addition to training the two stars, Apollo Robbins makes an appearance in Diversion.