Margot Robbie is a pock-marked Queen Elizabeth in new 'Mary Queen of Scots' trailer

Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth in Mary, Queen of Scots (Universal)

Margot Robbie has undergone an astonishing transformation to play Queen Elizabeth I in upcoming historical drama Mary Queen of Scots.

A new trailer has been released for the film, starring Saoirse Ronan in the title role, but it’s Australian star Robbie that really captures the attention, portraying the English monarch stripped of her usual porcelain complexion.

Watch it below.

Director Josie Rourke says she kept Ronan and Robbie apart on set to heighten the dramatic tension between the pair.

“Working with Margot and Saoirse – we worked with them differently than I would do in the theatre,” Rourke told Metro.

“We kept them apart when they were doing that scene together. They only meet once in the film so the film drives towards this climactic scene. When they look each other in the eye during that scene, they’re looking at each other as those characters for the first time and we managed to capture that on film in the most extraordinary way.”

Universal has also released this new poster for Mary Queen of Scots. (Universal)

Synopsis: Mary Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart. Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I. Each young Queen beholds her “sister” in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.

Mary Queen of Scots is released in cinemas 18 January, 2019.

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