Margot Robbie's scene-stealing turn in Wolf of Wall Street was her big Hollywood breakthrough - and it turns out she really had to hustle to secure the role.

Director Martin Scorsese reveals exactly what went down during Robbie's audition for the role of Naomi Lapaglia in a glowing new appraisal of the Aussie starlet to accompany her appearance on Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People list.

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That's right - just a few short years after playing Donna on Neighbours, 26-year-old Robbie is now considered one of the most influential people in the world, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Melinda Gates, Ivanka Trump and Conor McGregor on the list.

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Writing for Time, Scorsese describes Queensland-born Robbie as "like no-one else" - then, confusingly, compared her to the likes of silver screen legends Carole Lombarde, Joan Crawford and Ida Lupino.

"Margot has all this in addition to a unique audacity that surprises and challenges and just burns like a brand into every character she plays," he gushes.

And the ballsy move Robbie pulled to secure her role in Wolf of Wall Street:

"She clinched her part during our first meeting - by hauling off and giving Leonardo DiCaprio a thunderclap of a slap on the face, an improvisation that stunned us all."

That's right - Margot Robbie, then a Hollywood unknown barely out of her teens, straight-up slapped one of the most powerful actors in the business across the face.

Hey, it worked. Four years after the film's release, 74-year-old Scorsese still sounds utterly besotted by her.

"Margot is stunning in all she is and all she does, and she will astonish us forever," he writes.