The Age: Angourie Rice is far from Hollywood in MTC play about a family at war
Posted by Veronique on Sep 11, 2023

After 14 years in film and TV, the in-demand actor chose My Sister Jill for her main-stage theatre debut.

Melbourne is in the final throes of winter when I meet Angourie Rice on a rain-soaked footpath outside the MTC’s headquarters in Southbank. We’ve both arrived 10 minutes early, and I have already read enough about this hardworking and ambitious young veteran of film and TV to know that her punctuality is not entirely surprising.

At 22, Rice has been acting for 14 years, podcasting for four and is about to add published author to her CV. There is, it seems, no time to waste. When I ask her later why she’s so driven, she laughs and suggests that her star sign is to blame: Google the list of Capricorn traits and you’ll see where she’s coming from.

We’re here to talk about her upcoming appearance in the MTC premiere of My Sister Jill, the latest project from playwright Patricia Cornelius and director Susie Dee. There’s also a novel co-written with her mother, Kate, and The Community Library podcast to discuss, but any mention of her film and TV projects – either previous or upcoming – is off-limits in the midst of the SAG strike. Suffice to say that there’s a long roll-call of reasons why Rice made Variety’s list of actors to watch in 2021.

There’s no Hollywood-style hubris, though, as we await instructions on where our interview will take place; Rice shows me a photo of her whippet/kelpie cross and chats about how much she’s loving being back in Melbourne, after years (barring lockdowns) of travelling between LA and home. It was just one of the reasons she signed on for the part of Christine in My Sister Jill.

“I wanted to do more theatre work, and so I began receiving more theatre scripts to read,” she says. “This one really stood out because it’s exceptionally well written. I loved the family dynamics in it, I loved that it was a true ensemble piece; each person gets their own story line, their own arc. Practically, for me, it felt safer and easier to start doing theatre again with something that felt very much like a group.”

The play, based on Cornelius’ semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, takes place over several years, in a family caught between the shadow of World War II and the looming threat of the Vietnam draft. Father Jack, an ex-POW suffering PTSD, is haunted by his experiences and ill-equipped for family life. Christine, the youngest of his five children, clings doggedly to her belief that Jack is a war hero, not the alcoholic bully that her siblings fear and loathe.

At the start of the play, in her role as narrator, she tells the audience: “Look at him, would you? Would you look? He’s huge, he’s mighty, he’s magnificent. He’s about eight-foot tall, he can crush stone with his bare hands, he can lift a car off the ground, he can pull a tree out by the roots. He can. I know, it’s hard to believe but that’s the truth. And he’s brave. Incredibly brave. He’s a survivor, mum says, a survivor. He lasted. He did. He came out the other side. He’s a remarkable man. Look at him. What a man my dad is. What a man.”

Cornelius’ father, Leo, spent three and a half years as a prisoner of war and was on a Japanese ship transporting POWs to Japan when it was torpedoed by a US submarine. He spent six days drifting on a liferaft, watching his comrades die, and came home from the war a damaged man.

“The impact on my family was enormous, as I think it was on any family,” Cornelius says. “Someone has gone to war a young, fresh man and returned a totally different man, a very damaged one … that’s definitely my father.”

One of the central themes of the play is the yearning for parental love, expressed most poignantly in the thwarted endeavours of oldest boy Johnnie, who is rebuffed by Jack at every turn.

“We all yearned, and yearn still, some of us, for the love of our parents,” Cornelius says. “As corny as that sounds on some level, there is something that hits you in the guts about that and it’s so simple and so universally recognised: this yearning to just be loved.”

For Rice’s Christine, the yearning manifests as a desire to be just like Jack. Her imaginary play evokes the derring-do of the battlefield: she has lives to save, messages to pass on, dangerous journeys to make.

“She wants to be like him when she grows up, she wants to be a hero, she wants to fight in battles,” says Rice. “She doesn’t want to realise the real battle that’s happening around her.”

On this domestic battlefront, Jack’s main combatant is his oldest child, the smart and steely Jill, who steers her siblings – Johnnie, Christine and twins Mouse and Door – away from his line of fire.

A month out from opening, the family dynamics are playing out inside a large rehearsal room scattered with props: beds are lined up at the rear, makeshift walls conjure a working-class home, and costume drawings decorate a corner of the room. Dee, whose long-running creative partnership with Cornelius has delivered some of Australian theatre’s most powerful moments, joins her seven actors – the children are all played by adults – in a circle, as they limber up with physical and vocal exercises, tossing an imaginary ball to one another and reciting, with increasing speed, a passage that is filled with tongue-tripping words: “Trinidad”, “Mississippi”, “Lake Titicaca”.

In a run-through of the opening scene, Ian Bliss, as Jack, is playful but menacing, holding a bucket of water, and calling, “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” as the children scatter. His wife, Martha, played by Maude Davey, is described in the script notes as “mid to late 40s. Worn out. Full of sighs.” Dealing with a traumatised, abusive husband and the impact on her children has hollowed her out. When her boisterous youngest child climbs into her lap, begging to be held, she snaps: “Christine, you’re too old for this … give me a break.”

When we chat later, Dee agrees that even at this early stage, there’s a sense that something special is unfolding inside the rehearsal room.

“I think all the actors in the room feel that this is a special new work,” she says. “It’s close to a writer’s heart and head … She’s so lean, Patricia, because she knows the world so well. It could have been a much longer play, but she cuts to the quick, takes no prisoners … There’s a vitality in the work, which is so great for actors and for a director. I feel really blessed.”

For Rice, her mainstage debut has brought its surprises, from the courage of her fellow cast members – “everyone just jumped into it with no fear or inhibitions” – to the sheer physicality required.

“I knew that I would have to work on my breathing and my voice,” she says. “I didn’t fully think that I would be sore after the first day of rehearsals. Christine is a really physical character, she’s constantly moving, running, jumping, rolling around – she’s really active and I want to embody that fully. I feel very connected to the character and the story when you feel it in every part of your body.

The stage, for Rice, represents something of a homecoming; both her parents are involved in the theatre, Jeremy as a director and Kate as a writer.

“I was constantly in theatres as a kid,” she recalls. “My dad worked at a theatre company right next to my primary school, so I would go there after school and I would sit in on rehearsals … my sister and I would just sit in the corner and colour in or draw. And because my dad mainly works in theatre for young people, we were often the test audiences, so we would sit there and give suggestions, or say no, we didn’t like that, it wasn’t funny, or yes, that was funny, keep that in.”

This connection to family is a recurring theme in Rice’s screen work, particularly the relationship between mothers and daughters. While her characters often chafe against the maternal bond, her own relationship with her mother is such that, even during the process of writing a novel together, not a single door was slammed.

The result, Stuck Up & Stupid, updates one of Rice’s favourite books, Pride and Prejudice. After re-reading the Jane Austen classic during COVID lockdowns, she asked her mother to write a modern retelling of the story. Kate, who’d had the same idea years earlier, suggested they write it together.

“She dug up her old idea from, I think, 2008, and came up with a whole table and chart of the chapters in the original book and how we were going to write it, character comparisons, and all that kind of stuff,” Rice recalls. “In the summer of 2020-21, we wrote the first draft by hand over a month or six weeks … what was really fun is that we had something to talk about that was shared … something that we did together.

“There was never any fighting … We disagreed on some things but we’re both willing to a) listen to what the other person says and b) back up our ideas. If we disagreed it was never a hard fight.”

The publisher’s notes refer to the novel as a modern tale that “captures the spirit and energy of Austen’s original satire of manners”. Set in a coastal town in NSW, it recasts Mr Darcy and his uppity cronies as Hollywood stars and influencers. Very modern indeed.

Rice’s foray into fiction seems like a logical move for the self-described “big book nerd” and host of The Community Library – “a podcast about stories and how and why we tell them”. Rice writes and delivers fortnightly episodes promoting the joy of reading in a way that is as playful as it is informative (in one episode, her sister, Kalliope, rates, in a less than scientific manner, the opening lines of a series of novels). Her listeners, mostly aged between 18 and 25, are part of a growing community of readers who swap recommendations on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.

“I feel really happy that I’m part of the book community online,” Rice says. “Before TikTok blew up, I had been watching YouTube videos about people talking about books for a long time and also Instagram and blogs … I think the internet has been so wonderful for so many communities … people who might not have a reading community in real life find it online and it is how I find out about half of the books I read.”

As podcast host, Rice revisits her childhood favourites, including Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series, The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner, and L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. She talks about wanting to be more like those fearless girls who were always heading off on thrilling adventures. The feistiness of Montgomery’s heroine was something to aspire to but, in truth, Rice was more like Anne’s friend, Diana: bookish, sensible, and, frankly, “a bit meek”.

So has acting allowed her to explore these longed-for traits?

“I think it is always interesting to me to choose roles that have character traits that I want and not necessarily that I have because it’s great to explore that in a safe, contained setting,” Rice says. “When I was a kid I sort of wanted to be everything and acting gave me the opportunity to do that – I could be everything I wanted to be.”

For now, inside a Southbank rehearsal room, she’s a young Melbourne girl trying hard not to see the pain that surrounds her, but she could be any daughter, in any family, anywhere in the world, doing her best to love the imperfect people with whom she shares her life. Look at them, would you? They’re trying to survive, yearning for love and dreaming of better days to come. Look at them. They’re a lot like you and me.

My Sister Jill is at Southbank Theatre from September 23; Stuck Up & Stupid, by Angourie and Kate Rice, will be published by Walker Books on November 1.


Articles & Interviews Gallery My Sister Jill Photoshoots Theatre
Flaunt Magazine
Posted by Veronique on Jun 17, 2023

Angourie Rice | There’s Immediacy, And Then There’s What Comes After
Written by Eloisa de Farias – Photographed by Bryan Carr – Styled by Britton Litow

When asked if breakout actor Angourie Rice has any hobbies other than stealing our hearts in whatever role she plays on screen, she tells me her big two are knitting and baking. She chuckles, comparing herself to an old lady, “When I’m not working, I like to make things that are tangible because I spend so much time making something where I don’t even know what it’s going to look like. When I bake, though, I make it and I can hold it and touch it, and then I get the instant reward of getting to eat it.” Lucky for us, we can click play on nearly every major streamer and watch Rice conquer a character with conviction and intention. This is our version of instant gratification, no flour or eggs needed.

Rice’s résumé would most definitely need stapling. The twenty-two-year-old actor’s first leading role was in the Paramount+ original movie Honor Society in which she played the lead role of Honor. Later that year, she would take on the role of the high school-age version of Rebel Wilson’s character Stephanie in the Netflix comedy Senior Year. Perhaps her most popular role is that of rebellious yet clever Siobhan in the HBO limited series Mare of Easttown alongside Kate Winslet. The series follows detective Mare Sheehan (Winslet) as she investigates a murder and confronts her personal life trials and tribulations. Rice also starred alongside Zendaya and Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Spider-Man: No Way Home as Betty Brant.

Currently, you can see Rice on Apple TV+ and Hello Sunshine’s miniseries The Last Thing He Told Me alongside Jennifer Garner, who plays Hannah. The series follows a thrilling mystery based on Laura Dave’s New York Times bestseller of the same title. Rice plays Bailey, Hannah’s sixteen-year-old stepdaughter who is helping her uncover the mysterious disappearance of her husband Owen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), all while forming an unforeseen relationship.

While Rice is able to effortlessly breathe life into characters and personalities so different from her own, playing the part of Bailey has been a special and personal process for the actor. “I think something I really admire about Bailey is how headstrong she is. Bailey is so sure of who she knows, how she knows people, and what she wants, and I really admire that.” Rice reflects, “That’s something I want to bring into my own life because she’s so determined, and she won’t let anything shake her.” Though The Last Thing He Told Me is emotionally evocative and suspenseful, filming the miniseries has had some bright moments. Rice recalls the rain machine they brought in for filming Episode Two, how cheerful she felt under the man-made raindrops showering her from above. Maybe the secret to Rice’s outstanding performance is her ability to bring a bit of carefree joy to every set.

A miniseries may be short, but they require jampacking incredible storytelling, character development, and entertainment into the little time we do have with the actors. Rice uses her time with us perfectly, leaving the viewer wanting season after season. She tackles Bailey’s desperation with a sense of honesty and rawness. “I think one of my favorite things about playing Bailey was how immediate her character is, you know, she is so thrown into the moment. And she has no time to breathe and sort of get time to herself. She’s constantly in crisis mode.”

During Rice’s seasoned acting career there have been both refreshing moments and challenging ones. She recalls filming a breakdown scene in Episode Five of Mare of Easttown when Siobhan confronts her mother about what she should have done differently. The vulnerable and heartwrenching scene struck home for both Rice and many viewers. “Getting into that headspace feels uncomfortable,” Rice recalls. “Because it’s not really a space that you want to live in for very long. Even the character doesn’t want to live in that space. It’s unbearable.” We have all been that restless teenager or had a difficult confrontation with a parental figure–it’s an organic yet sensitive experience. Rice personifies that agonizing moment with ease, of course at the cost of her own comfort while filming the scene. “It really made an impact on me because I connected with that scene, and it felt like a truly vulnerable moment of a child telling a parental figure that they should have been there when they weren’t.”

Our dreams are often conventional. Some want luxury, others love or happiness. What do these have in common? Comfort. We desire pleasantries and contentment. Rice couldn’t disagree more. She craves a challenge, the very opposite of comfort. She likes to test her limits and find new ways to better herself. Her dreams include everything but the ordinary. It translates all the way to her hopes for her acting career, “I would really love to do something that is more dance-heavy, or something that’s very physical that requires training. I think the preparation aspect of film and TV is what I really love, anything that requires me to learn a lot about something that I’ve never discovered before.”

Rice has already accomplished what many hope to in a decades-long career. Yet, she is humble and grateful, her demeanor is sweet and intentional, and there is not a hint of selfishness in the way she presents herself. Being in an industry that can often make you feel like a fish in a fishbowl can be strenuous for someone merely in their 20s, but Rice makes the absolute most of it all while inspiring those who religiously follow her. “The more I work with young people, the more I build up a community of working actors my age. We’re kind of united in that we have this experience of being a person in their 20s, trying to figure out where to live, and what projects to take. I think the more community I create, the more comfortable I feel moving in these spaces.” Rice’s influence as a young actor extends beyond her on-screen performance. She has taken it upon herself to create a tangible way for her fans to explore the media universe by creating a podcast called The Community Library, where Rice delves into her love of literature and takes her listeners along with her. “I wanted to create a space that made analyzing stories and talking about stories very accessible, not this highbrow literary thing you need to go to university for, because I didn’t go to university,” says Rice. “The way that I talk about and analyze stories is from reading and learning, both from other people online and with books.”

Rice will soon be able to add author to her list of many qualifications. She is writing a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in present-day Sydney and Hollywood with her mother Kathryn Rice, which is set to release in November. “Writing with someone else is easier because you have someone to hold you accountable. I found that writing is problem-solving and it’s really good to have someone else there to help you with that.”

A new book isn’t the only exciting new project around the corner. Although much of it remains hush-hush, Rice is elated about her upcoming role as Cady in Mean Girls from Paramount Pictures, a film adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name. The movie is still in production but is already receiving abuzz about Rice’s highly anticipated performance alongside co-stars Reneé Rapp, Auli’i Cravalho, and Jaquel Spivey. “There was no moment of like, ‘oh this isn’t what I thought it was gonna be.’ It was exactly what I wanted it to be,” she beams. “It was being in a movie musical. It was the best experience.

From writing, to acting, to singing, Rice’s days are more like thrilling itineraries. Most importantly Rice knows how and when to push herself. This year, she ponders not only what it means to be a star, but also what it means to experience simply being human. “I’ve been thinking a lot about boundaries and about burnout, and understanding when I’m too tired and understanding when to take a break. If I can only give 75% on any given day, that’s still technically 100% because that is the most I could do.” Perhaps we could all use a little break and a pause to fully evolve as people. We can thank Rice for the advice.


Articles & Interviews Gallery Photoshoots
1883 Magazine
Posted by Veronique on May 18, 2023

For Angourie Rice, everything comes back to stories.

Since making her film debut before even becoming a teen, Rice has worked on projects like the recent Spider-Man trilogy, Mare of Easttown, and now The Last Thing He Told Me where she stars opposite Jennifer Garner. The AppleTV+ and Hello Sunshine production is based on the #1 New York Times bestselling novel of the same name and tells the story of a step-mother, played by Garner, who develops an unexpected relationship with her step-daughter Bailey, played by Rice, after Bailey’s father suddenly disappears without a trace.

For Rice, it’s a project that merges a mix of her interests in one: books, storytelling, and projects that empower women to come together to create something special. Capturing Bailey’s teen angst and balancing her fraught mental state is something Rice does with ease; showcasing her ability to tap into the inner psyches of her characters to embody them fully rather than turning them into a caricature.

Storytelling doesn’t just drive her as an actress as she deftly selects roles that open up her own worldview, but also as an avid reader and writer herself. Her podcast The Community Library and her upcoming book — a collaboration with her mum, inspired by Pride and Prejudice called Stuck Up and Stupid — deepens her connection to storytelling, showing her the importance of highlighting the tales that aren’t told as often as they should be.

Sitting down with 1883 Magazine, Angourie Rice chats about her role in Apple TV+’s The Last Thing He Told Me, the process behind creating backstories for her characters, gravitating towards projects with women at the helm, and more.

This conversation does contain light spoilers.

It’s been two years since we last spoke and last time we talked about Mare of Easttown, the ending of Spider-Man, and starting adulthood. You started acting so young and it brought you “fame” at such a young age. When you look back at where you started, how would you describe the way you’ve grown and developed as an actress from then to now?

I think more about things now; I wonder if that’s for better or for worse. The older you get, the more you notice patterns in stories, in people, and in communities. Now that I’m older, I think more about what stories mean, how often we tell certain stories, how other ones get ignored, and what those stories mean to us as a culture. When I was younger, I didn’t think about that as much because you’re a kid and you don’t have to. I feel like that’s the difference now and that informs how I play characters as well while also informing what project I go for and what stories I find interesting.

I think you’re at such an interesting point in your career where you’ve been involved in a big blockbuster, you’ve starred in critically acclaimed shows, and you’ve had this really beautiful career progression. Do you spend a lot of time reflecting on your career so far?

Do I spend time reflecting? I don’t know [laughs]. I kind of forget things and I will be reminded of something and won’t believe that I did it or that I worked with a certain person. I think because each project that I’ve done is in its own bubble and its own place. I mean, when you travel, you usually film in cities that you’ve never been to before. You stay at a hotel and then you leave and never go back there again. They all kind of exist as little tiny points in time. Sometimes I think about it and it feels like a dream, like it didn’t really happen.

Do you look at them like chapters in a book?

Absolutely. It’s how I measure time as well because it all correlates or corresponds to high school or the pandemic or my years out of high school. I remember what I was doing in life, like high school or the pandemic, by remembering what project I was working on at the time.

Yeah, I remember we talked about you living in Philly while you were filming Mare of Easttown in the pandemic.

Yeah, we were in Philadelphia. We started filming late 2019 and then we were shut down in March of 2020. And then went back in September of 2020.

Back then, because of the pandemic, you had to sit with the character for nine months. With Bailey in The Last Thing He Told Me, was there anything that you did differently to flesh her out? There are similarities between the two.

Yeah, there are similarities. With Siobhan [Mare of Easttown] she had to become an adult really young. With Bailey, we see her still being treated like a child and asking everyone to treat her like an adult and to tell her the truth. They’re both young people who have gone through a traumatic event.

What’s different with Bailey, which was so intriguing to me, is that we see her go through it in real time. That was a different process to kind of live in that anxiety and nervousness of the unknown because that is where Bailey is for so much of the show. Since the show takes place over five days, everything feels so immediate and so present which is what I really liked about it and felt like I could do a lot to work with as an actor. What I liked about the process of creating that character was really breaking down every single scene and moment that she has to have this immediate reaction or response because she hasn’t had time to think things over. She hasn’t had time to sit with it, it’s all about that fight or flight response that she’s in the whole time.

You see her going through the motions when she’s watching those home movies at her Aunt’s house, it’s the first time she has a moment to process and you can see her mind going a million miles a minute.

That scene was really hard because it was difficult to just imagine someone experiencing that whole sequence because Bailey gains a family and loses them all over again. It was really tricky to have this sense of belonging and seeing yourself as a child with all these people who loved you and these people you called family, but then also at the same time having this really deep sadness because you don’t have that anymore. That was really hard, but it’s a moment that, for me, really defines who Bailey is for the rest of the show. There is a bittersweet pain of finally getting to know the truth and finally getting to the bottom of it, but it still doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t make everything better and it really hurts.

I know it’s the most recent thing you watched, so how has your perception of it changed as a viewer vs. acting in it?

What’s always strange about watching something that you’ve done is that it’s an edited version of it, it’s an edited collage of your life over the past five months. We did all of the location shoots at the end, so seeing what we filmed on the last day slotted into some scenes that we shot at the beginning was strange to watch back. When seeing it for the first time as a viewer, I felt sorry for Hannah in a way that I didn’t when I was playing Bailey. Bailey doesn’t feel sorry for Hannah, she disregards her completely. So watching it and seeing Jen’s beautiful performance and seeing her performance in scenes that I wasn’t there for, I really felt for her. That was funny as an audience member to feel that because I didn’t before when I was playing the character.

Although the series centres around the disappearance of Bailey’s father, its focus is on the connection and relationship of Bailey and her step-mother. Between this and Mare of Easttown, it seems like you gravitate to projects that explore the workings of close female relationships.

Absolutely. That’s my whole life. My whole life is relationships with women in my life, friends, family. So, it’s something that has always been there in the media, but you just have to look for it a little bit more. Women have been writing about their thoughts and feelings for a very long time. It just depends on how many people were listening at the time. So, because it’s just such a big part of my life, that’s what I want to tell stories about. That’s what I find really interesting and intriguing. Reese Witherspoon has built her whole production company around that idea of telling stories about women which I think is so fantastic and wonderful and I feel so fortunate to have worked with Hello Sunshine on this. It’s really inspiring to see women behind the camera as well. We had four female directors, a bunch of female producers, and I’ve never seen anything like it. It meant a lot to me.

Yeah, you’ve worked with incredibly esteemed actresses like Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, and now Jennifer Garner, and the set being full of female creatives behind-the-scenes must’ve been really empowering for you.

It was very inspiring. I think because it’s just the simplest thing of seeing things like that actually happening. You can believe in theory that things can happen but once you are on set and seeing all these women in roles of power and department heads, that made me feel like it’s possible. It’s not just some crazy idea. It can happen and it can work.

It’s very much a love story between Hannah and Owen, Owen and his daughter, and how both those stories — and the subsequent disappearance of Owen, the thing they shared — creates the space for Hannah and Bailey to connect. Obviously Owen trusts Hannah and sees something in her that eventually gets Bailey to break her walls down. What was it like first reading that in the script and then acting it out?

We were able to go through the scripts with Laura Dave and her husband, Josh Singer, who’s the showrunner and producer. We read through it together and made notes and talked through the dialogue. I think breaking it down scene by scene was really helpful. I annotate my scripts and pinpoint moments that I felt that Bailey opened up a bit. What was really exciting for me was building that journey. Bailey is so closed off and harsh in the first two episodes, but what’s exciting is that it gives us the foundation so that, when you get to the final episode, you see how far they’ve come. It’s really impactful and it really hits you. It really impacted me a lot, too. That transformation and that change was something that was so exciting for me and that was created by just combing through the script.

The scene in the finale where Hannah’s hand and you can see her ring and Bailey grabs it was so touching. It’s such a stark difference to the first episode where Bailey says “you taught me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all” in regards to her step mother. Is there a scene in particular that, when looking back, really sticks out to you?

I really loved that airplane scene. I think it was strange though, because we only had one day at the airport set. We were filming the end of the show in the middle of our filming schedule and it took a lot to get into that headspace. There was something so precious about it when I think back. Another scene that I love is the whole sequence of me and Jen running through Austin just because it was so hot. It was just sweltering. But to see it all cut together with the exciting music is so rewarding because when you’re doing it, it feels exhausting. It’s so hard and physically challenging. To see it come together was really rewarding.

What was your approach like fleshing out Bailey’s character? I know you had the book to reference, but was there anything else you did, read, or watched?

I didn’t make a playlist, but I did listen to a lot of Fleetwood Mac because it was mentioned in the script that she’s wearing a Fleetwood Mac shirt. I do wear one in the show. I also got into musicals because that is what she’s doing at school.

I saw a performance you did from Waitress that got cut!

Yeah, She Used To Be Mine which is really fun! I’m never sad when they cut things because there’s a reason why it didn’t fit, but that was so fun to do.

I love that you’re having these little musical moments in every project. You had one in Mare of Easttown and obviously there’s going to be tons in the Mean Girls musical film.

Right! It’s weird, these musical things just keep coming to me without me thinking about it. For The Last Thing He Told Me I did audition with a song. I sang Second Hand White Baby Grand from Smash, which I haven’t seen the show but my singing teacher put it on a Spotify playlist. If I’d known when I was doing The Last Thing He Told Me that the next project I’d be doing was musical, I probably would have approached it a little differently! [Laughs] I’m proud of my performance and my singing in The Last Thing He Told Me but it’s very different from an actual musical movie.

Now, just like last time, I need to discuss books with you. I love that you still run your podcast, The Community Library. What are you reading at the moment?

Let me grab it! I haven’t unpacked anything yet, it’s a mess in here. I just started reading On Beauty by Zadie Smith. I’m only 26 pages in but I’ve already found something to underline. This is my third Zadie Smith novel; I’ve read White Teeth and Swing Time. I also read her little essay collection about the pandemic which was amazing. So this is my third Zadie. I think she is already a favourite author but I don’t know how many books you have to read from one person [laughs]. I feel like three is like a good number.

What was the last book you loved?

I just bought it because I borrowed it from the library to read it — Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

Was that a movie?

They turned it into a TV show. This is the best book I’ve read all year. I can’t stop thinking about it. I bought a copy yesterday and went back and underlined and dug up all the things that I loved. It’s one of those books that as soon as I finished it, I went back to the first chapter and reread it and saw so many things that I just didn’t see. I wish I’d read it sooner, although maybe I wouldn’t have been able to. It was written in 2014. It’s about a pandemic that’s quite similar to Coronavirus, but it’s more deadly. It wipes out 98% of the population and it follows multiple characters before the “collapse” as they call it. It’s about how people survive in this post-pandemic world in communities without electricity and the same resources. Surprisingly, it’s mostly about actors and theatre.

Wow, close to home.

Yeah. I didn’t expect that going in. I knew it was kind of about that, but I just can’t stop thinking about it and talking about it.

I know you said you wish you read it sooner, but I’m one of those weird people that believe books find you when you need it.

That’s fair, honestly, because I don’t think I could have read something about the pandemic any earlier. To know that it was written before Coronavirus… So much of the stuff she got right.

If there was one book you wish you could re-read again for the first time with brand new eyes, what would it be?

Would it be Station Eleven? It’s hard because I just read it. My other thought was Virginia Woolf but reading Virginia for the first time feels like I’m not really reading it. I have to read it for a second time to fully understand it. So maybe not bad either. Maybe Pride and Prejudice, because I read that. I’ve known that story for such a long time and it’s one of my favourites. I read it with a friend recently who had never read it before. It was so cool to see her reactions and her predictions as well because she didn’t know the story. I want that experience again.

Yes! And you’re releasing your first book, Stuck Up and Stupid, with your mum and it’s a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Obviously as an actress so much of what you make is someone else’s creative vision, so did you find this to be a fun playground to explore?
It was so much fun. It was so much problem solving, especially because we’re basing it on a text that already exists. The framework was already there for us which is great, but putting it into a modern world requires problem solving of things that don’t make sense anymore because of technology, politics, societal attitudes, and things like that. We had to figure out what event would elicit the same emotions or the same sort of reactions from people in a modern context. I loved writing it. I loved having the creative freedom. I just can’t wait for people to read it.

We gushed about folklore and evermore last time so now it’s time to gush over Midnights — favourite songs?

As I’ve been talking to you I’ve realized you have the All Too Well movie poster behind you! [Laughs] I can’t pick just one.

It depends on the mood.

It really does! I will say, from the first listen and continuously after, Mastermind has been one of my favourites. A favourite that has grown on me from the first listen that I didn’t love but now is one of my favourite songs is Bejeweled.

It’s a very freeing song.

I think because you can hear Jack Antonoff behind it. I also love his version of Anti-Hero. Bejewelled is just like, “No one can touch me, I’m awesome.” I just love that. It’s an uplifting bop. I also love Sweet Nothing.

I love Sweet Nothing. My friends call it my song because I can’t stop talking about it.

Do you like It’s Nice To Have A Friend?

I do! It sounds like a little love poem.

Yeah and that’s why I love it! It’s underrated. Those two songs are like sister songs.

Well, in two years time we can hopefully talk about more books, more Taylor Swift songs, and your next project.

Yes! It’s always a pleasure. Hopefully it’s sooner this time!


Articles & Interviews Gallery Photoshoots
Interview Magazine
Posted by Veronique on May 15, 2023

Angourie Rice Tells Gaten Matarazzo About Her Acting Nightmares

It takes a certain je ne sais quoi to be cast in the remake of a cultural phenomenon like Mean Girls. Call it talent, versatility, or longevity, but at just 22 years old the Australian actor Angourie Rice definitely has it. Having started her career as a child actor, Rice is technically a veteran, sharing movie credits with the likes of Ryan Gosling, Rebel Wilson, and Zendaya (in the Spider-Man franchise). This eventually nabbed her a leading a role as Kate Winslet’s daughter in Mare of Easttown. Now, Rice finds herself exploring yet another fraught mother-daughter relationship in AppleTV+’s drama/thriller The Last Thing He Told Me, where she stars opposite Jennifer Garner. As Rice films the Mean Girls musical adaptation under Tina Fey’s direction, she found time in her busy schedule for a chat with her friend and Honor Society costar Gaten Matazzaro, who’s currently on Broadway in Sweeney Todd. Below, the two catch up about podcasting, the end of the world, and the oomph of a good musical number. – ERNESTO MACIAS


ANGOURIE RICE: How you’re going, Gaten?

MATARAZZO: I’m so good. Oh, my gosh, I’m so prepared.

RICE: I saw your list of questions.

MATARAZZO: I’m going to disregard all of them and talk about Spider-Man for an hour. Is that okay with you?

RICE: I love that. What’s up? The last time I saw you was on stage.

MATARAZZO: It was on stage. I’m so glad that now we get to finally catch up. I’m going to make it all about me.

RICE: Thank you for doing this. Especially on a Sunday, when you are literally in a Broadway show.

MATARAZZO: We have just one today, so nothing crazy, and this is a great little warm-up. This is fun doing it over Zoom, though. It feels very 2020 of us.

RICE: I know, flashbacks.

MATARAZZO: Do you like auditioning in the context of post-COVID in comparison to what it was like before? Because there’s a lot less in-person.

RICE: Great segue, by the way. I can tell you worked on that.

MATARAZZO: Very much so.

RICE: Well, pre-pandemic I spent so much more time in Australia, and then post-pandemic, I’m spending more time in the U.S. When I was in Australia, all my auditions were on Zoom so it’s honestly kind of the same for me.

MATARAZZO: Is that good or bad?

RICE: I don’t mind a self-tape. I don’t mind a Zoom audition. I get so nervous in the room, that’s the thing.

MATARAZZO: Do you think that would reflect on a stage?

RICE: Absolutely. I’m terrified at the thought of doing theater, but that’s why I love it so much. I see these people performing live every single night and they don’t mess it up and give it everything.

MATARAZZO: Yeah, they do.

RICE: Well, yeah, but when I saw you, you didn’t mess anything up.

MATARAZZO: We could have. You never really know.

RICE: That’s true.

MATARAZZO: When did you film Mare of Easttown?

RICE: We were stopped by the pandemic. We had a new crew and we had some of the same crew and then everyone was like, “Hey, how are you?”

MATARAZZO: How long was the break?

RICE: We stopped in March and went back in September. The same with you for Stranger Things?

MATARAZZO: Exactly the same. Is there talk of another one?

RICE: I don’t know. I’m not the person to ask. I’d cut my hair again, but we’ll see.

MATARAZZO: I always thought of this during the pandemic, how weird it was that we weren’t doing what we loved. I’m sure that you missed it quite a lot.

RICE: Yeah, it was very strange.

MATARAZZO: Did you find hobbies? Did you find career backups?

RICE: I don’t know about career backups. I found hobbies. I started baking a lot and I started knitting.

MATARAZZO: What would you do, if everything went to shit forever?

RICE: In this world, does the movie industry still exist? Does theater exist? If there’s no performing arts, I would probably want to be a writer.

MATARAZZO: You’re good at it. You’d be great at that.

RICE: Thank you. What would you do?

MATARAZZO: It’s not my interview. It’s your interview. We’re talking about you, clearly.

RICE: Sorry.

MATARAZZO: Do you think that you have the drive to start writing?

RICE: Yeah, me and my mom have written a book together. It will be out in October in Australia and at a later date it will be out in the U.S. and the U.K.

MATARAZZO: Plug it. Plug it.

RICE: I’ll send you a copy.

MATARAZZO: You’re a big reader.

RICE: Yeah. So I just feel like I know that more than I know the structure of a film script.

MATARAZZO: I think with film scripts they want to give it to an actor and they want them to kind of establish that. But when you read fiction, you’re given that internal thought process by the author, which I think is really fun to read.

RICE: Yeah, very well-said. I like that about books. I also find reading scripts to be like reading a recipe.

MATARAZZO: Do you ever read source material before going to work or does it give you too much?

RICE: No, I pretty much always do, if something’s based on a book like The Last Thing He Told Me. They gave me the seven scripts and I read that first and then I read the book. And with that book, it’s interesting because I feel like the scripts add more to my character, Bailey, than the book does.

MATARAZZO: Oh, that’s great.

RICE: The book is so much from Hannah’s perspective, which is the character Jennifer Garner plays. It’s like from a first-person perspective, it’s about her.

MATARAZZO: How much time on set did you and Jennifer Garner have?

RICE: We had a lot of time together. I was always sad when I didn’t have scenes with her because I felt like we created such a shorthand and such an easy way of working. We would just fall into it. We would go through the scripts together and go through what had happened the day before we did the scene. That was really nice.

MATARAZZO: And Jen’s a pro, too. Just to be in her presence was probably very cool.

RICE: Absolutely. She had the book with her the entire time, she had underlined, doggy-eared. She would go up and say, “I love this line in the book. Is there a way we can fit that into the scene?”

MATARAZZO: I think collaboration is essential when adapting something because there’s always that fine line of do you want to create something new from this? I think nowadays when you adapt from source material you’re not limited to a two-hour movie. You have all the time in the world pretty much. I guess it’s similar to other work you’ve done, like with Spider-Man.

RICE: Everyone knows that character and that world. So it’s interesting adapting it with a new cast and with a new backdrop of the Avengers and all of that. And the other thing is that Laura Dave, who wrote the book, co-created the show with her husband, Josh Singer, who’s a writer. He was our showrunner.

MATARAZZO: That’s always great.

RICE: It was amazing. You never felt like, “Oh, how would the author feel about this?”

MATARAZZO: She was on set the whole time?

RICE: She was hanging out. No question was too small for her.

MATARAZZO: Do you have any more episodes or seasons of your podcast?

RICE: It’s coming. It’s coming.

MATARAZZO: I’m sorry if I stressed you out with that question.

RICE: No! It’s coming, guys. It’s coming. I hate to be that person, “My schedule is so crazy.” But it is!

MATARAZZO: I can imagine so.

RICE: It is. That’s why we’re doing this on a Sunday.

MATARAZZO: Sure. Do you guys have weekends off over at…

RICE: Mean Girls Musical.

MATARAZZO: There it is.

RICE: This week we did work Saturday. We worked yesterday, which is why I slept through my alarm this morning and had 15 minutes to get ready. And it’s been three days and I still haven’t found my hairbrush.


RICE: Which is why this is happening.

MATARAZZO: It’s a moment.

RICE: Thank you. So where was I going with this? Once this wraps, which has been so exciting and fun and amazing and busy, I will have a little bit of time to go back to my little computer in my little bookworm cave hole and write some more episodes.

MATARAZZO: This is not in relation to anything we were just talking about. I’m just purely curious. What is filming a musical number like?

RICE: It’s crazy.

MATARAZZO: That idea scares the crap out of me.

RICE: But see, the idea of doing a musical number live on stage scares the crap out of me. This is something we talked about after Sweeney Todd. Like, the thing about filming a musical number is you get so many tries to get it right.

MATARAZZO: Of course. I think the one difference to me is that when people go to a theater, I think even though people know they’re going to see a musical, there’s still a reluctance with audiences to suspend disbelief enough to be okay with seeing that medium transform on a screen. You know what I mean? On a stage, because realism is kind of very abstract, people are very much willing to be okay with the narrative being driven through song. I’ve never understood that.

RICE: I have to tell you because I saw Sweeney Todd with a few of the girls from Mean Girls we were all singing Sweeney Todd on set the next day. I would just go up to them and go “Sweeney! Sweeney Todd!” One of the girls has a Sweeney Todd tote bag that she brings to set every day.

MATARAZZO: The one from the merch stand?

RICE: Yes. The one from the merch stand. She loves it.

MATARAZZO: Oh, good. Do you ever get anxious when you’re not working?

RICE: Well, I’m anxious when I’m not working and I’m anxious when I am working. But that’s something I’m looking into. I do feel like I always need to be doing something. I always like to have a to-do list. I love the call sheet. I study that. I love to know what time everyone’s getting picked up. I want to know what time everyone is getting in the hair and makeup chair. I love all that. So when I’m not working, I make to-do lists for myself, even if it’s stupid stuff, like “Eat breakfast.”

MATARAZZO: That’s not stupid.

RICE: “Get dressed.” I think that helps me feel like I’m doing something. When I’m not doing the thing that I want to be doing, then checking things off a list is good.

MATARAZZO: That’s why I think you’d love theater, because that’s so schedule oriented. Would you say that you thrive on a schedule, for the most part?

RICE: I do. I love it when we get a new schedule. I’m waiting for the pink one-liner to come out.

MATARAZZO: You know exactly what the hell you’re going to be doing on any given day—when you’re going to be there, when your day is going to end. I think that’s great, but you do have a lot of downtime.

RICE: Yeah. I feel like because you film a movie in bits and pieces, you never really get to relax until it’s over.

MATARAZZO: I agree. I think even with scene partners as well, it’s really hard to feel relaxed when you are tackling something for the first time. I think it’s hard to build chemistry with people unless you have a good amount of time to study, learn, create a background and a rapport. I think that was great with Honor Society, though, I’ve never had rehearsals for a movie.

RICE: I’d done a few things where they’d done rehearsals before going into it, which is always so good if you can get the time. I remember that day as well because it was my sister’s birthday.

MATARAZZO: Yes, of course it was. That’s right.

RICE: Well, we had rehearsals for The Last Thing You Told Me as well. Less rehearsals, more like read-throughs. It was me, Jennifer Garner, Josh Singer, and Laura Dave. [We] would sit down together with strawberries, donuts, and coffee and we would read the scripts out loud, and then after that, we’d talk about them and discuss the bits we wanted to draw out or highlight.

MATARAZZO: Do you think your chemistry with Jen, there was a need to interact away from the set and of a rehearsal context to find that relationship?

RICE: Well, I think Jen is so good at making people feel comfortable. Between takes and setups, we would be chatting about life, the scene, about whatever. Once you have that baseline of, “Oh, you are cool, we’re cool, this is great,” then you can explore the scary stuff. I think it was about building trust, which I really felt that we did.

MATARAZZO: In any context, that’s important. In any line of work with anybody you’re working with, that’s square one.

RICE: Yeah.

MATARAZZO: Do you think it’s the same process with characters that you are very distant from?

RICE: I do. When I think about working on Mare of Easttown and playing Siobhan and how she had such a difficult and strange relationship with her mother, I think actors need to feel safe in order to explore. I think there are some actors who love to feel out of their comfort zone and love to feel pushed, and that’s what makes them find it. But for me, if the environment around me feels safe and comfortable, that’s when I can really go for it because I have that knowledge that it will be okay. Can I ask you a question?

MATARAZZO: You might be crossing the line here. But I’ll allow it.

RICE: What is your favorite thing about performing live on stage every night?

MATARAZZO: Oh, that’s a big one, for sure. I think the love, the real love and drive to keep going back, what’s the word? Oomph?

RICE: Oomph!

MATARAZZO: I think all of it is backstage, fully. I think the love and drive really come from the environment that’s around me. Because everybody who’s there loves what they’re doing. Everybody there loves to act and loves to tell stories and feel like they get to be other people. I just know that I’ve gravitated towards it for a long time and I think you’d be very good at it. Have you read plays?

RICE: Yeah, I have. Both my parents work in theater, so I grew up watching a lot of theater and I continued to watch theater. I recently did a play reading for a play that my mom wrote, which was really fun.

MATARAZZO: That also is so interesting to me, that your parents were both so involved in the theater.

RICE: Well, when I was a kid I was like, “Mm, I don’t want to do theater. I want to do film, I want to be different.” But it’s still in my bones.

MATARAZZO: I’ve been asking a lot of people this. What is your recurring actor’s nightmare? And is it specific to you?

RICE: Yes and yes. My recurring nightmares are always about acting. It’s so interesting you bring this up because every time I’m working on a production so intensely, I always dream about set, and everyone on set is in my dream. It happened in Honor Society too. I would dream that I would get to set and not know any of my lines. The only real job you have as an actor, the only thing you need to prepare for the day, is to know your lines.

MATARAZZO: What’s on the page.

RICE: So my fear and my recurring nightmare is going to set and then I can’t get it. No matter how many times I try, I cannot get it.

MATARAZZO: The fear that you’ll just forget how to do what you’ve been doing for a decade.

RICE: Yeah. Another recurring one actually has to do with the theater and I’m the understudy and they’re like, “We need you on stage.” But I’m always a very under-prepared understudy.

MATARAZZO: Do you ever write your dreams down?

RICE: No, because I read that if you write down your dreams, you will remember them more frequently. You’ll get into a habit of remembering them. And I don’t want that.

MATARAZZO: I think they’re fun. I think they’re a cool little insight into the things you forget about yourself.

RICE: Yeah, that’s true.

MATARAZZO: I have a whole log in my notes of all my weird dreams, but I don’t remember them very often. So that’s why when I do I’m like, “Oh, that’s special.”

RICE: Someone would pay a lot of money to read that, I bet.


Articles & Interviews Behind the Scenes / On Set Gallery Photoshoots
Numéro Netherlands
Posted by Veronique on May 8, 2023


Angourie Rice is quickly on her way to becoming a major Hollywood starlet garnering hit success across both film and television. She can be currently seen opposite Jennifer Garner in AppleTV+ and Hello Sunshine’s highly anticipated miniseries ‘The Last Thing He Told Me’, based on Laura Dave’s #1 New York Times bestselling novel of the same name, which premiered on 14th April.

Angourie, you’re starring in AppleTV+ and Hello Sunshine’s miniseries ‘The Last Thing He Told Me’, that follows Hannah, a woman who forms an unexpected relationship with her sixteen-year-old stepdaughter Bailey while searching for the truth about why her husband Owen has mysteriously disappeared. Tell us more about what can we expect to see in the remaining episodes of the series.

You can expect Hannah and Bailey to go on more adventures, separately and together. In the last few episodes you really see their relationship change and evolve into something more caring and supportive. They learn to lean on each other when they need it most.

This miniseries is based on Laura Dave’s #1 New York Times bestselling novel. Have you read the book when you got cast on the project? How does the series differ from the novel?

I read the episode scripts first and then I read the book. Both hooked me and were such quick reads. In the book we’re always with Hannah’s perspective, and what I love about the series adaptation is that we get to see more from other characters. We get more insight from Bailey’s perspective into her relationship with her dad and her experience at school. The book and series are both so compelling and thrilling, but they each tell the story in a slightly different way.

In ‘The Last Thing He Told Me’ you portray Bailey, the 16-year old dayghter of Hannah. What do you love the most about your character Bailey? What was Bailey’s most exciting storyline for you to film?

What excited me about Bailey was the emotional journey she takes. Olivia Newman, one of our directors and producers, pitched the show to me as a love story between Hannah and Bailey. We see a woman who doesn’t know how to be a mother and a girl who doesn’t know how to have a mother. Tracking their journey from adversaries to mother and daughter was so exciting to play.

You’re currently also in production on Paramount’s ‘Mean Girls’, a film adaptation of the Tony-nominated Broadway musical. What will make the fans of the Broadway musical and also the fans of the original film want to see this and love it just as much?

I wish I could say more about it, but I’m sworn to secrecy. All I can say is that ‘Mean Girls’ is an iconic film and I’m so excited to be a part of the musical movie adaptation. It’s a dream come true to be in a musical.

2022 marked your first leading role in the Paramount+ original movie ‘Honor Society’. How has the experience of being in a leading role helped you grow in your career? What have you learned from the experience for the future?

What struck me was how I felt a sense of responsibility. It was a big task and I didn’t want to let anyone down. I think it pushed me to want to be a better actor and scene partner. My favourite thing about the experience was being on set every day. I really got to know the crew and felt part of a community.

In your career so far, you’ve gotten the chance to work alongside some major names in the industry, like Kate Winslet, Jean Smart, Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. Do you get nervous when being cast alongside such iconic artists?

Yes, always. But it goes away as soon as I properly meet them and talk to them. We’re all actors who love our job.

You began your acting career young and had your breakout role in the short film ‘Transmission’ when you were 11. Having been in the business since such a young age, how have you evolved as an actress since then?

I’d have to go back and watch that short film to give you an answer. I remember that I learnt all my lines for the entire film before we even started shooting. Now I know that’s not always practical because they often change the lines.

You come from a creative family. What other creative passions have you developed aside from acting?

I love to knit. And I love writing. My mom’s a writer and we’ve written a book together. It’s a modern adaptation of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ called ‘Stuck Up and Stupid’.

Besides acting, you also have a podcast called ‘The Community Library’, which encourages readers and listeners of all ages to think more critically about the media we consume. What made you decide to start this podcast and especially to do it about this topic?

I wanted to create a project that was completely mine, while sharing my love of stories. After high school, a lot of my friends and I felt burnt out from reading books for English class. I wanted to reignite my love of reading through the podcast and continue to talk about books and stories and reading habits in an accessible way. It’s given me so much joy to connect with other readers on the internet.

After ‘The Last Thing He Told Me’ and ‘Mean Girls’, what’s coming up next for you? What are some of your biggest goals and dreams?

Our book ‘Stuck Up and Stupid’ will be out this year, which is very exciting. I’ve always loved writing and it’s so wonderful to finally share it with the world. I’ll also be doing a play in Australia later this year with Melbourne Theatre Company. It’s called ‘My Sister Jill’. I’m looking forward to exploring the theatre making process, something new for me.

Articles & Interviews Gallery Photoshoots
Two new articles/interviews and new photoshoot photos!
Posted by Veronique on Apr 22, 2023

Click on the magazine and article title to read it at the source. The Last Thing Angourie Rice Told Me Angourie Rice On Working With Jennifer Garner, ‘Mare Of Easttown’ And Becoming ‘Mean Girls” Cady

Here are more photos from Angourie’s most recent photoshoot with David Roemer. Click on the gallery link below to see all photos in full size.

Articles & Interviews Gallery Photoshoots
Posted by Veronique on Apr 16, 2023

“The Last Thing He Told Me”‘s Angourie Rice Is the Queen of Teenage Angst

Angourie Rice is an expert at playing a teenager, even though she turned 22 this past January. Last year, the actor starred as the teenage version of Rebel Wilson in Netflix’s “Senior Year,” as well as a hilariously driven student in the irreverent comedy “Honour Society.” Rice also appeared in the MCU’s Spider-Man movies as Betty Brant, and in 2021’s “Mare of Easttown” she played Siobhan, Mare’s stubborn daughter. Now, in Apple TV+ series “The Last Thing He Told Me,” based on Laura Dave’s bestselling novel of the same name, Rice stars as reeling high schooler Bailey opposite of Jennifer Garner, who plays her stepmom, Hannah, whom she can’t connect with, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays her missing dad, Owen.

“What I really liked about Bailey is that she had such a clear idea of what she loved and what she wanted to do,” Rice tells POPSUGAR. “I really love that Bailey has this really strong idea of who she is and what she wants, but it’s so shattered when her dad disappears because her idea of who she is is intrinsically, inextricably linked with her dad.”

The main relationship in “The Last Thing He Told Me” is between Bailey and Hannah; Bailey doesn’t accept Hannah as her stepmom, but after Owen goes missing they have no choice but to come together. “Olivia Newman, who directed three of the episodes and is an executive producer as well, pitched it to me as a mother-daughter love story, which I really loved,” Rice says of her audition process. “It’s about two women who don’t know how to be in each other’s lives. And throughout the course of the story, they learn how to do that.”

Garner, Rice says, was “an incredible person to work with.” Before shooting even started, they sat down with Dave and Josh Singer (who wrote the series together) to talk through all the scripts, which she says was “so rare” and “such a treat.”

Something Rice has in common with her “The Last Thing He Told Me” character is a love of musical theatre. The day Owen goes missing, Hannah has to pick Bailey up from play rehearsal. Plus, the latter’s bedroom at home is filled with posters for her favourite musicals. In real life, Rice is currently in production for the movie adaptation of the “Mean Girls” musical. In her Apple TV+ series, the actor uses her musical theatre chops as her character sings “Anyone Can Whistle” at school. But she also performed another song that was cut from the show: “She Used to Be Mine” from “Waitress.” Rice explains, “Both [songs] really connect with Bailey as a character, and it’s so beautiful for Bailey as this moody teenager, she is able to say and express how she’s feeling through musical theatre rather than through words.”

“Musical theatre and art, it gives you something to hold onto,” she continues. “It gives you stories when you might not have stories.” Bailey, she says, doesn’t have a lot of stories in her life. “She has her entire life with her dad, but how much does she know about her mom? How much does she know about her life before her mom died? Probably not much at all,” Rice notes. “I liked the idea that Bailey loves musical theatre so much because it allows her to enact stories that she might not have in her real life.”

One of Rice’s favourite days of filming “The Last Thing He Told Me” was when she and the cast filmed a flashback scene where Bailey, Hannah, and Owen all get dinner together. “That was really fun because Jen and I both love Nikolaj and we missed him so much,” she explains. After Coster-Waldau’s character goes missing in the first episode, he’s only seen briefly in the series through flashbacks. “For that scene, we were so excited to see him again, and he’s so lovely and a bundle of energy and just always brings something fun,” Rice adds.

Rice was the youngest cast member on the set of “The Last Thing He Told Me,” but for the “Mean Girls” movie musical, she’s among fellow rising Gen Z stars like Auli’i Cravalho, Reneé Rapp, “The Summer I Turned Pretty”‘s Christopher Briney, and “Senior Year”‘s Avantika Vandanapu. “They told me I can’t say anything about it,” she warns of the film’s production. However, she is allowed to dish about her costars. “Everyone is so incredibly talented, but also I think everyone has an energy that matches each other,” Rice says. “We all really, really get along, so that’s been really nice, just that we’re all on the same page with the way we work and all of that.”

Rice never actually got to see the “Mean Girls” musical since it hasn’t gone to Australia yet and the Broadway production was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. But she says she’s seen the movie innumerable times. “I called my mom yesterday. She was like, ‘I can’t believe you are there. I would just remember watching that movie with you over and over and over again,'” Rice shares.

The 22-year-old actor admits that there are some odd parts of playing a teenager on screen during her actual teenage years and into her early 20s. She filmed “Spider-Man: Homecoming” in 2016 when she was just 15. “It’s very weird to see your coming of age captured and frozen in time in a movie franchise,” Rice says. Though she hasn’t watched the movies since they were released, she jokes that she might watch “Spider-Man: Homecoming” on a plane one day.

To this day, Rice still keeps in touch with her Spider-Man castmate Tony Revolori, who helped round out the group of teens at the high school attended by Tom Holland’s Peter Parker and Zendaya’s MJ. “We text every so often, asking about each other’s families, and that’s really nice,” Rice says. “We’ve known each other for seven years now, and when we met I was halfway through high school and now I’m an adult.”

As Rice leaves her onscreen adolescence behind and looks to the future, she admits she’d love to do a Jane Austen adaptation. “Clueless” and the 1995 BBC “Pride and Prejudice” miniseries are her favourites, and she’d love to play the title hero in “Emma” one day. “But also to play Elizabeth Bennet is also a dream. I feel like she’s one of the greatest literary characters,” she says. But first, Rice is putting her own foot in the adaptation game. She and her mom, Kate Rice, have written a modern adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” called “Stuck Up and Stupid.” It’ll hit bookstores in Australia this fall, and she’s hoping for a US release date soon.

The actor and her mom, she says, are a perfect creative pair. “I can’t imagine writing alone, and I can’t imagine writing with anyone else,” says Rice. “It was so good to share the work, and we know each other so well, and we both have the same sort of sense of humour and the same ideas and same style of storytelling.”

For now, though, Rice is excited for fans to get wrapped up in the “intriguing mystery” of “The Last Thing He Told Me.” When she got the scripts, she stayed up late in the middle of production to keep reading about what happens in the show, and she thinks fans will be hooked, too.


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The Face Magazine
Posted by Veronique on Apr 16, 2023

Angourie Rice is Hollywood’s newest, nicest Mean Girl

Call Sheet: the Australian actor has already played Peter Parker’s classmate, Nicole Kidman’s pupil and Kate Winslet’s daughter. Next up: an Apple TV+ thriller and an all-singing take on that ’00s teen classic.

If it’s Thursday, it must be the day after Wednesday. ​“And on Wednesdays,” says Angourie Rice, beaming from her kitchenette, ​“we wear pink.”

As any fan of early ​’00s Hollywood high school comedies knows, that’s a line from Mean Girls. The 2004 film, in which naive 16-year-old school newbie Cady is inducted into the cliquey world ruled by the rich but insecure ​‘Plastics’, is now a generation-spanning cult classic.

Success, of course, breeds IP exploitation. Like Hairspray (another rite-of-passage tale) and The Color Purple (a very different rite-of-passage saga) before it, Mean Girls became a Broadway musical. Now, like both those films, that stage musical is being adapted for a new film. And Rice, the 22-year-old Australian previously best known for playing Kate Winslet’s daughter in HBO’s 2021 crime drama Mare of Easttown, is Cady, the character immortalised by Lindsay Lohan. Even if you’ve already joined the MCU (Rice is Betty Brant in the three Tom Holland-era Spider-Man movies), those are big metallic pink kitten heels to fill.

“It’s so daunting!” admits Rice, gamely, as we talk over Zoom from the accommodation she’s renting for Mean Girls: The Musical​’s near-three-month shoot ​“somewhere” on America’s East Coast. Born in Sydney and named after a New South Wales beach that was a favourite of her grandmother’s, Rice was three when Mean Girls was released. But she later watched it repeatedly with her sister on a portable DVD player.

“I remember exactly how a scene plays or exactly how Cady says something,” Rice says. ​“You have to find that balance of honouring the original, while also trying to put your take on it. You want to bring your own new thing to it.”

Rice has been acting professionally for over half her life and is more than prepared for the role. A keen knitter, she’s just finished a pink jumper for those Pink Wednesdays.

Rice is crafty in other ways, too. In March 2019 she launched The Community Library, her elevator pitch for which is: ​“An Instagram and podcast about stories, and how and why we tell them.”

A voracious reader, she was looking for a creative outlet after graduating from high school. ​“Because as much as I adore film, as an actor there’s so little control that you have over your career and over your creativity. I wanted something where I was my own boss and I made the decisions. And also I wanted to share with people my love of books.”

She’d love to emulate Reese Witherspoon, whose own book club was one of Rice’s inspirations, in developing popular books into films or series. Neatly, Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company is also behind Rice’s other current project, The Last Thing He Told Me, a glossy Californian mystery miniseries for Apple TV+.

Rice convincingly plays another aggy teen, this one a 16-year-old whose relationship with her stepmother (Jennifer Garner) grudgingly shifts from sullen to cooperative as they investigate the sudden disappearance of her dad (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

Did she read that source book? ​“I did. After I auditioned, I got all the scripts and then I read the book. That was a strange way to do it. But I loved the book. I read it in three days.”

Want to know the other scripts Rice has read, convinced the job was never going to be hers? The blockbuster gig she landed as a 15-year-old during a free period at school? The hardest word to say in Mare of Easttown​’s Pennsylvania accent? OK, the answer to that is ​“watermelon”. But here’s all the other Call Sheet juice…

The biggest lie I’ve ever told to get a part was…

I don’t think I’ve told any lies to get a role. I didn’t even exaggerate anything to get the Spider-Man role, because I didn’t think that I’d gotten it. That was such a weird and long process. I got a call in the middle of recess and my mom drove to school to hand me the phone. She was like: ​“I know you thought this job was gone. But they’re on the phone now offering it to you.” And I had to go to the edge of the school property to speak to these Marvel producers. My friends were saying: ​“What was that?” And I was like: ​“I can’t say…” Then I had to go back to class, carrying this big secret. I was 15.

The most bonkers costume I’ve ever worn for a part…

Logistically, all the dresses I wore in [Sofia Coppola’s] The Beguiled, which was set during the American Civil War. We all had corsets, evening gown dresses and three or four different petticoats. I remember sitting down on the floor being surrounded by this marshmallow of petticoats.

The one thing I have to have in my trailer…

I’m obsessed with these fig bars called Nature’s Bakery. And they come in raspberry, blueberry and ​“original fig”. I just love them.

My most Hollywood diva moment was when I…

…asked for three boxes of Nature’s Bakery fig bars. That was yesterday!

One item that travels everywhere with me is…

Always a book, and my fairy lights. I have these plug-in string lights that I bring with me. Because wherever I am – Airbnb, hotel, whatever – it just makes it so much more homey to have them above the bed.

The co-star who left me the most starstruck was…

[The Beguiled co-star] Nicole Kidman. She’s just one of the biggest stars in the world, so how could you not be starstruck? It was also absolutely daunting going toe to toe with Kate Winslet. I was terrified. That was another one where I auditioned twice and thought: ​“I don’t think this will go anywhere.”

Then they said: ​“We’re setting you up for a meeting with the director and producer.” I thought it was going to be a general meeting where they would give me notes and I’d have to audition again. But they offered me the job. They said: ​“Yeah, Kate watched your tape as well and she’s really excited.” And I was like: ​“Oh-kaaaay…” I was so, so, so nervous to meet her. But she was so lovely and she made everyone on that set feel at ease, especially because it was such a big show and such a scary undertaking.

The best piece of advice I’ve got in the industry…

I made The Nice Guys with Russell Crowe and Ryan Reynolds when I was 13… And I remember them telling me just to have fun with it. I was such a stickler for saying the exact right words. I was that kid who knew all my lines – but I also knew all of their lines. I knew the entire scene back to front.

One thing I wish I’d known about being an actor is…

That it’s really long hours. I worked as a kid, so I learnt so much of it early on. But once you turn 18, you no longer have [to have] your parents with you. That was when I learned: if you don’t travel with someone, if you don’t have a guardian with you, if you don’t have a friend with you, it can be a really lonely job.

The TV show I’m bingeing at the moment is…

This is so bad: the only thing I’ve been watching is The Last Thing He Told Me because I just got the [finished] episodes. The other thing I’m watching, which I actually can’t binge because it’s coming out weekly, is the new season of Party Down. Because I loooved seasons one and two. And Jen Garner is in season three, so it’s perfect!

My dream role is…

Something in a period drama. I’d love to do an adaptation of a Jane Austen book. I love her. I dunno if I have the period English accent yet. But you bet that as soon as the cameras start rolling, I’ll have it!


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Mane Addicts Interview and Photoshoot
Posted by Veronique on Aug 10, 2022

One to Watch: Angourie Rice Is Telling Her Own Origin Story

She’s yourself in a former life, the rebellious daughter navigating grief, the high school overachiever who learns to have fun—Angourie Rice is tackling archetypes left and right, all while making her way onto streaming platforms everywhere.

In 2021, the Aussie-born actress quickly turned heads her way thanks to juicy roles in HBO Max‘s Mare of Easttown (the Kate Winslet-led thriller from peak lockdown binge watching) and as Daily Bugle reporter Betty Brant in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Okay, NBD! But with back-to-back 2022 bookings like Netflix’s Senior Year with Rebel Wilson and the titular role in Honor Society (now streaming on Paramount+), alongside Gaten Matarazzo of Stranger Things, we’re seeing Angourie take a much-deserved step to center stage—and our Spidey senses tell us this is just the beginning.

Behind the scenes, she’s all-in on her craft: diving into scripts, devouring stories, and exploring new mediums (she’s a podcaster, too!) to build a foundation that will surely serve her for years to come. So to capture her icon-in-the-making essence, we brought the star-studded glam team of hairstylist Kat Thompson (don’t miss the step-by-step style breakdowns), makeup artist Katrina Klein, and wardrobe stylist Rebecca Grice to Fairfax High School to channel entertainment idols from the ‘90s to now—with Grice’s epic vintage collection to set the mood. But first, we went tête-à-tête with Angourie to get the scoop on life, style, and everything in between.

Mane Addicts: Growing up with a family in entertainment, did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in the arts?
Angourie Rice: I always wanted to do something creative, though I didn’t know what exactly. I wanted to be an author, a singer, a dancer, an astronaut at one point! Eventually, I figured that being an actor meant I could be anything.

MA: Honor Society is officially out on Paramount+…congratulations! How did you prepare for the role of Honor and her rivalry with Gaten Matarrazo’s character, Michael?
AR: Thank you so much! I’m so excited that it’s finally out there in the world. Gaten and I had a few rehearsals before we began filming, which was a great help. We spoke about the characters’ dynamic and their relationship. I’m a huge fan of Fleabag, and I found a lot of inspiration from Fleabag’s relationship with The Priest in season two. He’s the first person who really sees her—and that’s what happens with Honor and Michael, too. She feels so vulnerable around him because he sees right through her façade.

MA: It seems you’ve been initiated into American high school life through your roles in Honor Society, Senior Year, and Spider-Man: No Way Home—what was your real life high school experience like?
AR: My real life high school experience was pretty standard. It was interrupted by me traveling for work, but when I was at home, I went to my local public high school in Melbourne. It was great to make friends separate from film work.

MA: Those roles must also feel so larger-than-life compared to the heavier themes and realism of Mare of Easttown. What was it like working with such a stark contrast in subject matter?
AR: I knew Mare of Easttown was going to be a challenge, and it was. The show is dark and the characters are healing from so much trauma. But I really connected to Siobhan as a character when I first read the script, and I wanted to be a part of telling her story. What was great about Mare was that everyone was so invested in it. So even though the story was heavy, everyone’s dedication made the process comfortable.

MA: Let’s also talk about that Mare of Easttown hair! Was that chop a mutual idea between you and the makeup/hair department?
AR: It was my suggestion! In the script, Siobhan’s hair was long and auburn and shaved on one side. I’d had long hair for such a long time, I was ready for a change. I sent them pictures of Kristen Stewart’s short blonde hair, and they said they’d think about it. I thought they hadn’t gone for it, but when I showed up on my first day of pre-production, they said: “We’re cutting your hair!” That day, I came home with all my hair gone.

MA: Did it take a minute to embrace the hairstyle for yourself?
AR: Definitely. My long hair was such a big part of my femininity and sense of self. I had to reframe my own style and the way I present myself to the world. It was strange, because the short hair felt like a part of Siobhan, rather than myself. I had to take extra care to separate myself from the character and find my own style with the short hair.

MA: It looks like there are a lot of exciting projects in the works for you which probably means tons of travel…what are your must-haves for life-on-the-go?
AR: Always my journal, and a little sketchbook and pen. I like having something to write on or draw with when I’m waiting or traveling. It’s nicer than looking at my phone.

MA: You’ve been the host of The Community Library for a few years now. Can you tell us more about how it came to be and why it’s such a passion project for you?
AR: I started The Community Library when I graduated high school, because I missed reading and discussing books. I also wanted to focus on the accessibility of discussing books using critical thinking. Talking about stories is for everyone—you don’t need a degree or fancy vocabulary. All you need is some ideas, and some evidence to back it up. My hope is that The Community Library is for anyone interested in how and why we tell stories.

MA: Who is your dream guest for your podcast?
AR: I’d love to have Jacqueline Wilson on the podcast! She’s one of my favorite children’s authors and I grew up reading and loving her books.

MA: As a voracious reader, have there been any stories you’ve read that have influenced your personal style?
AR: I grew up with the Charlie and Lola books by Lauren Child—they’re children’s picture books about a little girl called Lola and her big brother Charlie. I always loved the brightly patterned collage style of the illustrations. I still love bright patterns and colors—I think that sense of fun is important to my style and how I want to present to the world.

MA: Have any characters helped you explore different facets of yourself?
AR: Yes, many! Emma Woodhouse from Jane Austen’s Emma is the first one who comes to mind. She’s a very flawed main character, but that’s what I love about her. She has a very strong arc of learning and growing, but she doesn’t completely change who she is. She holds on to the unique qualities that make her herself, while still learning from her mistakes.

MA: Are there any characters from the books you’ve read that you would love to play?
AR: Playing a Jane Austen heroine has always been a dream of mine. But I also recently read In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes. It’s a 1947 noir crime novel set in L.A. The female lead in that book would be great to play—I love the cool demeanor of the femme fatale, but Hughes gives her much more depth.

MA: Tell us about your time as a literature student. How has that helped formulate your podcast?
AR: I took literature in my senior year of high school and loved it. It pushed me to think deeper about the media I consume, but it also taught me many practical skills, too. I learned how to write an essay very quickly! And that’s stuck with me while creating the podcast.

MA: Do you have any plans to ever write your own book one day?
AR: Maybe! I always wrote stories as a kid. It’s so much fun, but also a lot of work! A very different skill and craft to acting.

MA: Have you ever been able to have any influence over script changes for some of the characters you’ve played?
AR: I think understanding story conventions and historical storytelling patterns is very helpful in analyzing a script or a character. But I think, more than anything, creating The Community Library has taught me to ask “why”. Why is this character behaving in this way? Why is the story told this way? If the reason isn’t justifiable, then we can suggest changes. But it all starts with curiosity and an openness to listen to others.

MA: You channeled a few ‘90s icons for our One to Watch shoot—who are your personal icons (for style or whatever!) and why?
AR: Cher in Clueless is definitely a style icon for me, and I was very excited to wear some Cher-inspired looks in the photoshoot! I love how she keeps classic silhouettes, but adds fun patterns and layers. Kristen Stewart is also a fashion and hairstyle icon for me. Her personal style is so distinctive, but I think she really blends into the characters she plays, too.

MA: How would you describe your style right now? How has it evolved over the years?
AR: My current style, summed up in one word, is: “comfort”. This summer I’m wearing long dresses, denim overalls, and jumpsuits. I like anything in one piece—it’s often comfier, and I don’t have to stress about putting together a whole outfit.

MA: We’re sure working in film means there’s some limitation in what you can/can’t do hair-wise—do you ever have the urge to make a drastic change?
AR: Yes! I’ve always been blonde, so it would be cool to dye my hair a different color for a role. I also constantly want bangs, and I still miss my short hair. Every time I start a new job, I beg them to do something different with my hair.

MA: What (or who) inspires you?
AR: I’m inspired by the books I read, the movies I watch, and the people I love. My friends and family constantly inspire me to be curious, open-minded, and to take care of myself and others.

MA: And because we obviously need to know, how do you keep your signature blonde so vibrant?
AR: This is a very annoying answer, but most of it is my natural hair color! Sometimes the hair department adds highlights for a role. But then I just let it grow out. I leave it to do its own thing.

MA: Finally…describe your perfect day off.
AR: Pancakes and tea outside on a sunny day, reading a book, and seeing friends in the afternoon.


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New articles/interviews
Posted by Veronique on Jul 30, 2022

Click below to read the full article / interview on the original website it was posted:
BUSTLE: Angourie Rice Unleashes Her Inner Control Freak
THE LATERALS: Lounge Talk: Angourie Rice

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Articles & Interviews Gallery Photoshoots

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  • Maintained by: Veronique
  • Since: 13 September 2021
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Current Projects
The Last Thing He Told Me

Angourie Rice as Bailey

A woman who forms an unexpected relationship with her 16-year-old stepdaughter while searching for the truth about why her husband has mysteriously disappeared.

Mean Girls

Angourie Rice as Cady Heron

An adaptation of Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond, and Nell Benjamin's Broadway musical based on the popular 2004 film comedy.

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