Angourie Rice Is a Bonafide Star On the Rise

Angourie Rice Is a Bonafide Star On the Rise

17-year-old Australian actress Angourie Rice is making waves with her groundbreaking performance in 'Every Day'.

17-year-old Australian actress Angourie Rice is making waves with her groundbreaking performance in 'Every Day'.

Photography: Robin Harper

Styling: Sara Alviti

Text: AJ Longabaugh

Every generation ushers in a fresh wave of young faces who launch to stardom seemingly overnight. One of the most celebrated voices, and a standout in this new class of up-comers, is Australian-born actress Angourie Rice. The actress has quickly made a name for herself starring in films like The Nice Guys, The Beguiled, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the highly anticipated romantic blockbuster, based on the New York Times Bestselling Y.A. novel by David Levithan, Every Day.

In the midst of her busy press rounds for her new film Every Day, which officially releases nationwide today, we got the chance to have a chat with Rice on being 17 years old, her new film, and Lorde. 

Angourie is such a unique name. Does it have any significant meaning?

It’s the name of a beach in New South Wales, Australia, that my grandmother and my mum lived on. It’s an aboriginal word meaning: the tailfeather of a seagull.

That’s really cool! Are you currently in Australia now?

I’m in New York right now doing press for Every Day.

You’ve done a bulk amount of film projects in the past few years. How has your life as a teenager looked, including school and everything that comes with it?

I mean I'd like to say completely normal, but things have been moving pretty quickly for me as an actress. In Australia, our schooling system is a bit different than in America, so I just started my final year this February.

Are you homeschooled?

No, actually. I’m based in Melbourne and I still attend public school. It’s not a performing arts high school or anything, which is kind of a nice separation from my acting. There are still opportunities for kids to do some things related to art, we have a pretty good jazz program and stuff like that. What’s really great is that they understand what I do, and I think separating school and set has been really great in the long run.

When you’re not on set for a film or in school, what sorts of things inspire you?

I love music. Lorde and her new album Melodrama was actually something I was obsessed over during production of Every Day. You know how Spotify does a personal end-of-year playlist based on what music you listened to most? Lorde was my number one everything, for sure. I also love nature, and museums too. I really want to go to the Museum of Natural History while I’m here in New York.

The Museum of Natural of History is one of my favorites! It definitely lives up to its hype.

Oh good!

Let’s talk a bit on your new film, Every Day. Can you tell me a little bit about your character and what about this movie made you realize that you wanted to be a part of it?

Well even before casting, I had read the book by David Levithan and loved it. I was blown away by the way the characters are shaped throughout the story, so when I was approached during casting for the film, I was ecstatic.

Do you enjoy reading?

I really enjoy reading, and one thing that really connected for me in doing this movie was the fact that I’m actually a teenager. Sometimes when I watch a movie where teenagers are played by actors that are 26 years old and look perfect, it makes you wonder what story is actually being told. So when I got the chance to take on a character like Rihannon, I was so excited and ready to work on this story.

Being a young person in film and playing roles that are indeed your own age, do you ever feel a sense of responsibility to the young people who will see this film and that it resonates with it?

Oh, definitely. A huge part, the central part really, of this film is the theme of identity. The character “A”, who is portrayed by many people, was discussed during pre-production and throughout the entire process of what they would be like. The book shapes A’s experience in such a beautiful, honest way, and so translating the character to the screen was a really exciting and important challenge.

One thing that I find so empowering about your upcoming generation is the importance of identity, not just through expression but as a self-celebration and reality. When I was in high school, any sort of identity that seemed odd or different to the status quo, was quickly put into a box and blatantly called out or questioned to be a “choice” of some sort.

Right! So with A, their reality of waking up in a new person's body every day means they experience different genders, sexualities,  races, and all of the stigmas or celebrations surrounding them, without the control of changing or choosing their own path. And then my character Rihannon is falling in love with this ever-changing individual which adds another level to the overall experience.

Personally, I hated it when people would ask me this question back in the day, but have you thought about what you are going to do after you finish your last year of high school?

Well… I like taking each day as it comes. Yes, I have found a love for acting, but I also would like to live abroad for awhile or definitely go to college someday. I’m very thankful for the education that I’ve been lucky enough to receive, and so the fact that college is an option for me either now or sometime down the road is nice. I would love to take a women’s studies course and continue to learn about all kinds of different subjects. I’d also rather put experiencing things in real time as they come along ahead of trying to plan everything out. So yeah, day by day.

Jacket: Sandro
Earings: Vintage

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