PHOTOS : SAMI DRASIN
TALENT: ANGOURIE RICE
STYLING: JENN ROSADO
MAKEUP & HAIR: Georgia Gaillard using laura mercier, kevin murphy & eleven
WORDS: Jasmine Perrier
special thanks: THE LEDE COMPANY
This feature is taken from Grumpy Magazine’s ISSUE NO.17, available soon in digital and print worldwide
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At just 20 years old, Angourie Rice has been hard at work for almost a decade. The young Aussie actress has been able to stand out by carefully making strong choices in the roles she has played so far, and working on high-caliber projects with industry-leading figures. When I speak to her over Zoom a few days before the finale of her latest series, Mare of Easttown, she’s just flown into America after spending a long time home in her Melbourne suburb where we shot her virtually. Full of positivity energy and joy, despite still recovering from jet lag, she reflects on the variety of experiences and memories she has gathered until now.
“I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to work in the US with people who’ve been doing what they do for years and are well-known because they’re really good at it,” Angourie says. Growing up in Perth around a small community of performers, she recalls with a smile how much of an attention-seeking child she was when it came to performance. “My parents both work in theater so I was constantly going to theater shows, having rehearsals come to the house, and I learned to understand it. It was also good because it showed me how lucky you can be to make a living from art and entertainment.” Now, she is one of those lucky people who successfully broke into the industry. Looking back at her early days on sets, she says, “When you’re a kid, you’re less self-conscious. So when I was 13, I would just learn my lines, go on set, and do it. Now I’m older, I still kind of have that mentality [but] I think I’ve learned to think more critically about things on the other side of the spectrum.”
With her on-screen presence and ability to expand her acting range into varied genres, Angourie has become one to watch closely among Young Hollywood. She stoled the show as Ryan Gosling’s daughter in The Nice Guys, worked with Nicole Kidman and Sofia Coppola on The Beguiled, and starred in the final Black Mirror season five episode. Additionally, you may recognize Angourie from Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and its follow-ups films as Betty Brant. “I feel like that whole franchise is very tied to me growing up, and it’s also the longest I’ve been attached to one character and one story,” the actress says as she is set to reprise her role in the third Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man film expected in theaters this Christmas. “It’s such a huge production and franchise, and when you’re dealing with things on that big of a scale, you just learn new things and you come up against new challenges, and a different way of working, because you know, everything is so secret,” she laughs.
Angourie is just getting started though, and she has a lot more up her sleeve. The final episode of her show Mare of Easttown recently aired, and the young multi-skilled actress proves she isn’t afraid of stepping out of her comfort zone. “I really loved working on Mare of Easttown. Everyone was so kind and caring, I really made some great friends on that shoot so it was a very special time for me,” she says, before explaining that she had to go back to the US last year to finish filming HBO’s limited series in Philadelphia after a hiatus due to Covid. “Because we had to stop [filming], it was a long process, so I feel like we all went through something together.” Angourie stars in the intriguing show as Siobhan Sheehan, the 18-year-old daughter of detective Mare Sheehan [Kate Winslet]. For the actress, it was a completely different role to any other one she has played before, hence her surprise when she knew she was going to be cast. “I was overjoyed and excited because I felt that I was very similar to her in a lot of ways. She’s been given a lot of adult responsibilities from a young age, and I related to that aspect of her character [because] growing up and working on film sets, I was still a kid but I was working as an adult.”
Written by Brad Ingelsby, Mare of Easttown especially explores how people deal with grief and trauma not only individually, but also collectively. Throughout the 7 episodes, we find out that Siobhan is the one holding the family together while having to learn at some point to take a step back and ask herself what she wants. “[It was] definitely a challenge because Siobhan has been through a lot in her life, and she’s dealing with a lot of grief [with the loss of her brother], but it’s so special to be a part of a story that you think is really important.” In order to remember Siobhan and the whole experience in the world of Easttown, Angourie was able to keep a ring belonging to her character — she is actually wearing it during our conversation. When I ask her about her happiest moments on the show, Angourie thinks back to her time on set and shares some enjoyable memories she had with Izzy King, who plays Siobhan’s 4-year-old nephew Drew she has to take care of. “Actually, watching episode 7, there’s a scene where [Drew] says, ‘Look under there!’ and Helen [Jean Smart] says, ‘Under where?’ And he says, ‘You said underwear!’ That was Izzy’s own joke that he made all the time on set, and we would all fall for it. He just brought out the joy in everyone as soon as he came to set.”
Something you may not know about Angourie: she loves knitting and the Eurovision Song Contest. Across the screen, she even shows me the wool top she is wearing that she proudly knitted herself. “I started knitting in lockdown, and that really helps me get grounded because it’s mindless, but also very calming. It’s nice to watch a TV show, watch a movie, sit there, and knit.” On top of that, she hosts her own podcast “The Community Library” that she created to share her love for reading. “It’s great to have something creative that I have control over,” she admits. “I knew I wasn’t going to university straight away after I graduated high school, so I wanted to keep reading books and keep talking about them in a way that was critical thinking and critical analysis, and show that you can apply critical thinking to anything you’re passionate about.” When talking about her next goals, she replies, laughing, “There are so many things, but I don’t like to think about them too much because I feel like if I speak my goals into existence, then I’ll be disappointed if they don’t happen.” Staying in the present, the actress already has lots of things going on. “It’s so hard to plan things in advance, so if I’m very busy, it’s helpful to take things one day at a time.”
MARE OF EASTTOWN IS NOW STREAMING ON HBO MAX