Lounge Talk: Angourie Rice
High school isn’t easy for anyone, but Angourie Rice gets to take on the challenge not once, not twice, but over and over again. Branching out from her roles as Betty Brant in Marvel’s Spiderman series and Stephanie in Senior Year, Angourie sets out on her new mission in Honor Society to rise to the top of the high school ranks, no matter what (or who) she has to step on. From sweet smiles to secret plotting, Angourie’s got it all as Honor, all while constantly filming 9,000 miles from home. In the latest Lounge Talk session, discover more about Angourie Rice and her international road to Hollywood.
“I still ask myself with every project: is this what I want to do? And as long as the answer is yes, I feel this is what I’m meant to do.”
At 21 years old, you have already starred in many hit movies and TV shows, and even run your own podcast. If you had to choose one moment when you realized you were meant to be in the acting business, what would it be?
I don’t think there was one single moment for me. I fell into acting at a young age, and just kept asking myself along the way: do I want to do this? Leaving home for months at a time was always a big decision, and it could be really hard to be away from school, friends, and family. I still ask myself with every project: Is this what I want to do? And as long as the answer is yes, I feel this is what I’m meant to do.
You started acting at a very young age. What do you think life would be like right now if you had never decided to pursue acting?
My life would be very different. I think I’d probably be at university in Australia. I always wanted to study English literature, but I was also interested in biology. I loved studying virology and immunology in school, so maybe I’m a scientist in a parallel universe?
As an actor, you often spend large gaps of time away from home to film. What do you do when you feel homesick?
I watch Australian films and TV. I spent about two and a half months in London filming Spider-Man: Far From Home, and I rewatched all of Dance Academy while I was there. Dance Academy was one of my favorite Aussie shows growing up – it’s about teenagers at a ballet school in Sydney. When I can’t call friends back home, it’s a good fix for homesickness.
Traveling to a foreign country as a teenager must have been very daunting. What was it like to leave home for the first time to film in another country?
It was really scary at first! I was so nervous and overwhelmed, and every second was a pinch-me moment. I’m grateful that my parents kept certain routines consistent. I still did school work during school hours. We went for walks around the neighborhood and called friends in the afternoon. I try to do the same thing now. I bring my life with me, rather than creating a completely new life overseas. Maintaining a routine definitely helps the adjustment.
From the Spider-man series to Senior Year and Honor Society, does playing a high schooler remind you of when you were in high school? Is there a character most like you when you were that age?
Playing a high schooler definitely reminds me of my high school experience, but it’s also quite different because I went to an Australian high school. There are many similarities, but a few cultural differences, for sure. I went to a small arts school, so we didn’t have big sports teams or mascots or anything like that. I think I was a lot like Honor or Betty in high school. I was definitely nowhere near as popular as Stephanie from Senior Year. I was friends with a few people, like Siobhan from Mare of Easttown, and wished I could be as cool as them.
“I bring my life with me, rather than creating a completely new life overseas. Maintaining a routine definitely helps the adjustment.”
You’ve played a variety of characters in different genres (romcoms, action, drama, etc.) Which character would you consider your biggest challenge so far?
Playing Siobhan in Mare of Easttown was definitely a challenge, and I think she impacted me the most.
When you aren’t on set, what do you like to do in your free time?
I read a lot! At the moment, I’m reading and loving Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy.
Do you have any tricks on how you perfected your American accent?
Simply: I watched a lot of American movies and TV shows growing up.
In your opinion, what is the funniest (or weirdest) habit Americans have?
Saying they’re “bicoastal”. To be bicoastal is not really a thing in Australia!
What was the biggest culture shock when you first came to the United States?
There is peanut butter in a lot of the chocolates, candy and ice cream. I don’t like peanut butter!
What is your first meal when you go back home?
Tea and toast.
What is something you wish more people outside of Australia could experience/know about Australia?
It’s not the spiders, snakes, crocodiles, or sharks you have to worry about – it’s the sunburn.
I saw on Instagram that you are into knitting! Is there a piece that you are most proud of making?
I made an orange long-sleeved sweater with a button-up collar. Knitting a collar, button placket, and button holes was really tricky.
To celebrate Honor Society, what would your friends say your senior superlative is? (ex. class clown, most likely to become president, best dressed, etc. )
I think I am most likely to be asked for my ID at 30.
What is a fun memory you had on the set of Honor Society or during the press tour?
One night, I had a bunch of the cast members over at my place, and we played guitar and sang! There were many musical people in the cast, so that was really fun.
What is something/somewhere that feels like a home away from home?
Anywhere by the beach. I grew up going to the beach every summer, and even if the beaches in Australia are different from anywhere else, there’s something about the ocean that makes me feel much less homesick.
If this chapter of your life was made into a book, what would its title be?
Great question! I like the idea of it being named after a song … maybe “California Dreamin’” by The Mamas & the Papas? Or “California Girls” by The Beach Boys.