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Angourie Rice, who will be starring in “Mare of Easttown,” walked into a meeting not knowing what to expect…and bam! The role was booked. Taking on a character different from her past roles, the talented actress is excited for us to see what the show has to bring. Born to parents who work in the arts, there is no doubt that Angourie is on the path she was meant for! We can’t wait for the premiere of the show on April 18th, so stay tuned!

Share with us the moment you got the call that you booked your role on “Mare of Easttown.” What were you feeling? Who were you with? What was your first reaction?

It wasn’t a call, it was a meeting actually! I had done two self-tapes, and so I thought I was going into a general meeting with the director and writer about the project – but they offered me the job! I was very surprised and caught off guard, because the whole experience getting to the meeting was very stressful. My mum drove me there, and even though we left early, we got lost and only just made it in time. And as we were driving through the parking lot we saw Danny de Vito getting into a car! Very surreal. I was really flustered going into the meeting and did not expect to be offered the job! My mum waited for me outside, and so she was the first person I told, and she was very excited for me. My excitement caught up to me eventually, after I’d gotten over my surprise!

On set, who was someone you connected with strongly? Who was someone who pushed you to be better? 

I really loved all my scenes with the kids in the band; Anthony Norman, Drew Scheid and Maddie Weinstein – Maddie plays my girlfriend in the show. Having all the kids together in the room created such a great energy, and we had lots of fun with it. We also hung out together in our free time, going for dinner and visiting museums. I was living alone overseas for the first time in my life, so I was really grateful for those friendships. And in terms of who pushed me to be better on set – I think everyone did! Being surrounded by so much talent, especially in my scenes with Kate and Jean Smart, I took note of the way they worked and strove to give it my all.

How did this project differ from your past ones? What did you like most about this role compared to others?

This character differs from others I’ve played, because Siobhan isn’t the innocent and sweet girl-next-door. She’s dealt with a lot in her short life, yet she’s still come out the other side in one piece. Siobhan has survived grief and trauma, mostly on her own, because her parents were caught up in other things. I connected with her strength and tenacity, and was inspired by her ability to still be vulnerable – despite all the past times she’s been hurt and disappointed.

Growing up, what was your family dynamic like? Do you have a particular story you could share that had a strong influence on who you are today?

I’m very close with my immediate family – it’s just me, my parents and my sister, who is three years younger than me. When I was growing up, we moved around a lot, and often lived in cities with no extended family. We had to put down our own roots and make our own family. As I started acting more, we settled down in Melbourne, but a parent or chaperone would have to come with me whenever I traveled overseas for work. Even though our family spent a lot of time split over two continents, I think it brought us closer. I was working in a grown-up, professional environment, away from my school and friends, so I had to be close with my parent. They were the one person from home, and I knew whatever happened, they were always on my side. Maybe that’s why I never went through a moody teenager phase! Mare of Easttown was my first job as an eighteen-year-old, and so I didn’t need a parent with me. I lived alone in an apartment in Philadelphia’s Old City. Before I left, my mum gave me a handwritten recipe book of all our favourite meals, so I could make them myself. It sounds a bit cliché, but that was such an emotional moment for me!

How did you get into acting?

My parents both work in the arts. My dad is a theatre director and producer, and my mum is a writer. Growing up, I would go to theatre rehearsals and was constantly surrounded by actors. We were friends with an agent, and so she represented my sister and me for commercials and student short films. My sister got bored with it quite quickly – she’s a gymnast and aspiring stunt-woman now. But I loved it and kept going!

If you could work with any director/actor, who would you pick and why?

I just saw ‘Promising Young Woman’ and thought it was fantastic – I’d love to work with Emerald Fennell. I also loved ‘The Farewell’ a few years ago, so Lulu Wang is also on my list to work with. I think both of those women are telling great stories.

Best advice someone has given you?

I’ve often struggled with reconciling different versions of myself, especially growing up working on films and going to high school at the same time. I felt like a completely different person at work than I was at school. Someone once told me to think of myself as a diamond – I reflect lots of different colours for lots of different situations, but I am still one whole. It helped me deal with the Hannah-Montana-complex I had going on in high school.

What do you believe your purpose is?

I know I want to share stories that have an impact on people. But I don’t know about my purpose … I think I’m still figuring that out.

What has been your favorite part of your podcast, “The Community Library.” In your own words, explain to us what it means to you and what you hope to brings to others. 

 The Community Library started as a self-education project. After I graduated high school, I knew I wasn’t going to university straight away, but I wanted to keep analysing, thinking critically, and writing essays. But as well as it being a very personal project, I wanted The Community Library to be welcoming and accessible to everyone – whatever your reading abilities or preferences. I wanted to show that critical analysis doesn’t have to be ‘highbrow’ and inaccessible. This is an attitude I’ve encountered a lot – people joking they’re ‘not smart enough’ to read a long book, or that they only watch ‘trashy’ TV shows and movies that aren’t worth analysing. So with The Community Library, critical analysis is for everyone and every type of story – whether it’s a comic book, reality TV show, Shakespeare, or a Taylor Swift song. The best part of creating the podcast has been all the things I’ve learnt! I’ve found new favourite books, discussed topics I’d never considered before, and connected with so many wonderful listeners.

Talent Angourie Rice @angourierice
Photo by Vien Tran @vien_tran
Interview Alexandra Bonnet @alexbonnetwrites