It was a cold night and Australian star Angourie Rice was about to film a kissing scene. Kate Winslet was crouched in the car’s trunk.
Angourie Rice is a familiar face that’s popped up since her breakout role in 2016 movie The Nice Guys, as Ryan Gosling’s daughter, no less.
While she’s appeared in a handful of Australian roles, including in Jasper Jones and as the lead in Ladies in Black, it’s in the US where she’s really hit her mark with roles in big-budget movies alongside A-listers, including two Spider-Man films and Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled.
Some Australians may not even know she’s a local, based in Melbourne, especially given how well she’s nailed that Australian accent.
Now, Rice, 20, is about to star in an expensive seven-part HBO series, Mare of Easttown, alongside Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce, which premieres on Monday, April 19 on Binge. It’s Rice’s second TV gig in the US, after an episode of Black Mirror which co-starred Miley Cyrus.
Rice was on hand on Wednesday night at the premiere of Mare of Easttown at Sydney’s historic Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace.
Since we’re going to be seeing so much more of Rice, here are some fun facts about the rising star.
What Angourie’s name means
Her namesake is a beach town in New South Wales where her grandmother lived. She said in an interview with Cinema Australia that the name is an Indigenous word for “tail feather of a sea eagle”.
Close encounters with Kate Winslet
For a kissing scene in Mare of Easttown, Rice and her co-star Kiah McKirnan had a special guest in the cramped car they were shooting in: Kate Winslet.
Winslet, having had her own share of uncomfortable intimate scenes as a young actor surrounded by male film crews, wanted to look after Rice and McKirnan so she stayed behind after her day had wrapped and was crouched in the trunk acting as the conduit between the director and her young colleagues.
Rice told Vogue Australia, “We were all laughing about it because it was just hilarious. Five people crammed into a car, two cameras and Kate in the back calling out direction. It just made it fun and silly, and it was ridiculously late as well. It felt right, and it made the day less intimidating.”
Stream Mare of Easttown on BINGE from April 19. New customers get a 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly. Sign up at binge.com.au
Naughty scenes in The Nice Guys
When Rice was filming Shane Black’s The Nice Guys, she was only 13-years-old at the time. The movie is a neo-noir thriller/buddy cop murder mystery, which means it has its share of explicit scenes and naughty bits. Rice revealed in an interview at the time of release that even though she understood the gist of the story because of the script, they still only filmed PG stuff while she was around and saved the R-rated parts for when she had left the set. By the time it was released, she was 15-years-old and she was allowed to watch it.
Working for TAFE students
Before Hollywood came calling, Rice got her start in student short films. When asked what her advice would be to aspiring actors, she said: “Just start doing it. Audition for theatre productions, audition for short films by uni students, that’s how I got started, I did short films for students at TAFE and that’s a great way to build you your own resume”.
Rice has her own podcast, called The Community Library, where she shares her love of books with anyone who wants in on a pretty special book club. Among her audio musings are the commonalities between William Shakespeare and Taylor Swift, and series on fairy tales. A frequent podcast guest is her sister Kalliope.
Mare of Easttown premieres on Binge on Monday, April 19