real life

Angourie Rice appeared picture perfect on the Cannes red carpet. Behind the scenes was a different story.

Australian actor Angourie Rice was a "star baby" according to her mum, Kate Rice. She was sociable and engaging from the get-go. At a very young age, Angourie found her way into acting.

The Rice family are no stranger to the arts. Kate is a trained actor, and now she's an award-winning playwright with plenty of experience in the theatre. Her father is a television director, and her sister Kalliope is also a young actor getting her start in the industry.

With this insider knowledge though, came a level of fear for her young daughters, says Kate. 

"There was a lot of anxiety about it. I had been a professional actor for some time and when the girls were little we were approached by an agent. I initially said, 'No, I know how awful it is. I don't want to put them through that.' But my husband thought it would be fine, and the girls were fine with it too," Kate says on Mamamia's But Are You Happy podcast this week.

Watch the trailer for the revamped Mean Girls. Post continues below.

Video via Amazon Prime Video.

"I was very, very mindful of protecting them from all of the dreadful stuff I'd been through. Acting made me miserable. I didn't want them to do anything they would ever regret."

In her early adult years, Angourie was landing roles in major movies and drama shows. Soon, Hollywood came knocking. 


Her parents were delighted for her, albeit apprehensive. Kate says she's proud that despite rubbing shoulder's with some of the biggest actors — Ryan Reynolds, Russell Crowe, Rebel Wilson, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Garner — her daughter has avoided the trappings that often come with fame and success. 

Angourie adds: "It was a conscious decision from me [not to move to LA]. It was always my choice, I wanted to finish school with all my friends in Australia and I don't want to move. It would have been a very expensive leap to make, especially when it wouldn't just be me but my entire family."

Recently, the pair embarked on writing a novel together, called Stuck Up & Stupid.

Angourie says writing the novel over one summer with her mum, was a special bonding experience. And it also taught her something profound. 

"It felt like a gift for us as well to write it because I was sort of going through a difficult time while we were writing it. I won't go into what it was specifically, but I think what helped me in terms of the characters is that they are people who genuinely do not care what others think of them. That's such a special quality that I think we're all striving for," she says.

"Especially in this world, we're constantly exposed to what other people think of us."

Years ago, when she and her mum were in Cannes for the Nice Guys red carpet premiere, Angourie says it wasn't the idyllic, flashy experience that it perhaps appeared to be.

"All these photographers were crazy. We came home and we were like, 'So that's it. I just stood there, I didn't really do anything,'" reflects Angourie.


Angourie Rice at Cannes with her co-stars. Image: Getty.

"It's kind of funny getting so incredibly dressed up for a couple of hours. It's really fun. But there's also all the reality behind it that people don't see or that people don't like talking about as much. My eyes were watering so much from having so much makeup around my eyes. I couldn't go to the toilet in my dress... It can feel a bit hollow."

Her mum adds: "That was weird. I kind of felt sad about it and for everyone in Cannes. They spend hours getting massively dressed up and then they will literally parade themselves on a carpet and then go home."


Another challenge with being in the public eye is being privy to an onslaught of opinions — regardless if they're positive, negative or plain nasty. 

When it came to her most recent role, playing Cady Heron in the Mean Girls movie musical revamp, Angourie acknowledges there was some commentary about her singing ability.

"Well, what's really funny is the movie is called Mean Girls and there were a lot of mean girls [online]," she tells But Are You Happy.

"Not everyone is going to like what you do, especially when you are making something that is so special and meaningful to so many people. Not everyone's going to be happy. I kind of knew this going in, but I was like, 'I'm going to have a good time and I'm going to make new friends. And I'm going to be in a musical, which I've always wanted to do.'

"People are entitled to say whatever they want to say. And it's up to me to not give that the power to really affect me. That's obviously easier said than done. But that's the sort of mindset that I tried to go into it with."

Despite the challenges, Angourie loves what she does. But does it make her a happy person?

"I think happiness is day to day. And I think on that level, I'm really happy. I am just genuinely happy to talk about the work that I do. It's rare to be able to earn a living as a full-time actor."

You can listen to the full interview on But Are You Happy now

Feature Image: Getty.

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