Breakout actress Angourie Rice (“rhymes with floury and dowry,” as she clarifies in her Instagram bio) loves to read. How much? She’d already read the book her latest movie is based on before even being in consideration for the part!
“I checked it out of the library because I thought it looked cool,” the Australian actress, 17, tells PEOPLE of Every Day by David Levithan. “I really loved it. I was very excited when my agent emailed me and said this film was going to be made.”
As Rhiannon in the big screen adaption of the young adult novel, Rice falls in love with a person who wakes up in a different body everyday. “It was definitely strange to get my head around at first,” she admits. “I hope people come out of the movie trying to be more open minded. That was the biggest thing for me. The moral of the story is being open minded and living in the present.”
Learn more about Rice before Every Day hits theaters Friday.
She landed her first movie gig at age 11.
Rice’s parents have a theater background, but they weren’t initially down to let her enter the profession, especially at such a young age. “They were a bit wary,” Rice reveals. “My mom was the one who was the most ‘oh, I don’t know about this,’ ’cause she had trained as an actor and knew that the industry was really difficult. She didn’t know if she wanted me to go through that as a young person. But when she saw how much I loved it, and whenever your parents see how much you love something, they’re always going to support you in it no matter what it is.”
Once her parents came around, Rice scored a part in Zak Hilditch’s Transmission with Wayne Davies. “I remember being very excited,” she says of her time on set. “The film had a very small cast. It was just me and a guy who was maybe in his mid-30s or early 30s. And so it was just kind of the two of us hanging out on set all the time and that was really fun. He was like a fun uncle to me. The crew was amazing. I had a ball.”
Rice starred opposite Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys.
The young star held the role of Gosling‘s daughter in the 2016 action comedy. “He’s really, really sweet,” she says of the Canadian actor, 37. “I had a lot of fun working with him. He’s very sort of laid-back and relaxed, but he’s also incredibly talented and each take was always fresh and natural. He was fantastic.”
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She’s already achieved one of her career goals.
When asked who she dreams of working with, Rice names director Sofia Coppola, who she teamed with on The Beguiled last year. “The only person who was on my list was actually Sofia Coppola, and I can’t believe that I worked with her!” Rice gushes. “She’s very calm and peaceful on set, and that trickled down to everyone else. The vibe was really great; It was a very warm and comfortable environment. She just creates atmospheres that are so wonderful. I’d love to work with her again.”
And she fangirled over getting to work with Debby Ryan in her latest film.
Ryan, 24, plays Rice’s older sister in Every Day. “People I get the most star struck by are people I’ve sort of grown up with watching,” the teen explains. “So for example working with Debby Ryan, when I first met her I was a bit nervous and a bit star struck because I had grown up watching her TV shows on the Disney Channel. So that sort of freaked me out a bit.”
If Rice wasn’t acting, she’d be studying literature and gender studies.
Rice’s interest in subjects like gender studies, literature and humanities continues to grow as she completes her senior year in Australia. And with her high school graduation date quickly approaching, the Spider-Man: Homecoming actress has started thinking about her future. “For the next year after I graduate, I would like to keep acting and see where that takes me,” Rice says. “And then I’ll look at going into university.”
Every Day is out Friday.