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HER GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS

With her rose coloured lips and Sophia Loren eyes it’s obvious to see why Hollywood is having a love affair with Phoebe Tonkin.
Having played a mermaid, a witch and a now most recently a werewolf, Tonkin has well and truly explored her supernatural side and has built a strong legion of die hard fans. Next on her plate is the pilot for the spin off series to The Vampire Diaries – The Originals, at this stage a top-secret and a project that Tokin is eager to sink her teeth into.
Between filming, Tonkin spends her free time working on YourZenLife, a blossoming side project with best friend and fellow Australian beauty Teresa Palmer. A health and wellbeing site encouraging readers to share goals, tips, recipes and fitness advice; interests very close to lithe, actress’ heart. When you look as good as Miss Tonkin, my advice is to click on and get the recipe for her cool-aid.

  
FULL NAME:
Phoebe Tonkin

AGE:
23

STAR-SIGN:
Cancer

WHERE ARE YOU AS YOU ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?
Sitting on the couch eating a slice of vegan pizza watching New Girl (too honest?)

BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE:
spent 6 weeks volunteering at an Orphanage in Cambodia when I was 18, it was the most impulsive decision I’ve ever made. I booked the trip two weeks before I left and it was the most incredible, life changing experience in my life to date. I went alone and lived in a house of 12, only 4 who spoke English. I came back to Sydney a new person with a whole new outlook on my life.

ROLE YOU HAVE MOST ENJOYED PLAYING:
I loved playing Faye on Secret Circle. Up until then I had always played quite naïve and innocent characters, and Faye was so deliciously evil and manipulative. It was as if Blair Waldorf and Sebastian from Cruel Intentions had a baby, and her name was Faye Chamberlain.

FAVOURITE ACTRESS/ACTOR:
Read the rest of the article over at you are not ilona

Posted by: Summer

Posted by: Summer

   
 

Teresa: “I am a little tired! We were in London yesterday, Toronto today, Chicago tonight. Then we’re off to New York and L.A., too.”

JJ: Can you tell us about Warm Bodies and your character Julie?

TP: “I play Julie, and she is the daughter of General Grigio played by John Malkovich. Julie is a spitfire! She’s independent, and sassy, and brave, and she is living in a world of the zombie apocalypse. One day she goes out with a group to find medical supplies, and they get bombarded by zombies. Julie gets taken captive by R – a lovable zombie played by Nicholas Hoult. She’s very fearful, and she doesn’t understand why he hasn’t tried to kill her. Then she starts watching him and realizes that everything they thought they knew about zombies is wrong. There is something very different about R, he has thoughts and feelings and he wants to protect her. Julie’s fear turns into curiosity, and then the curiosity turns into a deeper connection and they realize that through this connection R starts to heal. This sparks a change in not just R, but in all zombies. It’s a really endearing, warm-hearted story.”

JJ: What was your favorite scene to shoot?

TP: “I love the scene on the plane when Julie is talking about her ex-boyfriend Perry, played by Dave Franco, and how she saw a light in him dim. Julie gets emotional, and R is watching her, and he sees her struggling with her emotions, so he touches his hand on his heart and then touches his hand on her heart. It’s a beautiful moment, and it really is a trigger for Julie and she realizes that he is something new, something different, and it affects her to her core. It helps breathe life back into Julie, and she breathes life back into him, and it’s a chain reaction. And a beautiful romance!”

JJ: What was it about Warm Bodies that made you want to be in the film?

TP: “I loved how different the script was! It was strong and unique and refreshing. I loved hearing from the zombie’s perspective – we get to hear his thoughts, his feelings, and what it’s like to be a zombie. I loved that it was both comedic and romantic and that there is a really wonderful social commentary to the film. It’s about how de-connected we are. We spend so much time on our phones and writing emails and sitting on social media that we have really de-connected from one another. It’s about the power of human connection and how love can heal us.”

JJ: We heard you’re a bit of a practical joker…

TP: “You know, I’ve heard that before too and I have no idea where it came from! My friends always laugh about it because no one really knows where that originated from. I was definitely the chatterbox at school, my friends and I would fool around a bit, but just in a funny way.”

JJ: So there was no practical joking on the Warm Bodies set then?

TP: “No, that didn’t really happen on this movie! We all had a lot of fun on set, we were all really passionate about the movie and connected over a love for the story, but we didn’t really play any jokes on each other, no. I wish that I could tell you some really amazing, funny, crazy practical jokes though.”

JJ: Nicholas told us that the brains he had to eat on set were like a peachy-cake. Did you get to try them at all?

TP: “I did! I got to try them for the first time at a parody shoot we did to promote the movie a few weeks ago. It was really mango-y! It was jelly-like, and it had sugar in it, and it tasted like fresh mangos. I could have eaten the entire brain, it was that delicious!”

JJ: Do you think you could ever fall in love with a zombie, like Julie does?

TP:” If the zombie is as sweet, and endearing, and as caring, and humble as R then absolutely. He also had amazing taste in music, he doesn’t talk back, and he’s a great listener! So, for all those reasons I think it could be a possibility!”

JJ: If the zombie apocalypse were to actually happen that you would survive it?

TP: “Yeah, I think so. I think I have an upper hand because I’ve been in Warm Bodies, and I got to learn how to shoot guns – I’m pretty good with a shotgun now! I think I would probably pretend to be a zombie. I think that would be my number one tactic, to zombify it up. Do hair and make-up in the mornings, go out and pretend to hunt for humans, and then go back to my lair and eat my tin food and listen to music. I would play make believe in order to survive!”

JJ: Did you go through a lot of training to learn how to shoot the shotgun?

TP: “I actually just built upon the training I had for I Am Number Four. I kept learning martial arts, and I did a lot of weight training, and then I’d go to the gun range and learn how to shoot. I had to learn how to put together a gun, load it, then pull it apart again, and do it with my eyes shut. Just getting used to handling the weapon and getting really comfortable with it. It’s fun! These are all the wonderful things you get to pick up as an actor, you get to learn all of these new skills. It’s one of the perks of doing what we do.”

JJ: Are you into the zombie craze at all?

TP: “I love zombie movies! I’m a huge fan of Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, I thought that was an incredible film. It’s very gritty and realistic. I also love Zombieland, because it interjects a sense of humor into the zombie genre. I think that’s what Warm Bodies does, and then it takes it a step further by adding the romantic element. I do love that zombie culture is almost like social commentary. It’s really important to be a part of something that has a message like this.”

JJ: What’s next for you once you’re done promoting Warm Bodies?

TP: I have a movie with Terrence Malick called Knight of Cups coming out. I don’t know when, and I don’t really know much about the story because it’s true Terrence Malick style and the story has been kept under wraps, and a lot of it is improvised. That was the greatest filmmaking experience that I’ve ever had. I also worked on a film called Parts Per Billion with Josh Hartnett and Rosario Dawson. Then there’s a film I’m working on called the Fun in Forever, it’s directed by Mark Webber. It’s a fantastic piece. It’s about the breakdown of a marriage, and a lot of it is improvised. I just started shooting that, and I get to film at my family home in Adelaide! We’re bringing a lot of real elements to the movie, and incorporating real members of my life and my family and my friends. It’s a really interesting experimental film.

JJ: Is there anyone specific you would love to work with in the future?

TP: Cate Blanchett. She’s in Knight of Cups, but we don’t have any scenes together. I think she’s a real chameleon, and she is just a true icon in Australia. I think if I had the chance to work with her it would be the best acting class ever!

JJ: Last but not least, do you have a dream role in mind – anything specific you would really like to take on?

TP: Something very gritty and layered and dynamic. My favorite role to date, which has already been on screen, was Alice from Closer. I love that play, I think it’s a complex character, it’s all very layered and grounded in reality. Natalie Portman was phenomenal in that film. If I could find a character in that same vein, I would be very excited!

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It’s something casting directors have clearly tapped into: some of her most memorable roles include a mermaid (H20: Just Add Water), a witch (The Secret Circle) and a werewolf (The Vampire Diaries, for which she’s won a following in the US).

She also starred in Home and Away, Packed to the Rafters and cult feature film Tomorrow, When the War Began, as well as last year’s shark tale, Bait.

“I really love playing strong, ballsy characters, whether on television or film,” she says. “It’s strange, I used to only get cast as the naive girl next-door, but then something happened and now the only call-backs I get are, like, the vixen or the mistress … the ones that cause trouble. Something happened when I turned 21.” She lets out a laugh.

Tonkin lives in LA, but is keen to return to Australia for work: “Being US-based is great, and we have a bit of an Aussie crew,” she says of mates such as Teresa Palmer (with whom she started wellness website yourzenlife.com), “but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t come home. I would love to do more work in Australia there. I’d jump at the chance to come back.”

Buy the February issue of Harper’s BAZAAR to read the full Young Actor’s Portfolio