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Every Day's Angourie Rice on gender identity, Spider-Man and being a Harry Potter fangirl

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Apr 20, 2018

Angourie Rice is a growing star in Hollywood thanks to her breakout performance playing Ryan Gosling's daughter in The Nice Guys. Since then she's appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Betty Brant, but now she's taking the lead in teen romantic drama Every Day.

Based on David Levithan's young adult novel of the same name, the movie follows Rice's Rihannon, a 16-year-old dealing with problems at home after her father has a nervous breakdown, as well as with a boyfriend who takes her for granted. Then she encounters A, a mysterious spirit who inhabits a different body every 24 hours, and the pair embark on a romantic journey of self-discovery.

FANGRRLS chatted to Angourie about the film, which opens in the UK today, as well as gender identity and what she fangirls over.

Have you seen Being John Malkovich? Because the concept is kind of similar.

I haven’t, but I’ve seen some excerpts of it!

Oh, you should see the full film. It’s such a mad concept, as is Every Day. What would you do if you actually woke up in a random person’s body?

I think I’d freak out! It’s a very strange concept to get your head around. I honestly don’t think I’d handle it very well at all.

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Angourie Rice and Justice Smith star in Every Day

If you could choose, though, are there any people you’d like to have a whirl round in for 24 hours?

My answer would actually be my dog. I don’t know how that would work with it all, but I think it would so interesting to be into the mind of my dog and I think I would learn so much from it. My dog is actually sitting on my bed right now and she looks so cute and I want to know what she is thinking.

One of the main questions the film asks and answers is about gender identification as A goes into male and female bodies. Has that made you think about the wider discussion of gender fluidity and labels?

Definitely, I think that’s one of the main themes of the films. It raises a question: who is someone, if they don’t have gender and don’t have family history, race or class? How does that affect someone and how does that affect their place in the world? I think this is a really interesting exploration of that, and for me, there are certain labels that I used to define myself. I say I am a woman and that’s part of who I am, but the interesting thing is that A doesn’t have that. It’s asking important questions and I do think it’s making the audience think about gender and identity. It suggests that it’s not binary; gender isn’t binary, it’s a spectrum.

So how was the experience of shooting a film like Every Day compared to a massive Marvel movie like Spider-Man: Homecoming?

Being on a set of a Marvel film was like being on the set of a theme park, like a really secretive theme park, and you couldn’t take photos or tell anyone you were there. It was huge and full of people, the sets were massive and just production itself was on a massive scale. Every Day was a lot smaller and the roles are very different because I had a tiny role on Spider-Man, and Every Day, I was literally working every single day. Every Day was a lot more stressful because I had to put a lot of time into my work and the only day that I had off was weekends.

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Angourie played Betty Brant in Spider-Man: Homecoming

Your character, Betty Brant, is a real Marvel Comics character so did you read up on all the comic books that she appears in?

I didn’t really. My dad collects comics though from the '50s and '60s and the ones he collects are actually teen romance, the Betty and Veronica ones, so he collects some of the chick lit, old comics and I actually have boxes of them in my room. So they’re the ones I read, I love them and love their outfits and think they’re really cute. I never read any superhero comics, maybe I should.

Are there plans for you to return in the Spider-Man sequel?

Yeah, I don’t know. We’ll see.

So as we’re SYFY FANGRRLS, we'd like to know what you fangirl over.

I fangirl over Harry Potter! I’m a huge fan. When I was doing press in the US we went to Universal Studios and went to Harry Potter World and it was the best thing ever. We recently did Harry Potter pub trivia, it was me, my 14-year-old sister and her 13-year-old friend, against all these mid-20-year-olds who had grown up with the books. It went really late on into the night but we were so proud that we actually won! That was the best.

If they did a Harry Potter reboot, which character would you like to audition for?

I would love to play Hermione but I also think it would be really awesome if a person of color played her, like in the play, like in a reboot of the film. So, in that case, I’d probably like to play McGonagall. I also think it would be fun to be Dumbledore, I don’t know, I think that would be ace.

Every Day is out in UK cinemas now and out on DVD and Blu-ray June 5.