By Danny Peary

In The Nice Guys, young Australian actress, Angrourie Rice, plays the keenly intelligent, hilariously precocious Holly, who plays unwanted sidekick to her single father and hapless private investigator, Holland March (Ryan Gosling), who is forced into working with Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), a hired hard-man, to solve the case of a missing girl (Margaret Qualley) and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. Set in the seventies and directed by Shane Black (Iron Man 3, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), The Nice Guys has turned out to be a near star-making role for Angourie Rice, who has also starred in Nowhere Boys: The Book Of Shadows, and will be next be seen in Jasper Jones, the highly anticipated Australian drama from director, Rachel Perkins (Bran Nue Dae), before joining the youthful cast of Marvel Studios and Sony’s sure-to-be-huge superhero flick, Spider-Man: Homecoming. FilmInk spoke with the actress right in the middle of production on the Georgia set of The Nice Guys

Ryan Gosling and Angourie Rice
Ryan Gosling and Angourie Rice

Introduce us to who your character is in the movie. “I play Holly, and she’s the daughter of Holland March, who’s played by Ryan Gosling. She helps out, and she’s thirteen. She knows what to do. I think she’s the brains behind it all [Laughs]. I think she’s like the puppeteer in everything! She knows what’s going on.”

Then you’re the main character! “No, I don’t think she’s the main character – I just think she has the power!”

Do you think you’re providing a special ingredient to the movie? “I hope so! There are a lot of men in this film, and I’m the youngest, and one of the only two females, so I think it’s good.”

How does the relationship between you and Ryan play out? “The relationship is really important. It’s a big part of the story because they’ve both very protective. March wants to protect his daughter, and Holly wants to protect him as well. He’s going out in gun fights and getting shot and all of these crazy things, and she wants to help out with everything, as well.”


What’s your acting background? “I grew up in the theatre, backstage, because my mother is a playwright and my dad directs theatre. And in Australia, the TV and theatre community is small, so they had friends who are agents and actors, and I got an agent when I was about six. I did my first short film when I was seven, and I kept on doing small Australian stuff. I got a role in an Australian film called These Final Hours when I was 11. That film went to Cannes, and that was when I got my American agent, and that’s how I got this role.”

This is very dark movie, and it’s set in a dirty world – do you like the material? “That’s a good question…I’m not sure. It’s interesting to play, and because I never find myself in these situations where I’m held at gunpoint or there’s a fight going on with guns, it’s really interesting to watch and to see how it would be done in the real world and how they actually do it in film. But I’ve never done any comedy for some strange reason. I don’t know why…it just didn’t come up!”

Angourie Rice and Shane Black
Angourie Rice and Shane Black

How does Shane Black work with the actors? “I don’t have that much experience with American directors; this is only the second American director that I’ve worked with. But it’s very, very personal, and he’ll make interesting suggestions. He’ll say, ‘Look, just play it how you think it should be played.’ Then he’ll give direction if he thinks it’s needed, or he’ll give suggestions, and it’s great because he’s open to suggestions from everyone. It’s interesting and a lot of fun.”

How is it being on an American set? “I have two people who always follow me around [Laughs]. Legally, they have to. I have my mother, and Maura, my studio teacher. It’s very different. There are so many more people on an American set. There are two people for everything, and I never know who’s doing what. It’s very confusing and very big and I don’t know half the people, but it’s interesting to just sit back and observe everything and see what’s going on.”

Do you understand every word that you’re saying in the script? “Yeah, I don’t swear in real life, but all my friends do, and I don’t like it when they do. I tell them that. If you’re going to swear, you shouldn’t do it over and over again, because then the word loses it meaning. You should not swear, and then when you really feel like you need to swear, it’ll have all that power.”

Does it help having Russell Crowe on set? Does it make you less homesick? “In a way, yes. It’s good to have the accent hanging around, and all the stunt guys are mainly Australian and from New Zealand. So it’s good to hear the accent once in a while, and to make sure that I don’t lose it. I brought Vegemite over, and I’m bringing all sorts of strange pronunciations and strange words here that nobody has ever heard before….”

The Nice Guys is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital. Make sure to check out FilmInk’s interviews with star, Ryan Gosling, and director, Shane Black.


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