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Hello, everyone! We’ve gotten our first real photoshoot of the year and Phoebe looks stunning! Enjoy!

photoshoots > 2018 > session 02

It was New Year’s Day last year, when actress Phoebe Tonkin set herself a very specific career goal. “I wanted to work in Australia on a project with a social conscience, and with extreme beauty maestro [director] Glendyn Ivin.”

Just a few months later, at 5am in Paris, a very jet-lagged Phoebe answered the phone to hear she’d booked a lead role in Safe Harbour, the new SBS drama about asylum seekers directed by Ivin. It was a job that “perfectly encompassed” that New Year ambition. “Manifest away my friends, and don’t be ashamed to dream, there’s still some witch left in all of us,” the 28-year-old told her 4½ million Instagram followers.

A psychological thriller, Safe Harbour couldn’t be more different from The Originals, the American vampire series Phoebe has spent the last five years filming in Atlanta. And it’s a world away from H20: Just Add Water, the Channel Ten kids show that first brought Phoebe to the attention of audiences – and for which she’s probably still best known here.

Phoebe is now counting on Safe Harbour to transform perceptions of her, so she can break out of her fantasy-character niche and firmly establish herself as a serious actor at home and abroad. “I have high hopes that this show will reintroduce me, especially into the Australian industry, as a different actress than maybe I was expected to be,” she tells me, curled up in jeans and a black cardigan in an inner-Sydney studio, her hair still damp and her face free of make-up. “I’ve been really dying to work in Australia for a very long time.”

Safe Harbour is an expression of Phoebe’s deeper, political self – yet on the surface she appears very much an It Girl. She grew up in Mosman, on Sydney’s lower north shore, and attended exclusive all girls’ school Queenwood, swimming at Balmoral Beach across the road every morning. Her mother ran the local toy store and her dad has his own travel business. Her younger sister, Abby, works in finance and lives in New York.

While Phoebe says the Tonkin family are “brainy and nerdy” rather than creative types, they are serious movie buffs. A childhood ritual was heading to the cinema together every Thursday night to see the latest release. “I grew up feeling like the cinema was a really special experience [but] I was kind of like the black sheep, the fact that I actually went into the industry,” she says.

Capitalising on her super-fine bone structure, pronounced pout and leggy gait, Phoebe has a well-developed side hustle as a model: she’s an ambassador for Chanel, and has starred in advertising campaigns for the likes of Aussie swimwear brand Matteau and LA denim label Frame. Yet she confesses she was self-conscious growing up. “I was shy, I was always just a little aw-w-w-kward,” she says slowly, drawing out the adjective. “I’m probably still awkward.”

She found a respite from these feelings in acting, joining Australian Theatre for Young People at 12, where she met a bunch of like-minded teens. “Acting felt like something that was my own, it was like this secret community of other quirky kids that I could spend time with over the holidays and after school. It was this really nice escape for me.”

Someone suggested to Phoebe’s mother that she get an agent, which quickly led to an audition for Home and Away. Phoebe missed out on that part, but landed the next – playing Cleo, a teenage girl who turns into a mermaid, on H20. “I didn’t have too long to decide what I was going to do for the rest of my life,” she laughs.

Phoebe had just turned 16 when she she got the role and within a week she had quit school and was on set on the Gold Coast. Three seasons of H20 led to her film debut in the screen adaptation of John Marsden’s young adult novel Tomorrow, When the War Began. Phoebe then moved to LA in her early 20s to chance her luck at pilot season, and quickly scored a role in The Secret Circle, playing a young witch. She was hailed the breakout star of the show, and subsequently cast as a secret werewolf in The Vampire Diaries, before taking a lead part in its spin-off, The Originals.

television productions > safe harbour > screencaps > episode three

Episode four airs on March 28th at 8:30pm on SBS.

The truth leads to danger, as Ismail – blinded by grief – tries to get retribution, leading to a final confrontation and the possibility of new beginnings.

After searching what feels like forever, I finally found Phoebe’s episodes of Packed to the Rafters in higher quality. Make sure to clear your cache if the replacement images do not appear. Hope you all enjoy!

television productions > guest appearances > packed to the rafters > 2×13 – blurring the lines screencaps
television productions > guest appearances > packed to the rafters > 2×14 – first instinct screencaps
television productions > guest appearances > packed to the rafters > 3×10 – out of the comfort zone screencaps

The young Aussie relishes the chance to step away from fantasy TV and star in something ripped from the headlines.

Phoebe Tonkin is relishing the chance to play normal. The 28-year-old Aussie has spent the past seven years acting in US supernatural dramas The Secret Circle, The Vampire Diaries, and most notably, The Originals.

Safe Harbour couldn’t be more different – no spells, no fangs, no green screen, no special effects.

“Safe Harbour is much more grounded than my other recent shows and that means the style of acting is really naturalistic,” Tonkin says.

“It is a completely different world to The Originals, which is very heightened. That is a fantasy and a big beast. We have done five seasons. You get to a point where everyone knows what they are doing and it is a well-oiled machine.”

Safe Harbour could have been ripped from the headlines. Ryan and Bree Gallagher (Ewen Leslie and Leeanna Walsman) have bought a second-hand yacht in Darwin and invited a group of friends, including Ryan’s sister Olivia (Tonkin) and boyfriend Damien (Joel Jackson) as well as friend Helen (Jacqueline McKenzie) for a boating holiday. After less than a day’s sailing, a broken down and leaking fishing boat appears on the horizon and the group realizes that is overloaded with asylum-seekers.

Do they help or not? After a heated discussion, Ryan decides to tow the beleaguered boat towards Indonesia but by next morning, after a severe storm, the boat is missing.

It isn’t until five years later, when Ryan steps into a taxi driven by one of the refugees, Ismail Al-Bayati (Hazem Shammas) that the truth behind the disappearance is revealed – someone cut the rope, but who? Tragically, some of the refugees drowned.

It is a set-up that will remind some viewers of The Slap when Harry (Alex Dimitriades) hits another couple’s young child and the relationship between the characters is forever changed.

“It is the rippled effect of something (cutting the rope) that is almost a split-second decision – how big an impact that can have on your life and even strangers’ lives,” Tonkin says. “That is what I think is so interesting about the series. It asks a lot of questions of the audience. All of the characters represent a different point of view and a different perspective.”

Olivia and Damien’s relationship has disintegrated in the five years since the asylum-seeker incident but now they are forced to confront the ramifications of what happened that night.

“Olivia undergoes the biggest difference (during the five years) of any of the characters,” Tonkin says. “When we see her on the yacht she is very light-hearted. She is in love. She relies heavily on her boyfriend and her brother. She grew up without parents so really her family is the people on the boat.”

“When you find her five years down the track you realise she is harbouring a lot of guilt and anger and there is a of ugliness in her. There is resentment about how drastically her life has changed because of what happened on the boat. The consequences really affected Olivia and her emotional state.”

“There are scenes with Joel where we are very close and love each other dearly and then we have to play against that when we see each other (after five years).”

Producer Stephen Corvini is thrilled Tonkin returned home to be part of Safe Harbour.

“I wanted to get a diverse cast that didn’t really know each other,” Corvini says. “It was important for them not to be too friendly in a show like this. It was also great to give opportunities to Arabic Australian actors (Shammas as well as Nicole Chamoun who plays Ismail’s wife Zhara, Yazeed Daher as the couple’s son Asad and Robert Rabiah as brother Bilal) who typically get roles that are thugs or terrorists.”

The Originals comes to an end this season but Tonkin has already booked herself a guest role on acclaimed US drama The Affair. But if Tonkin gets her way she will be doing more work in Australia as well.

“(Success in Hollywood) has definitely required patience and perseverance,” Tonkin says. “There have been lulls (between jobs) but I’ve been luckier than most because I’ve worked pretty solidly the whole time I’ve been there.”

“I’ve just take take opportunities as they have come and doing a job like this (Safe Harbour) reignites the excitement.”

“What we are exploring is very real and very current. I did a lot of research on the refugee crisis. This has been a passion project for everyone and it has been really exciting to be part of that.”

Source: Herald Sun