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Taking a break from filming new supernatural drama series Bloom, Phoebe Tonkin talks outgrowing fantasy roles, the positive power of social media and becoming a professional Cinderella.

Phoebe Tonkin is sipping a ghee coffee and nibbling a banana muffin at The Roadhouse, a rustic coffee shop in Byron Bay, when BAZAAR calls. “My dad lives here and I’m visiting,” the Los Angeles-based Australian actor says. “I’ve been in Melbourne the past couple of weeks and it’s not the greatest weather over there right now, so I wanted to come here to go swimming, enjoy some sun and just hang out.”

The relaxed, sunny vibe of Byron Bay’s hipster wholefoods scene is about as far away as you can get from the project Tonkin has been working on in Melbourne: a dark supernatural drama series called Bloom. The 29-year-old stars alongside two-time Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver, Bryan Brown and Ryan Corr (Holding the Man, Hacksaw Ridge) in the six-part Stan original. The story is set in a country town, one year after a devastating flood has killed five locals. Survivors have discovered five mysterious plants growing where their neighbours drowned, each producing berries that have the power to restore youth. But there’s a catch. The renewed vitality is fleeting, so the town must protect their supply at all costs. Tonkin is calling it “a grounded, dark fairytale”. “Even though there is an element that is not of this world, everything from the relationships to the characters feels very real and relatable,” she explains. “It’s still very Australian, but I think it’s something that will also do very well internationally.”

Helmed by acclaimed American director John Curran (Tracks, Chappaquiddick, Praise), Bloom taps into the global sci-fi zeitgeist — think series such as Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Incorporated, Dark and Altered Carbon — making it one of the most buzzed-about debuts of the year. “It poses really interesting questions about our desires and vitality: what are the costs? What would you sacrifice?” Tonkin continues. “It asks things we need to ask ourselves every day about the way we consume, the way we use social media, the people we look up to and whether it’s a very superficial world.”

Read more of the interview at Harper’s Bazaar Australia

A few highlights:
– This was Phoebe’s first convention in Australia.
– Phoebe is still filming Bloom, and expects it to come out at the end of this year.
– She expressed her desire to do period work, though said that Bloom has some period scenes.
– She would really like to work with Reed Morano, Sofia Coppola, and Wes Anderson.
– When asked about Tomorrow When the War Began, Phoebe mentioned that she is still really good friends with Rachel Hurd-Wood and not too long ago met up with her in London.
– When asked what kind of roles Phoebe would like to portray, she said she would like to work in a film that explored a country and culture that is not very well-known to general audiences.
– Thought one of the most fun scenes to film on the Originals was the masquerade because everyone was on set, and she preferred the scenes where all the characters were together.

Phoebe Tonkin on Hayley’s shocking decision in The Originals

The Originals has never shied away from death. After all, its central characters are all technically dead. However, they’re also immortal… or perhaps more accurately, they’re just very difficult to kill. Because as the show has taught us, there are varying levels of immortality. Some vampires — cough, the Mikaelsons — are more difficult to kill than others. And yet, we’ve seen many Mikaelsons fall. More than that, we’ve seen the people they love fall.

As Hayley once said to Elijah after Jackson’s death in season 3, “Loving any of us is a death sentence.” And unfortunately for Hayley, she wasn’t wrong. In the sixth episode of season 5, Hayley allowed a witch to bind her werewolf side, therefore turning her from a hybrid into a regular vampire. (Read: Slightly less immortal.) And when a fight with Greta took a bad turn — Greta literally had her hand on Hayley’s heart — Hayley made a choice. As she looked around the room and saw a defeated Klaus and an unconscious Hope, she knew she had a chance to take out the current threat against her family. So, she ripped off Greta’s finger, the one that had her daylight ring, and then she pulled Greta out into the sunlight. In doing so, Hayley also burned. And that was the end of the immortal Hayley Marshall.

Star Phoebe Tonkin reflected on Hayley’s goodbye in an email interview with EW. “This was Charles Michael Davis’ episode,”> Tonkin said of her costar, who directed the hour. “I love him so much. He’s incredibly focused even though he’s wearing both actor and director hats. And he has a really great knack for giving great direction while still respecting that he’s working alongside us as an actor. I was so grateful to shoot that scene with him. He did it with such grace and sensitivity to an obviously heartbreaking moment.”

Although Tonkin won’t say if we’ve seen the last of her this season — “you’ll have to watch and see” — she was prepared to say goodbye. “Every season we prepare to say goodbye for good as we never know if we will come back for another season or not till very last minute, but knowing this season would be [the end], it definitely made it easier to plan wrap gifts and say proper goodbyes to my buddies who I’ve spent 5 years with,” Tonkin said. “My last scene sadly was at one in the morning, and the core cast weren’t there, nor were some of the main crew members as there were two units shooting that day, so I basically ran around the studio yelling anyone’s name so I could give as many tearful hugs and goodbyes before I left the studio for the last time.”

Homegrown actor Phoebe Tonkin goes through all the steps in her (sort-of) quick morning beauty routine.
For Phoebe Tonkin, star of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, a daytime beauty look begins with glowing skin. First up, she massages in Chanel’s La Solution 10 de Chanel mixed with its Huile de Jasmin Revitalizing Facial Oil for a hydrated base, “especially when I’m travelling or dehydrated or haven’t slept very well.”

Next steps include sunscreen, foundation and concealer—but never too much. “I think it looks a little sexy to look like you’re not entirely well rested,” she says. “Or maybe I’m just justifying, because I naturally have dark circles.”

Glossier’s Boy Brow, an eyelash curler, and a lip stain (be sure to catch her technique here!) follow. Tonkin then reveals the best dry shampoo trick to get that cool-girl hair texture and the final touch that makes her feel fully ready for the day ahead.

Watch Tonkin do her entire routine in under three minutes below, filmed in a suite at Manhattan’s The Whitby Hotel.


Phoebe Tonkin doesn’t have time to think about her wardrobe when she’s traveling the world. She needs an outfit that can take her from the airport to set and then to dinner without a worry, and even if we’re living in envy of her jet set lifestyle, we need that combination of practicality and presentation too.

Rip & Tan: Describe the outfit that makes you feel like the most authentic version of yourself:
Phoebe Tonkin: Vintage Levi’s, a sweater, a pair of flats, and gold hoop earrings.

Rip & Tan: How has your career influenced the way you dress?
Phoebe Tonkin: I definitely tend to favor comfort over anything, especially when I have early call times and I’m working through long days.

Rip & Tan: Consider your favorite item of clothing. What is it that draws you to it? Is it the texture, color, silhouette, its history?
Phoebe Tonkin: My best friend Ilona is a blue jean connoisseur, and for about a year I kept dropping hints about a particular pair of Levi’s until she eventually relented and gave them to me. I protect them like they’re gold. I always pack them in my luggage. Other than that, I have a lot of jewelry that has sentimental value.

Rip & Tan: Are there any women in your life that have given you wisdom on style or dressing? Who are they, and what have you learned from them?
Phoebe Tonkin: Ilona Hamer and Alex Nataf, editors of Unconditional Magazine, totally inspired the way I dress and the way I look at fashion. They favor basic, well-made, classic pieces, and they steer clear of anything trendy.

Rip & Tan: Describe the evolution of your taste over the years. How do you imagine your style changing in the future?
Phoebe Tonkin: My style has definitely changed over the years. I remember when I was younger, I would look at girls who were older than me and I didn’t understand how they just looked effortless. And I realized that style is something that you accumulate…like those jeans I stole from my best friend, the shoes that I’ve been wearing for seven years, the jewelry that I traded with my sister. When you’re younger, you think that being sexy is wearing tight little things, and now I do feel sexiest just when I’m in something really simple and classic, like a T-shirt and a pair of jeans.

Read More of Phoebe’s Interview Here

Homegrown actor Phoebe Tonkin features in Vogue Australia’s latest video, Pillow Talk.

As far as fan interactions go, being spotted by one in a Korean spa is actually rather strange, as Phoebe Tonkin, star of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, can attest. “It was strange because if you’re not familiar with a Korean spa, you are in the nude,” the Australian actor reveals in Vogue Australia’s latest video, Pillow Talk.

Filmed in a suite at Manhattan’s The Whitby Hotel while dressed all in Chanel (save for her Frame jeans), Tonkin shared other little-known facts, such as what makes her cry, the best compliment she’s ever received and the innocent fun she had at her all-girls high school.

Check out our screencaps:

screencaptures > miscellaneous > pillow talk with vogue australia


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.