From climate change to feminism, why we love this down-to-earth Aussie actress
Phoebe Tonkin is like a breath of fresh air. With her porcelain skin and willowy frame she’s the epitome of natural beauty but there’s so much more to this Aussie actress that it’s hard to know where to start. We chatted with Phoebe during her recent visit to Australia, where she was refreshingly open and honest about issues she holds close. From human rights to feminism, her stance on climate change and US politics, it was certainly a departure from the run-of-the-mill celebrity interview.
But what really elevates LA-based Phoebe is the way she has been completely unafraid to use her influence to inspire action.
“If you live on this earth, I think it’s our responsibility to make sure it’s still here for future generations. I think it would be incredibly selfish to think, ‘it’s not going to affect me’ because by the time it does, global warming will truly devastate this world,’’ she says frankly, when we ask her what sustainability means to her.
There’s a lot that Phoebe feels strongly about, and during our chat a common topic we return to is how she sees it as her responsibility to voice her opinion so that others may be inspired to form one of their own.
“I’m fortunate enough to have a lot of lovely people who follow me on Instagram, and it’s nice to at least urge them to have an opinion in general; on everything from politics to equal rights, health and wellbeing of animals, feminism, or whatever it is,’’ she says.
Last year Phoebe used the social platform to urge her US followers to vote in the midterm elections, while back home in Australia she speaks freely about equality and pinpointing the current treatment of refugees as one of many issues she will stand up for. “I think the detainment of refugees is appalling and shocking. I think our time is up for Australia to abolish those sorts of prisons. These people have been there for years and years, and in such horrific conditions,’’ she says.
From appearing on Home and Away to the Vampire Diaries and more recently, Aussie drama, Bloom, somewhere along the way she has gone from teenage actress to global megastar. Along with her mates Margot Robbie and Teresa Palmer she’s part of Chanel’s inner circle, has appeared in fashion shoots for US Vogue and Elle and teamed up with Lara Worthington in Jenni Kayne’s #findyouruniform fashion campaign.
For the last eight years Phoebe has called the US home, the first five in Atlanta during the filming of Vampire Diaries and most recently Los Angeles, where she says her favourite things to do are have dinner parties, cook for friends and take road trips to one of her favourite places, Ojai. “I just kind of hang out,’’ she says.
The native Sydneysider lists fellow actress and aussie Teresa Palmer as one of her great LA mentors, further fueling our impressions of a super-talented posse of like-minded Australian actresses making waves across the Pacific.
“She’s (Teresa) another person that’s really passionate about the environment and making sure her family is aware of the food they eat and where it comes from,’’ she says of her friend who is also the co-founder of Your Zen Mama.