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Phoebe Tonkin Talks Activism, Acting⁠—And Loving ‘Fleabag’

Interviewed by those who know her best, including friends.

Phoebe Tonkin is a woman with a conscience—and a good friend.

“I’m really lucky that I have some beautiful, wonderful friends and we support each other, and I can’t imagine a world in which we wouldn’t,” Tonkin says. “My friends are a really strong, feisty, supportive, goal-oriented and balanced group of women. They all collectively inspire me in different ways.”

Environmental activism is one of those ways, and it isn’t always easy. Tonkin had to learn pages and pages of dry facts and figures when campaigning with her friend and fellow actor Carson Meyer to encourage the Californian congress to ban an agricultural pesticide that can make children sick. But her efforts paid off, and the chemical was banned.

Tonkin has also worked with the Climate Council, and uses her 5.4 million-strong following on Instagram to spread crucial information on climate change and green activism.

“We are in a climate crisis right now, and there isn’t enough being done,” she says. “It’s too late for small changes—we need to look at bigger ways to make a difference, like pressuring banks to stop investing in coal mines.”

Hello, everyone! Recently, we were able to get our hands on some interviews and featurettes for the Phoebe’s series Bloom! Below you will find the featurette ‘A New Wave of Australian TV’ along with screencaps from the interview and some filming clips.

On our fourth day of Phoebemas, I give to you Grazia upgrades!

As a bonus, I’ve also provided a translation of Phoebe’s online interview with them (well, to the best of my ability…I don’t speak French). Enjoy!

The fifth annual Through Her Lens: Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program, which provides mentorship and financing for female-led short film projects, kicks off Nov. 4-6 in New York. Presented by Chanel and Tribeca Enterprises, along with Pulse Films and Tribeca Film Institute, the program targets U.S.-based female writers and directors.

“Chanel was prescient and there right at the beginning when we created the program six years ago,” Paula Weinstein, CCO of Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival’s executive vp, told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s no new secret that women have been underrepresented as directors and producers and have been paid less as actresses. So we applaud Chanel for having come in before it was a front-page issue and recognizing the importance of supporting women’s voices.”

To show their support, actress-directors Yara Shahidi and Phoebe Tonkin, both advisers to the program, have created videos (shared first exclusively with THR) in which they talk about their own experiences on both sides of the camera. On Monday, the five pairs of female filmmakers and projects selected for the 2019 program, along with this year’s master class leaders, mentors and jury members, were announced.


Phoebe Tonkin had just turned 30 when we spoke on a sweltering hot July day. While this could incite panic in those who fear the dreaded three-oh, Tonkin couldn’t be more excited to enter into this new chapter.

The actress spent her 20s building quite a name for herself in both the U.S. and her homeland of Australia. Having first burst onto the scene in the Australian sitcom H2O: Just Add Water, she gained widespread fame when she landed the role of Hayley on Vampire Diaries, which, in turn, led to a starring role in the spinoff series The Originals. Her latest venture sees her back on Australian television in the drama Bloom. Adding to her roster of acting accomplishments, she’s also been a Chanel ambassador for the last three years.

These successes have garnered her a massive following on social media. Boasting 5.2 million followers on Instagram, Tonkin is ever aware of the influence she has online. She tries to use her social media as a way to call her fans to action, with posts supporting campaigns to save the whales and eliminate the use of plastic water bottles, and, most recently, advocating for gun control in the U.S.

“It just felt very organic to share those things and hopefully inspire other people to educate themselves and use their voice,” Tonkin says. “Just because they don’t necessarily have as big of a platform as I do doesn’t mean they don’t have influence.”

The environment and the protection of marine life are of particular importance to her. This interest in sustainability was one of the many reasons she was drawn to Chanel as a brand. “What a lot of people don’t know [about] Chanel is that it has very discreetly done so much for the arts, as well as the environment,” Tonkin explains. “They’re working on more sustainable choices, which I love.”

Read more of her interview at the source