Did you read the book(s) prior to filming?
Phoebe Tonkin: I read them in high school, at school camp.
Deniz Akdeniz: I was 12 and my brother handed them to me and said “read these”. They were great, I loved them.
Do you think that because you had read the books, they helped you in developing your character?
Phoebe Tonkin: Definitely. The books are so descriptive, even physically the way that John Marsden has written these books is great, the imagery is just beautiful especially with the settings and when the characters speak. We were very lucky because we had a lot to go off.
Deniz Akdeniz: It was great research material, the script in itself was great for everything and then the book complemented it. I got one or two ideas from the book itself. Stuart Beattie’s was a very faithful adaptation; again it is a unique thing.
Do you think that you had read the books it inspired you to audition for the film?
Deniz Akdeniz: Yes, however, I would have done it, regardless.
Phoebe Tonkin: It is a great story. When I got the script I was so excited to be apart of this, I wanted to read for any character. I initially went for Robyn and I was called back as Fi. To get any role in this film is a dream.
Deniz Akdeniz: It does help, it being a childhood fantasy.
Phoebe, can you talk a little bit about changing your appearance to look like Fi?
Phoebe Tonkin: I was very much for (changing my appearance); it was just a part of turning into this character. Fi is blonde. A lot of people were very angry that I was cast as Fi because I was brunette, it’s not that hard to dye my hair!
How else did you guys get into your characters; Fi and Homer?
Deniz Akdeniz: I got cast two weeks before rehearsal started, so I didn’t have a lot of time, I had to rush a lot of work in. I spoke to a lot of friends of mine, that are Greek, first generation, and spoke to mates of mine who are farm boys to find out what it is like to work on a farm; it is very hard and I am thankful I didn’t grow up on a farm.
We did a lot of work on characters and improvisation.
Phoebe Tonkin: I went to deportment classes with a woman who teaches at the Miss Australia pageants, which was crazy. I learnt how to walk with a book on my head and not to slouch.
Deniz Akdeniz: We did a lot of improvisation together, so we all helped each other, throughout the whole process, to flesh out our characters.
Homer is quite a laid-back character, are you like this in real life Deniz?
Deniz Akdeniz: I share the same sense of humor as Homer does, but I don’t think I am as much of a troublemaker, as he is.
Phoebe Tonkin: Obviously you always put a part of yourself into the characters you play. I don’t think I am as prissy and sheltered as Fi is (laughing) Deniz thinks I am!
Deniz Akdeniz: (laughing) I didn’t say anything, promise I didn’t say anything!
Phoebe Tonkin: What is true is our friendships, we are really genuinely good friends, offset and we are good friends in the film.
Published August 25th