EXCLUSIVE: Why Phoebe Tonkin is “really grateful” for her next Australian role

We caught up with the actress on the AACTAs red carpet.
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After rising to fame on Australian screens, Phoebe Tonkin made a name for herself around the world with her role as Hayley Marshall in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Following it up with roles in TV shows like Safe Harbour, The Affair, Westworld and Bloom, Phoebe reveals she’s “so excited” to be appearing in an Australian film.

WATCH: Phoebe Tonkin and Ryan Corr chat to TV WEEK

Transfusion is a Stan Original thriller due out in 2022, starring Sam Worthington – Avatar star and husband to Phoebe’s close friend, Lara Worthington – in the lead role.  

Producer Michael Schwartz called Transfusiona movie that has that special combination of visceral action and achingly beautiful emotion.” 

Phoebe joins Sam in the project alongside Matt Nable, Susie Porter, George Houvardas and Sam Cotton.

“I’m excited, it was so lovely to come back,” Phoebe tells WHO on the red carpet at the AACTAs. “It was a bit of a weird time because it was just when lockdowns were starting again in Sydney, but I was really, really grateful that I still got to film and to be part of that movie.

“It was wonderful, it was such a beautiful film.”

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Phoebe and Lara are close friends. (Credit: Instagram)

Phoebe shot to fame as Cleo in the iconic Australian series H2O Just Add Water and 15 years later, she’s still known for the iconic mermaid character. Thanks, in large part, to TikTok.

The show has become a viral sensation on the social app recently, with fans from all over the world saying “oh no, Cleo!” in their best Aussie accent.

“Yes, I have seen it!” Phoebe tells us of the clips, saying she’s been asked more than once to say the iconic line by a fan.

“The thing is, I’m Cleo! So I’m not the one who ever says ‘oh no, Cleo,’ – so when people are like ‘say Cleo’ I’m like that wasn’t me saying it how she said it, that was Claire [Holt],” the actress says. “So wherever that accent came from, it wasn’t me. It was one of the other mermaids.”

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Phoebe attends the 2021 AACTA Awards. (Credit: Getty Images)

While fans around the world became obsessed with her roles in H20 and The Originals in lockdown, Phoebe tells us she hopped on the Love Island train.

“I got really into Love Island [in lockdown]. I got on the Love Island train – a lot of my Australian friends love it,” she says. “I had not watched any of them, so I was specifically told to watch certain seasons and I got a little unhealthily addicted to that show for a period of time.

“I’ve also been watching Love on the Spectrum, which is beautiful – both seasons, amazing – and I’ve been watching a lot of Marvel movies.”

As for her picks for the AACTA Awards tonight, Phoebe reveals Penguin Bloom holds a special place in her heart. 

“I’m very partial to Penguin Bloom, I just loved that movie. I got to see a very early cut of it and I just loved that movie so that would probably be my favourite pick.”

For the full list of nominees and winners for the 2021 AACTA Awards see here.

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