She’s a

Angourie Rice is the nicest girl in town…
even if she plays a Mean Girl in the movies.

Photographed by: Alexander Saladrigas

Styled by: Marissa Baklayan

Written by: Faran Krentcil


At the end of the new musical Mean Girls, Angourie Rice looks into the camera and surrenders her teen angst into a smile. “Rhinestones don’t shine the way you do,” she sings in the closing girl power anthem,
I See Stars,” continuing, “We are so real. We are so rare.”

The same realness and rareness apply to natural diamonds, of course—and to Angourie Rice herself. She began her “rare” existence as a New Year’s baby, born on January 1 in Sydney, Australia. (Her name, also rare, is taken from a village in New South Wales. “It rhymes,” she says laughing, “with flowery!”) The daughter of a screenwriter and a director, Rice began acting on beloved kids shows like Mako Mermaids before landing Hollywood roles as Ryan Gosling’s daughter in The Nice Guys and Nicole Kidman’s pupil in The BeguiledHer critically acclaimed turn as Kate Winslet’s troubled daughter on Mare of Easttown showed a fierce side of Rice that was as unbreakable as a diamond itself. Now as the star of Mean Girls—the first box office blockbuster of 2024—Rice is proving she’s also a precious gem for fans and industry insiders alike. 

We are so real.
We are so rare.

Rice gets to wear natural diamonds quite a bit more now, too. Her love affair with the stone began in earnest at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017, when she attended alongside Sofia Coppola and Kirsten Dunst“I normally like very simple jewelry, but I understood this was a big deal, so I would need something more dramatic. I wore an Armani gown and these incredible diamond earrings by Chopard,” she says. “They were on loan, and they came with their own security guard! They showed me the earrings, plus a matching bracelet and this incredible ring. I actually love stacking rings in my normal life; some with stones and some not, but this ring was so stunning, it deserved to have its own moment… The earrings were incredible. I felt so glamorous and almost royal.”

With the release of Mean Girls, Rice becomes a different type of royalty—official Spring Fling Queen and unofficial Queen Bee of North Shore High School, ruling lunch tables and keg parties as the nice-girl-turned-usurper Cady Heron. The role has cemented Rice’s status as a new Hollywood ingénue, with a seasoned red carpet stylist (Sarah Slutsky, who also works with Rachel Zegler and Jessica Williams), outfits by runway greats like Thom Browne and Michael Kors, and nearly a million Instagram followers, which Rice cheerfully admits is “still shocking to me.” But despite her steadily climbing career, Rice admits she almost turned down the role of Cady, even though Tina Fey emailed the actress herself to ask if she’d play the part. 

the earrings were incredible. I felt so glamorous and almost royal.

Why the reluctance? Blame another iconic film franchise, Spider-ManRice played a supporting role in the Tom Holland reboots, but despite Marvel’s box office superpowers, “I didn’t really think about how big it would be,” Rice admits. “I was just so excited to be in a great movie! It wasn’t until I got to the premiere that I was like, ‘Oh. Ohhh. This is huge.’ It did feel a little overwhelming.” With Mean Girls, the 23-year-old was more wary. “I knew there would be a lot of eyes on it. And Spider-Man was a very supporting role, but Cady in Mean Girls? That’s a whole different thing.”

Rice asked Team Fey if she could have a week to sing through the movie’s key songs and check out the script. She realized the musical numbers, including a certified bop called “Stupid in Love” that could be an Ingrid Michaelson pop hit on its own, were “so much fun to sing. Like, I’d do them, and I couldn’t stop smiling.” Then Rice took her dog for a walk… and that’s how she ended up as Cady Heron. No, really.

“I promise, I wasn’t telling the whole of Australia that I might be Cady Heron!” she exclaims. “But I love talking to my friends and neighbors about my work, because they have no stake in the film industry. They have no biases against certain studios or directors or anything. They’re just people who live next door, and we walk our dogs together, and I’m like, ‘Well, what if I do Mean Girls?’ And they’re like, ‘You seem to be really excited about it. Why wouldn’t you do it?’ Ultimately, I realized, I was the one keeping myself from a really great adventure. So, I came to my senses and said yes.” 

The experience put Rice alongside Mean Girls’ original superstar, Lindsay Lohan, both figuratively and literally. (In the worst-kept Hollywood secret since Brangelina, Lohan makes a nifty cameo in the movie; she also appeared with Rice at the movie’s 2024 premiere in Manhattan.) “We don’t know each other at all,” Rice insists, “But we’ve been inside the mind of the same character. We’ve dropped ourselves into the same situation—her, me, and Erika [Henningsen, who originated the role of Cady on Broadway]… At some point in our lives, we’ve all answered to the name Cady, which is something that your brain does unconsciously, and sometimes I can’t unwire it for months. When people say Siobhann,” Rice’s character from the acclaimed 2021 drama Mare of Easttown“I still turn around, even though we filmed it two years ago.” Oddly, Rice and Henningson will soon play sisters in the short film Loser. Like natural diamonds, the ties that bind Cady Heron seem to be forever.

Like natural diamonds, the ties that bind Cady Heron seem to be forever

But though she’s famous for being Mean onscreen, it’s all just a (literal) act. During her shoot for Only Natural Diamonds, Rice embodied the “real, rare, responsible” creed and requested that only cruelty-free cosmetics be used on-set, along with solely vegan food and clothes created with ethical practices. “Kindness is always the most important thing,” she says, noting that her red carpet fashion and beauty looks have likewise been carefully chosen with Slutsky to celebrate well-made and long-lasting designs. (She even called her Thom Browne dachshund bag by its puppy name, “Hector.”) 

As we finish our conversation, Rice is wrapping up a week in New York with fellow Mean Girls “Plastics” Reneé Rapp, Avantika Vandanapu, and Bebe Wood. She calls her girl-on-girl crime crew “amazing” and you can tell she truly means it. But when I ask who her rock—or maybe her natural diamond—in Hollywood is, she’s quick to name a mentor from Gen X, not Gen Z. “Jennifer Garner is a total diamond to me,” says Rice, who worked with the movie star in the recent Hulu thriller The Last Thing She Told Me

“You see her on social media and doing all these silly cute videos. But it’s not an act—that’s just who she is! She’s a completely and unabashedly kind and generous person. She’s a mother and a caretaker, to not just me, but everyone around her, but not in a way that was patronizing at all. It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, I’ve been in the industry for so long; let me tell you how it’s done.’ It was like, ‘I want to care for you and support you. But I also understand that you will tell me what you need.’ She also understands the crew members’ jobs in a way that many actors just don’t. She has such respect and appreciation for them, and so much trust in their work. “I just loved working with her so much. She’s a true diamond for sure. We need all of those we can get.”

It’s time for Rice to head to the airport and back to her native Australia, where she’ll soon get to work on her next project—but it’s not a movie. Instead, she’s co-writing her second book with her mother, Kate Rice, a playwright, and screenwriter. Their first young adult novel, Stuck Up and Stupid, debuted in November of 2023; it’s a send-up of Pride and Prejudice set in an idyllic and low-key beach town that’s invaded by vacationing (and high-maintenance) movie stars. “Jane Austen is so conducive to YA, and to stories about Hollywood, because Hollywood is just a place where people are well-known and rich,” Rice says, giggling. “And that’s what Jane Austen’s books are about are about, too!”

“You know, I once saw a meme that was a one-star star review of Pride and Prejudice,” she continues. “It said, ‘One star: This book is just people going to other people’s houses.’ Which is so true. But in my mind, that’s what makes it five stars. That’s the most interesting, fun thing ever. Just go hang out at your friends’ house.” And if you happen to be wearing diamonds… well… Rice won’t mind. She might even write you into her next big Hollywood story.  

Photographer: Alexander Saladrigas
Stylist: Marissa Baklayan
Creative Director: Lizzy Oppenheimer
Hair: Clara Leonard
Makeup: Allie Smith
Manicurist: Jazz Style
Bookings Editor: Glynis Costin
Creative Production: Petty Cash Production
Photo Assistants: Pierre Crosby, Dayana Rivero
Digital Tech: Kevin Lavallade
Fashion Assistant: Kaia Carioli