A gifted man plans and seduces to get into Harvard in “Honor Society”
After playing student reporter Betty Brant in three “Spider-Man” movies, Angourie Rice is playing a character closer to herself in an upcoming comedy flick on Paramount+.
In “Honor Society,” which premieres Friday, the Australian actress is cast in the title role of Honor, a high-achieving high school student who will do whatever it takes to achieve her goal of getting into Harvard. But first she must earn the coveted recommendation from her guidance counselor, Mr. Calvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, “Promising Young Woman”), which hinges on her mid-term success and victory over three other candidates. .
She identifies Michael (Gaten Matarazzo, “Stranger Things”) as her main rival and initiates a plan to undermine this classic braces nerd by inviting him to study with her for exams and activating her own seduction charms to distract him. The only problem is that she falls in love with him.
For Rice, this represents her first starring role, which she jumped to because she felt she had common ground with Honor.
“I saw a portrait of myself reflected on me and who I was in high school,” the 21-year-old actress said with a laugh. “I was a very, very ambitious student, I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well in everything, and I saw that in Honor.
“But I think what I saw in Honor that really struck me,” she continued, “is how unashamed and unashamed she is to pursue this she wants. She lets the audience in on her plan. She’s not ashamed, that she’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen and… it’s something I loved and wanted to play with .
Rice also praises Matarazzo, whom she considers a gem and a pleasure to work with.
“What I loved doing the scenes with him,” she said, “is that there are so many layers in every scene that Honor and Michael have. There are layers of pretending , there are layers of… saying one thing and meaning another thing. There are so many levels in these pushing and pulling scenes with different emotions. So it was so exciting to play with Gaten because he became a very good friend of mine.
After wrapping two months of filming earlier this year in Vancouver, Rice had to decompress from the hectic schedule that required her to be in every scene. But for her, there are remnants of honor.
“I think with any character that I play,” she said, “there are going to be times when I end up carrying a bit of that character with me – something that I learned or something. I identify with, so I feel like it’s not really gone.