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Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging - Eleanor Tomlinson, Georgia Henshaw and Manjeeven Grewal interview

Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging

Interview by Rob Carnevale

ELEANOR Tomlinson, Georgia Henshaw and Manjeeven Grewal discuss snogging, acting, dream co-stars and making new friends as part of the experience of making Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging.

Q. Had you read any of Louise Rennison’s novels before being cast?
Manjeeven Grewal: I’d read one but that was after the audition. Prior to that I thought it might be a bit rude… but it looked good. When I read it I realised it wasn’t that rude at all, it was sort of like a teenage diary. And I thought: “Oh my gosh, it would be amazing if I’m in that!”

Eleanor Tomlinson: I remember being sat in my agent’s office and she was saying to me: “Eleanor, I think you should audition for this film that’s coming up. It’s got kind of a risque name, a strange title…” [Laughs] So, I auditioned and read the first book and then I just kept reading them. I think they’re brilliant. Louise is just a genius.

Georgia Henshaw: I don’t read at all, which is probably the worst thing you can say to a journalist who writes for a magazine [laughs]! I do read magazines with shocking titles and celebrity gossip but nothing intellectual. But my mum did actually buy me the book one Christmas before we got the auditions and I actually read it and actually enjoyed it! So, when I met Louise I said: “Well done because you’ve actually made me read a book.”

Q. How similar are the books to your own experiences of growing up?
Georgia Henshaw: They’re really good actually, especially The Ace Gang. The characters are so bonded but they’re four very different girls. There’s a naive one, a confident one, a party girl and then more kind of dreamy character. Teenage girls are so different from one another but I think there’s got to be at least one character which they can relate to.

Q. How do you behave when you fancy someone? Are you dreamy, or like your characters in any way?
Eleanor Tomlinson: I am [dreamy]. It’s funny, I sort of go a bit giggly and stupid. I tend to walk into things and fall over [laughs]. It’s all very funny.

Georgia Henshaw: I try my best to impress. I like funny boys. That’s the best thing about someone… if they’re funny. So I just try and make people laugh.

Manjeeven Grewal: I’m not like my character. I’ve never had a boyfriend before and my first kiss was on-screen.

Q. On-screen was your first kiss?
Manjeeven Grewal: With Tommy [Bastow], yes. It wasn’t awkward so much, but we wound them up so much. I think on the day I was just sitting there going: “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!” There were so many different takes, though, that I think I psyched myself up over nothing. There wasn’t that much to it, actually. It was alright.

Q. So, Georgia and Eleanor, how was your first snog?
Georgia Henshaw: Mine wasn’t a typical walking on the beach, strawberries and whipped cream… no, it was a bit rubbish to be honest. I think everyone’s is. You never get it like films, do you? That’s why it’s nice watching a film and to be in a film, to experience an amazing kiss [laughs].

Eleanor Tomlinson: Mine was just funny [laughs awkwardly]. The guy was just really sweet but I’m not going to go into the details. It was just sweet and innocent.

Q. There’s a reference to you being like Keira Knightley in the film and it’s been mentioned that you could follow in her footsteps. Would you aspire to be like her?
Eleanor Tomlinson: Absolutely, yeah. I think she’s done really well. I loved Atonement and I think her acting was really amazing in it. And to star with James McAvoy… wow. What I wouldn’t give [laughs]. But I think she’s done so well and I’d love to be like her.

Q. Manjeeven, is it true your friends in real-life with Georgia Groome?
Manjeeven Grewal: Yeah, I’ve known her for eight years and we’re quite close mates now because we see each other every Sunday at her mum’s drama school. But because of the film we’ve got quite close now and we chill out at the drama place.

Q. Was it fun to act alongside her?
Manjeeven Grewal: Yeah, for both of us it was just really nice because we’ve known each other for a long time.

Q. Georgia Groome appears in the opening scene dressed as a stuffed olive. What’s the worst fashion faux par you girls have made in real life?
Georgia Henshaw: When I was younger my mum did used to dress me deliciously! Really very ’80s and lots of spandex, maybe a baggy orange jumper.

Manjeeven Grewal: I think I dressed up as a frog before…

Eleanor Tomlinson: I used to go to all my mates’ homes and we used to have fancy dress parties… but like way over the top. I remember going as Pocahontas and we made platted bits of string that were hanging from me on my blonde hair. I was wearing tights, but they were too big and they were all wrinkled at the bottom. I looked like some old person. It was really bad.

Manjeeven Grewal: I’ve appeared in a lot of shows as well, so I’ve dressed up as a frog, a robin, mice… for my school plays. I was a carpet! I laid flat on the floor and I had some cool hemming at the side.

Georgia Henshaw: I went to a fancy dress party as urban Rambo. I had extensions and big tracksuit bottoms.

Q. How did hanging out with those guys for so long change your perception of boys? Or did it?
Eleanor Tomlinson: To me, it just actually made them more human. It sounds really weird. But before, I was really kind of quiet and nowhere near as confident as I am now. If I was in a room with a boy I’d literally go and crawl in a corner and hide. But now we’re all just really good mates because they are all actually human and not some weird aliens… even though they are a bit strange. So, it was really cool to work that closely with some really great people.

Georgia Henshaw: I’ve always got on with boys better than girls really….

Manjeeven Grewal: Me too. I don’t know why. But I think you can just have a laugh with them. Girls do actually bitch quite a lot, whereas boys don’t. They just don’t gossip as much.

Georgia Henshaw: I found it crazy that some of my girl friends at school weren’t going to lunch because they didn’t want to eat in front of a boy. I thought: “What?” I find that attitude so stupid because I can completely be myself in front of them. Some girls get up and they’re like: “They can’t see me without my make-up and hair done!” But I just get up and it’s like: “Alright…”

Q. But when you do like a boy, do you understand them or analyze everything they say?
Eleanor Tomlinson: Since I’ve done the film I’ve just been ten times more natural around guys whether I fancy them or not. That’s really cool because instead of being mega flirty and the whole hair twiddling thing, it actually works just to be their friends.

Q. We have to ask, thongs or big pants?
Collectively: Thongs!

Georgia Henshaw: But not if you bend over and you have it halfway up your back!

Q. How was working with Steve Jones? Did you have a huge crush on him beforehand?
Eleanor Tomlinson: I didn’t know who he was, to be honest. My mum had got the worst hangover in history and she turned up on set and saw him and said: “Oh my God, Eleanor, I think that might be the guy playing your boyfriend!” I was like: “God, I wish.” And then Sean [Bourke] turned up and I was like: “Hmm!” [Laughs] I wasn’t really…

Georgia Henshaw: I saw 100 Things To Do Before You’re 30, which he did, and there were some quite bad things to do in there. So the first time I met him I was like: “I know you!” He was like: “Oh, do you now?” And I said: “Yeah, I know you more than you’ll ever know.” But he’s such a good laugh and such a nice man. My mum loved him. Actually, I’ve just done an interview with a local newspaper and I told them this… my mum really wanted a picture of him and he has to do a topless scene. So, I went over to the dressing room [on the day] and said: “My mum really wants a picture of you…” So, he went to put his shirt back on and I said: “Leave it off! Leave it off!” We got it and it’s in a little frame just on the side in my house. But in the newspaper it said “Georgia’s mum really fancied Steve and they’ve got a framed picture hanging in their house…” I was like: “Oh no!” I hope Steve hasn’t read that. It was embarrassing.

Q. You mentioned James McAvoy earlier, but you’ve starred with Edward Norton in The Illusionist and – recently – Andy Serkis and David Tennant in Einstein and Eddington. What were they like?
Eleanor Tomlinson: All of them are just brilliant. David Tennant is just so funny. It’s really hard to get through a scene without laughing. Andy Serkis is just so sweet, when he did his Gollum impersonation he’s just brilliant. He’s a genius, he really is, and I really respect him as an actor. Edward Norton, once you get to know him, he’s just fantastic. He really looked after me on The Illusionist, so it was great.

Q. You played Jessica Biel’s younger self in the film. How was she?
Eleanor Tomlinson: She was really, really nice… lovely. And to look like her… I was like “wow”. That was pretty cool.

Q. Shia LaBeouf once said that it still blew his mind to think he can refer to Harrison Ford as Harrison, or Steven Spielberg as Steve… is that something you’ve found?
Eleanor Tomlinson: No, it really doesn’t bother me because I sort of know them… and we’re friends off the screen. So, it’s good that we sort of have that friendship where we call each other by our first names, rather than Edward Norton.

Q. What would you say is the hardest thing about being a teenager?
Eleanor Tomlinson: Parents and their rules. Things like: “No, you can’t go out, you’ve got to do your homework.”

Manjeeven Grewal: My parents are fine. They don’t have any rules really. She’ll let me go out with my friends but will say just be back by a certain time. She’s not strict or anything. I just know when I’ve got to be back. If anything, I’m more worried than her. Why my mum goes out I’m like: “OK, but be back at 9pm!” [laughs]

Georgia Henshaw: The worst thing is I just want to be 18. I want to be able to just go partying and stuff. I’m so ready.

Read our review of Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging

Read our interview with Georgia Groome and Aaron Johnson

  1. Eleanor is going to be a big star. But her own star, not someone who follows Keira (as great as she is too)!

    Alex    Jul 26    #
  2. OMG i love Eleanor shes sooooooooo pretty and talented i love her in angus thongs and perfect snogging shes brill i love her character jas shes soooooooooo cool and i like her more cz she gets with tom(sean) cz hes HOTT!!! they look cute together xxx

    Hannah Jane Tucker    Aug 2    #
  3. Woow Eleanor is pretty she is a great actress and would be a good friend

    cherisse    Aug 5    #
  4. What else has Georgia Henshaw been in ??

    luucy .x    Aug 6    #
  5. I so wish I could meet the cast of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. Especially Manjeeven, we are so alike.

    Felicity    Aug 9    #
  6. Where was Georgia's purple dress from at the birthday party ?

    Toni    Aug 10    #
  7. Georgia Henshaw is soooo great wooo… I'm sooo like her except she's got super nice hair! Mine's average

    Alix    Aug 12    #
  8. Georgia Henshaw has also been in Casualty and The Bill (i think) and i agree, Eleanor is really pretty! You wouldn't think they were all 16, 17 and Aaron's 18. I thought they were at least 14, 15, 16 lol

    KatieC    Aug 13    #