Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging - Georgia Groome and Aaron Johnson interview
Interview by Rob Carnevale
GEORGIA Groome and Aaron Johnson talk about taking the lead roles in Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging and their own past experiences of snogging.
Georgia also discusses why she feels like she’s had to grow up a lot faster than teenagers her own age because of her work in film (she also starred in London To Brighton), while Aaron offers his opinions on achieving sex god status…
Q. Apparently, you were cast as Georgia Nicolson at the second attempt. Were you aware of how exhaustive the search had been?
Georgia Groome: No, I think… I kind of knew after the first audition that I hadn’t got it. I thought: “For every one you get, there’s 30 that you don’t.” So, you have to move on quickly and get on with it. But then it came back and we were like: “What? Surely they’ve made the film and everything by now?” But Gurinder [Chadha, director] had given birth to twins in the meantime and it had all slowed right down, so I was like, “OK”, went in again and it just happened really quickly after that.
Q. Aaron, how does it feel to be called a sex god?
Aaron Johnson: It’s a lot to live up to. I just kind of laugh it off really. I don’t really think about it.
Q. How similar to your characters are you?
Aaron Johnson: Well yes there are similarities I guess. Obviously, Robbie’s a really charming, sensitive, lovely guy and that was my background. But a lot of it reminded me a lot from my school years. But to make him a sex god he couldn’t just be good looking, he had to be really cool, plays the guitar and turns out to be a really sweet, lovely boy who is also really caring. So, we just played around a bit. And I’m obviously such a charmer. I can be like that sometimes.
Q. Georgia, did you identify with the stroppy teenager aspect of your character?
Georgia Groome: I’m a really good teenager I think. I’m quite well behaved for a 16-year-old.
Q. But do you have similar angst-ridden moments when it comes to finding the right clothes to wear and things like that?
Georgia Groome: Not really because I sort of think: “You know what? It doesn’t matter.” There are times when I will dress up, like tonight for the premiere, but there are times when it doesn’t matter. It’s not that I think it’s fake, but I’m not going to go out of my way to be something that I’m not. I do it my own way and that’s how I think I’m similar to Georgia Nicolson – she has her own way of dressing and she listens to whatever kind of music she wants to listen to. She doesn’t do what everyone else is doing.
Q. What about the opening scene when you’re dressed up as an olive? Is that an example of how you do things your own way?
Georgia Groome: Well, I never did that!
Q. What’s the most embarrassing fashion faux par you’ve made?
Georgia Groome: I went to a fancy dress party as a punk. I went through a stage of being a wannabe punk from the ’70s. So, my next-door neighbours were like hardcore punks and I went to see The Vibrators and came home with a T-shirt that said “The Vibrators”. My mum said: “You’re not going out in that!” But I was really into it. I did soon grow out of it. But that’s probably the most embarrassing story I have. I really am just quite normal.
Q. Has anything happened to you like shaving off your own eyebrow?
Georgia Groome: I actually shaved my own eyebrows off when I was 11. My sister started plucking them… she’s 20 now and we fight a lot, like sisters do, but it was all playful. So, we were getting lunch and she said: “I’ll give you a makeover.” She started plucking and then we fell out halfway through, so I’m left kind of lop-sided and I thought I’d finish off myself. I picked up a razor and went straight down the middle! It was really quick and quite painless but I came out and my step-mum was like: “[Gasps] What have you done!” My dad was getting married the next week and in his wedding photos everyone else is really smiling and happy, and I’m like [pulls a pained expression].
Q. Your character, Georgia, has to grow up fast in the film but do you find that you’ve also had to grow up fast because of the time you’ve spent on film sets and balancing a career with schoolwork?
Georgia Groome: Definitely. I think you grow up on every shoot you do. I know on Angus we did the family scenes last in the studio and it was often harder to go back right to the beginning of the film because I grew up a lot doing it. But you do grow up because you’re away from home, you’re not with all of your friends constantly and in that environment you have to be grown up. You’re working with adults and you’re sort of expected to be older and that’s how I like to put myself across. I don’t want to come across as constantly messing about. I mean, we had fun and we shared jokes but we were also quite professional and mature doing it.
Q. On the flipside of that, do you try and find some time for yourself just to be young and flip out a bit?
Georgia Groome: I can be immature. I know I can when I’m at my dance lessons or something. I become like the class clown. I don’t know why. But I can flip in and out of it – if I need to be mature I can be mature, but if I want to have a bit of fun, I’ll have a bit of fun.
Q. What was your first snog like? Was it a good or bad experience?
Aaron Johnson: My first snog was when I was 10 with a 13-year-old girl on holiday. In fact, there were three 13-year-old girls. I think it was kind of a spin the bottle game that kind of turned into something else. I think I went back from that holiday and into school and introduced it at that age… in my class anyway. I didn’t give lessons or anything. I kept it to myself. But I was kind of young.
Georgia Groome: I was 11 and it was one of my good friend’s brothers at her house. It was fairly standard. There was no saliva and no teeth.
Q. Do you have any good snogging tips?
Aaron Johnson: I don’t know [blushes]. People are different. First, I think that if you’re really going to snog someone and it’s going to be a perfect snog, it’s got to be between two people that really like each other, rather than someone you think is fit and you snog for the sake of it. That normally turns out not to be a good snog. But if you have two people that really like each other, then fair enough. Really, it’s a little mix of kissing, a bit of lips, maybe some biting, and then a bit of tongue and stuff. It depends on what kinky little minx you’ve gone for on the night [laughs]. So, there you go…
Q. Who was the best kisser in the film, Aaron Johnson or Liam Hess?
Georgia Groome: I think that’s unfair because Liam’s was with saliva. It was fake saliva. But that scene was more technical whereas Aaron had the freedom to play around with it. But in Liam’s scene it was all camera angles. It’s not romantic. People have asked whether my kiss with Robbie was really romantic, but it really wasn’t when you have the camera this far away from your face [puts hand in front of her face]!
Q. Your character goes boy stalking with your friends. Is that something you’d do in real life?
Georgia Groome: No, never! I’d never do it. I don’t think it’s a healthy thing to encourage either. But when I was in year four or five, there was a boy in the year above me who became obsessed with me. He used to give me tapes of songs he’d recorded and words. He used to bring binoculars into school and look at me over the wall. My mum had to come in because I used to cry every morning and say: “I don’t want to go to school.” He’d also ring my home and breathe down the phone. It was really unwanted attention. So, I’d never do it back and I’d never do chasing.
Q. Do you analyze what boys or girls say, to try and figure out hidden meanings?
Aaron Johnson: I think people do. If you’re on a date or something, or you’re trying to get to know someone, and they say something that leaves you really confused, you go back and speak to your mates about it. It’s like: “She said this, right, so does that mean she really likes me? Or does it mean I’ve done something really bad?” So, you do analyze things but I think that applies to boys and girls, and even adults.
- Read our review of the film
- Georgia Groome and Aaron Johnson interviewed
- Gurinder Chadha interviewed
- Eleanor Tomlinson, Georgia Henshaw and Manjeeven Grewal interviewed
- Sean Bourke, Liam Hess and Tommy Bastow interviewed
- Karen Taylor interviewed
- Soundtrack reviewed
- Buy the soundtrack (Amazon)
- Watch the trailer