Summer Fridays with Teresa Palmer

Get to know our new girl crush

teresa palmer!

You know her from the Ron Howard-revamped Take Me Home Tonight; Jonathan Levine’s hipster-zombie romance, Warm Bodies; and Terrence Malick’s soon-to-come Knight of Cups.

Get to know her as the Aussie beauty who loves horror flicks, jamming to Florence and the Machine, and sandwiching candy koalas between salty potato chips.

We caught up with the actress for our Summer Fridays series, in which we chat up a leading lovely of the season. She filled us in on her latest project, Wish You Were Here, a Cambodian adventure turned Australian nightmare; working with the Edgerton brothers; and her favorite summer staples.

Watching the film, we were gripping our chair. Any “oh my god” moments when you read the script?
I was definitely taken aback when I read the entire script, and I realized what the subject matter was and what the reveals were. It was really intense and at times often hard to read, but it was a really important story to be told. I loved how fast-paced it was; I love the thriller aspect. It’s suspenseful. It keeps you guessing. And they’re the sorts of films I gravitate toward!

Oh, you sound like a thriller fan.
Definitely, I love thrillers; I love suspense and horror films. I don’t like the torture porn movies; I can’t handle them. But I love mysteries, and this film’s a mystery. And I love that my character is very much ingrained in this story; she’s a part of this web. She’s a beautifully written character, but she’s a human, and there are both good parts and bad parts to her personality. She’s really lost and spontaneous and feisty and wild. And I think she’s really going on a journey of trying to discover who she is and how she fits into this world.

wish you were here!

The chemistry was amazing. Felt like a real family affair. How was that?
We all kind of knew each other beforehand. We met Antony Starr [the actor who plays Jeremy] a week before we started shooting. I’m very good friends with the Edgerton brothers. And I met Kieran Darcy-Smith through Joel and his brother, Nash, who started the Blue-Tongue Films group. So it was really easy for me to slip into this world where we were such a family, and we had close-knit experiences. It was a really beautiful experience, and it felt like a real collaboration, which is something I had been craving for a while.

Just eight days of shooting in Cambodia, right?
Yeah, we were there a total of ten days, and we shot eight of those days.

Did you guys have any time to play, or was it all business?
Well, the whole time we were playing, to be honest. I had never been to these markets; I had never experienced having a spider crawling on me. All these things you see in the montage at the beginning of the movie, we really were experiencing for the first time as tourists.

It looked fun. And the music … wow.
Yeah, it’s fantastic. Hilltop Hoods, a band from Adelaide in South Australia. I was going to their concerts when I was 14 years of age, so it’s cool to come full circle to have their music in a movie that I’m in.

There’s lots of temptation in the film. What’s one thing you can’t say no to?
Um … vegan cupcakes. I have an addiction to those.

wish you were here!

We heard you like playing practical jokes. Is that true?
I wouldn’t say I’m a practical joker, but I would definitely say that I have a sense of humor; I like having fun. I was definitely the student that mucked around a lot in class. I did get my work done, but I was always known as a chatterbox.

Favorite Australian dish you wish Americans would adopt?
It’s more like Australian candy that I really love. I’m obsessed with salt and vinegar chips and these things called Caramello Koalas, which are these chocolate koalas with caramel inside of them, and I would eat them together — I’d make a sandwich [out of them]. I really miss them. They’re so amazing.

But down in Australia, we just barbecue a lot. I’m a vegan now. I’m not actually totally vegan; I still do eat fish. So I’d like more barbecue here in America.

Lets talk summertime. Top three items to pack on a getaway?
My Artistry Creme L/X moisturizer, which I’m obsessed with. I wear it every day. My book I’m reading, Ina May Gaskin’s Spiritual Midwifery. And a packet of vegan unsweetened carob chips, which you can get from Whole Foods.

Now that Cambodia’s checked off, where do you want to go?
Jamaica. I love Jamaica. I have never been before, and everyone loves it. I also want to go to Brazil. I’ve never been there, either.

wish you were here!

Go-to karaoke song?
Anything Florence and the Machine. I can’t get quite that high, but she’s my favorite artist.

Homebody or life of the party?

Convertible or motorcycle?
Convertible, because I have one.

Sleep in or 7 a.m. yoga?
Oh God, can I pick both of those? I want both of those things. Can I do one half the week and the other in the other half?

Hot dogs or surf and turf? Oh, wait, you’re a vegan!
We’ll do vegan sausage and gluten-free bread!

Beach or pool?
Beach in Australia, pool in Los Angeles.

Wish You Were Here is now playing in theaters (on demand August 27). Find showtimes at fandango.com. For more entertainment, check out Summer Fridays with Judith Hill, June’s must-see movies, or our GoWatchIt channels.

Photos: Courtesy of Entertainment One Films U.S.