“Ginger & Rosa” is a new movie starring Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks, Annette Bening and relative newcomer Alice Englert. Englert’s also in the new witchy teen movie “Beautiful Creatures.” We’re way into her, because she looks both ethereal and sharp, and thus far in her blossoming career has managed to straddle the line between commercial teen sensation and serious actor-y roles.
So what’s Englert’s story? And why do we think you should be paying attention? Read on to find out.
1. She has a pretty great family “in.” Her mom is director Jane Campion (of “The Piano” and “In the Cut”). Dad is filmmaker Colin Englert. Naturally, she’s Kiwi, and was raised in New Zealand.
2. “Ginger & Rosa” was her first major role. In it, she and Elle Fanning (that’s the younger one) play a pair of best friends coming of age in 1960s London, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. She received a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the role. Said Englert of the film, “They are both 16 and have noticed that men have started to notice them. They’re at that stage when you’re a young girl and attractive and there is such satisfaction with feeling like you are adored. It’s amazing, when you’re that age, to try to get a reaction out of people. And then, everything goes pear-shaped.”
3. She hasn’t yet finished high school. The 17-year-old left school early to pursue her acting career.
4. She’s a slash-singer-songwriter: Not content to be merely an actress, Englert is an actor/singer-songwriter. She takes her guitar with her everywhere she goes. The soundtrack to “Beautiful Creatures” actually includes a song she wrote and recorded called “Needle and Thread.” You can hear it here.
5. She’s got good instincts. She originally turned down “Beautiful Creatures” because it was pitched to her as “‘Twilight’ meets ‘Romeo and Juliet,’” and she says, “I didn’t want to make that movie.” It took director Richard LaGravenese a bunch of tries to get her to meet with him. And when she did, “I told him what sort of film I thought he should be making, which is really inappropriate!” It turned out they had similar visions, though, so it worked out.