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Phoebe Tonkin on Her Frame Denim Film, Headbanging and Being Hangry

Phoebe Tonkin

Image: BFA

Frame Denim just launched its resort collection and to celebrate, the brand tapped Australian actress Phoebe Tonkin (who you may recognize from The Originals and The Vampire Diaries) to star in a three-part short series titled Girls in Frame. The shorts are inspired by Andy Warhol’s screen tests, which were black and white film portraits of various hip members of the late artist’s scene back in the mid-60s. Frame Denim’s play on the classic involves a little more sound (Warhol’s tests were silent) and a lot more attitude.

Director Matt Baron was tapped to direct the series, which was conceived by Frame Denim founders Jens Grede and Erik Torstensson. Phoebe was asked to portray three emotions: anger, happiness and sexiness, for the campaign, repeating the words, “Girls in Frame.” 

“I felt [conveying] all three emotions was pretty easy,” Phoebe told us of the project via email. “I am generally a happy person anyway, the sexy part I guess I can turn on in times of desperation, and if I am hungry I am most definitely angry.” Drawing on the emotions was the easy part, but it turns out executing them had its own set of challenges. Phoebe says that she listened to heavy metal to get herself in character for the “angry” role. “I head banged for a good 20 minutes like I was in a mosh pit,” she told us. “I wouldn’t say hard, just exhausting. I was rubbing tiger balm religiously on my neck for the next three days. I don’t know how the kids do it.”

But in spite of the sore neck, Phoebe says that anger was her favorite of the three emotions. “I felt like a rock star, there are probably some really amazing outtakes, it went very quickly from angry to gangster as soon as we started to play Eminem and Lil Wayne.” And it is the emotion that probably most matches her personal style, which Phoebe says includes “mainly black and dark colors.” Still, she is susceptible to the allure of Frame Denim’s clean and classic aesthetic. “There was a pink sweater that I can see myself wearing to break up the black every now and then,” she said. Also on her list of faves? The slouchy, impossibly comfy Supima cotton T-shirts.

Watch Phoebe wear her emotions on her sleeve in the video below.