Meet Adelaide Clemens, Australia's New It Girl

Clemens, far right, in Generation Um.

Sometimes, you're just not in the mood for a big Hollywood guns-a-blazin' action flick. And if you're feeling like watching something different—and perhaps are still nursing a teenage crush on Keanu Reeves—then boy, have we got the film for you. Generation Um is a leisurely character study that goes deep, with a twist at the end that kind of makes you rethink everything you've just witnessed. To say more would spoil the fun, but we will say that Brisbane-born actress Adelaide Clemens really wowed us with her role.

Having lived in Japan, France and Hong Kong as a child before returning to the Land Down Under and settling into regular gigs on television as a teenager, Clemens is poised to become Hollywood's newest It Girl. And in addition to Generation Um, you can catch her in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby (out May 10) as Catherine, the sister of the ill-fated Myrtle (Isla Fisher). The blonde Michelle Williams lookalike says that filming Gatsby was a dream come true, thanks to its iconic plot and and star-studded cast. "It was fantastic working with so many extraordinary filmmakers and people in the industry," she says. "It was everything I've always dreamed of. The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books. I think that we did really extraordinary things with the story." Clemens also takes on a more major role in the critically-acclaimed AMC series Rectify as Tawney Talbot, the religious sister-in-law of a man released from prison after clearing his name. Tawney appealed to Clemens because of her refreshing take on Christianity. "I really wanted to look at this girl because it was the first thing that I was doing that was representative of the Christian world, that was multifaceted and not stereotyped and painted in a certain light," she says. "She was complex and so much more than that."

For now, though, let's get back to Generation Um, the indie flick directed by Mark Mann that chronicles a day in the life of two women, Mia (Clemens) and Violet (Bojana Novakovic) and their trusted limo driver John (Keanu Reeves). For more on Clemens' complex role, her latest fashion splurge and what it was like working with Reeves, read on!

Lucky: What drew you to the character of MIa?

Adelaide Clemens: She's multifaceted. I was really drawn to Mia because I didn't understand where she operated from. She's almost got this sociopathic intention behind her, and that was really frightening to me. I wanted to get in there. I think all of the characters had their own cadence, their own rhythm in the way they spoke and walked. Mark's depiction of three people interacting...I really wanted to be a part of that.

Did you grow up watching Keanu Reeves' films?

I loved My Own Private Idaho. The Matrix – I have two younger brothers, so we've seen the film too many times. It was pretty extraordinary.

What was it like working with Keanu Reeves? Is he as smart and mellow as you'd imagine?

I think Keanu's amazing. He's really a man of such integrity and serenity and I really admire how he has gone through the many phases of his life. He's gone through so many films, but he's so welcoming. I'd only worked in film very briefly, I'd done maybe two films before this. He took me under his wing and was so supportive and amazing. He's got this real enthusiasm. It comes out like it would in a little 12-year-old boy. He gets very excited.

Generation Um had a small budget. Did you wear some of your own clothes in that film?

Yeah. I was wearing my own shoes most of the time. They were these gorgeous Miu Miu shoes. I wore a little leather skirt that I found and a t-shirt that I'm actually wearing right now. So a lot of the stuff was mine, which was nice, because I felt very comfortable. And it felt worn in, and your clothes really do change the way you feel, and they were very close to me.

Did you collaborate with the director about how your character would dress?

Not really. I think I just was wearing a lot of loose-fitting clothing and long dresses and things....and thought she'd like that because she has so many layers to her. She's really dealing with the transition between being a girl and a woman, and it's almost like that transition is happening way too early. She's forced into it because of what she's experiencing in her life.

How would you describe your personal style?

I am loving A.L.C.—at the moment, I am completely obsessed. I'm wearing A.L.C. to the Great Gatsby premiere and the Generation Um premiere. I really like texture and I really like an Art Deco feel, in terms of geometry. If I am going to wear a print, I wear a really bold print. I love dresses. I am all about dresses. I barely ever wear jeans. I literally own one pair of jeans, which I never wear.

Where do you like to shop?

There's this store it's called American Two Shot and it has such interesting things. They handpick things and they'll just pick one thing from a collection. They don't take anything they don't feel drawn to, which I find really interesting.

What was your last biggest splurge?

I bought these green velvet boots from American Two Shot. They're Penelope Chilvers. Love them. They've got a little bit of a heel. I also bought matching Georg Jensen rings.

Where do you go when you want to save?

Crossroads in LA is amazing. I really like vintage shopping. Or the Rose Bowl Flea Market. I bought the most amazing long black coat from the Rose Bowl recently.

What's next for you?

I've got a few projects in the works. I've got No One Lives coming out. It's a film I did with Luke Evans and a Japanese director (Ryuhei Kitamura). That was interesting to shoot. Then I think I'll be done with all this publicity stuff. I am heading to London to focus on my career there. I'm trying to find a place in the theater world.

Click through to see Clemens' recent fashion splurges and style obsessions.


Green velvet Penelope Chilvers boots were Clemen's last big splurge. We think she'd also like this suede pair.

Clemens is currently obsessed with Andrea Lieberman's line, A.L.C., and we think she'd like this bold patterned dress from the line.


Clemens says she recently bought matching Georg Jensen rings. We think she'd like these, also by the Danish designer.

Clemens says she admires Tilda Swinton's career. "I am attracted to really eclectic kind of actors," she says. "Tilda Swinton is so incredible. I want to have a career like that. I want to be working when I'm 65. I'm in no rush to make it. I really just want to make sure each experience is fulfilling."

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