Addison Riecke (The Thundermans, A Girl Named Jo, The Beguiled) is coming into her own as a young actress and she lands the funniest lines in the new comedy Banana Split. During the interview, Riecke discussed what makes Banana Split a unique film and why working behind the camera is definitely in the offing.
Written by Hannah Marks and Joey Power, Banana Split is a first rate comedy about April (Hannah Marks), a high school grad who becomes fast friends with newly minted Los Angeleno named Clara (Liana Liberato). The catch is Clara is dating April’s ex-boyfriend Nick (Dylan Sprouse), so their close knit bond is in a tenuous position. Addison Riecke plays April’s vulgar younger sister Agnes, and their back and forth banter is one of the film’s many highlights.
I love Banana Split and its fresh, nuanced and comedic approach to the material. This must have been a breeze and a blast to film.
It was honestly just so fun. It really was a breeze. The writing is so cleverly funny. It’s written so well and it was so easy for me to tap into. Everyone on set – the cast and crew – everyone was just so fun to be around that it was just so easy and such a comfortable environment to tap into. And it was just a blast. It was so much.
We filmed in Syracuse and in L.A. and actually I filmed in L.A. for one day, and that one day was actually my birthday. It was really fun to just be around everyone and it was so fun to film.
What was it like working with Hannah Marks, who also co-wrote the film. As one can see from her body of work (she also co-directed the indie drama After Everything), she’s a first rate storyteller and has a ton of potential.
Absolutely. She was so fun to work with. She’s so warm and fun to be around and she is so talented. The script is amazing and you can see so much potential with (Marks). She’s a great person to look up to because she’s just an incredible actress and writer. She’s awesome.
Can you look back on your experiences on The Beguiled and Banana Split and enjoy your success?
I was actually just thinking about this recently because with The Beguiled and with Banana Split, I was so young. I did The Beguiled when I was 12 and I did this when I was 14. I wasn’t really thinking of it in terms of magnitude, I was living in the moment. I was thinking that it was so fun and I love doing this. But it’s crazy looking back (at going to) the Cannes Film Festival (for The Beguiled). In the moment it was just so fun and real.
I’m so lucky to have both of those experience because they were so fun and I will remember them forever, absolutely.
You have formed your own production company and plan to create your own projects. Can you talk about your desire to actually produce and work behind the camera?
Ever since I was really young, I’ve always been interested in creating. Even when I first started acting – my whole life I have loved to read and write and that has always been something in the back of my mind and that I’ve wanted to pursue. So acting luckily is such a great avenue where you can dip in and out of those things with writing, directing and producing. Especially being around the people in these projects who are so incredible and I’ve looked up to and they inspire me to pave my own path and come up with my own ideas and work behind the camera and create something that I love.
Can you talk about your passion for philanthropy?
When I was really little, like three or four years old, my mom was part of a charity during the holidays during Christmas and Hanukkah – we would donate toys to families who weren’t able to provide Christmas toys for kids. It has always been instilled in me how important it is to give back to your community. I’ve always said it doesn’t matter if you’re super young or super old, you always have that ability. Even if it’s do a lemonade stand on the weekends and donate the money to the animal shelter or the food bank, I think it’s always important to recognize what you have and give it to other people.
You shot Banana Split two years ago, so I’m sure you are excited to see this film once again.
I absolutely am. It’s crazy how it’s been a couple of years because I feel that every year is so different and you learn so much from your teenage years. I feel like at the time of course I appreciated how funny it was, but as you grow older you learn to appreciate those experiences more. The script is so funny and I feel looking back on it now, just watching the trailer – I saw it at a screening a year or two ago and I can’t wait to see it again.
Can you name one of your favorite movies and why is it special to you?
My favorite movie of all time is Fantastic Mr. Fox directed by Wes Anderson. I love, love, love Wes Anderson and I remember watching it when I was really young. I was probably 5 or 6 years old when it first came out. Now watching it again and again, it’s so brilliantly written. The cinematography and stop-motion animation is simply stunning. And then the moments behind – because they’re all animals and you see the difference of the character in those animals and how it reflects on actual people.
Every time I watch it, I pick up on little things I didn’t recognize before. It’s just an incredible movie and it’s been my favorite forever and I think it will be my favorite for a long time.
What continues to inspire you as a creator?
I feel like as an actor in general, no matter if people have been acting longer or shorter than you, there’s always things you can learn from other people which is something I love about acting. The teacher and the student can be both the teacher and the student. I just learn so much from watching other movies and seeing other actors dig into their characters and look into things that I had never realized before.
As an actor and with writing and producing, I feel like learning from other people is really valuable.
Banana Split, directed by Benjamin Kasulke, comes out On Digital and On Demand March 27.