Suki Waterhouse is ready to rock ‘n’ roll. The British actress is set to play keyboardist Karen Sirko in Amazon’s upcoming TV series Daisy Jones & the Six, which is based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s 2019 acclaimed novel.
“I’m so excited! We are going back soon. We never actually went on set but there was a very rigorous rehearsal period,” Waterhouse, 29, exclusively told Us Weekly. “We’re all really learning these instruments and learning how to play these songs like we could perform them properly as a group. Some of us have played our instruments for a long time and some of us haven’t. I played the piano from scratch. So in a weird way, we’ve actually been quite blessed to have an extra year of rehearsal [amid the pandemic]. We’ve been able to connect with our coaches and keep learning.”
Daisy Jones & the Six tells the fictional story of the rise and fall of a ‘70s rock band. The model will be joined by Riley Keogh, Sam Claflin, Will Harrison and Josh Whitehouse in the musical drama, which is backed by Amazon Studios and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine.
“Karen is just the coolest. And I love that she kind of has that Joan Jett vibe. She has a lot of internal struggle. She’s very determined to not have a family. And those things are very acceptable to say now, but in that time period you’d be up against that and fight against society even more,” Waterhouse told Us. “We did do some fittings and I was, like, jumping for joy. Very, very excited. I think she’ll have great outfits, for sure.”
Waterhouse auditioned multiple times before landing the role. Even in the middle of shooting her latest horror flick Seance, she was asked to send a tape of herself playing the piano. The only problem? She never played before.
“I was like, ‘Oh God, I’m in the middle of nowhere. I have no piano. And I’m literally in the middle of nowhere doing night shoots,’” she recalled. “I wore a wig in my apartment, got a really shaky keyboard from the local Target or whatever. I spent the whole of Christmas learning, learning, learning. I had two weeks before I had to go to L.A. and do an actual performance. I crammed it in over Christmas. And for the audition, I really went for it. It took a couple of auditions. That was the hardest I’ve ever tried to get something in my life.”
Waterhouse can relate to Karen, as she has been working on her own music for quite some time. “I’ve been doing music for years, but kind of quietly and setting up a couple of things and it’s been sort of like a work in progress the last 10 years to work up to having an album ready, which I’ve just finished,” she explained. “That will maybe be coming out next year probably. I just love music so much and I love making it and you just make both of those things work.”
Waterhouse modeled before making the transition into acting. “I did my first film when I was 21 and now I’m 29. It’s not seamless at all. It’s not like you just glide into a new profession easily,” she told Us. “The cool thing is I definitely did understand, because I’d been modeling … I was more equipped for the rejection part. I’m kind of used to being like, OK, didn’t happen. Like, just keep going. That kind of thing. I can kind of brush it off easier.”
For now, the Creation Stories star is focused on the release of Seance, which follows student Camille Meadows’ (Waterhouse) arrival to Fairfield Academy following the violent death of a fellow peer. It’s bloody, ruthless — and includes an unexpected twist ending.
“I quite like the thrill of it,” the Love, Rosie actress said of some of the more physical scenes she trained for. “I prefer that [over] anything else actually. … I like being thrown into it with my whole body.”
Camille comes to blows with several people during her stay — and just like the film’s title — has a seance of her own with the other students to try to learn who is behind even more savage killings.
“I actually did one a couple of years ago with some girlfriends. It was like a Ouija board. The board definitely started moving and everything,” she teased.
Seance is now in theaters, on demand and digital.