She swears like a trooper, likes rock climbing as much as nightclubbing and isn’t afraid of public displays of affection. Somehow, despite breaking all of LA’s unspoken rules, Brit model, actress and socialite Suki Waterhouse has got Hollywood eating out of the palm of her hand. Is this girl for real?
They don’t like bad girls in Hollywood, or at least they didn’t before Suki. We are talking, of course, about Suki Waterhouse, the party-loving British model friends like to call “Doll-face”, who has turned up in Beverly Hills and done what every schoolgirl dreams of, but few can achieve. She has swooshed in with her fresh London charm and honey-coloured hair – not to mention her, ahem, acting talent – and wowed the jaded star-makers into giving her a part. Not just one, but many – suddenly, the studios can’t cast her quick enough.
To recap: Suki is 23, from Hammersmith, and swears a lot. She is famous for looking like she has always just got out of bed, in a tousled, pouty, oops-I’m-wearing-a-man’s-shirt kind of way. Her lips are putty pink and seem always to be open at an angle that says sexy, not slutty.
Her day job, lest we forget, is as a model – a face of Burberry who has been on the cover of Tatler and Elle and done campaigns for Swatch and H&M. Unkind souls would say she is equally famous for her dating and partying record: tripping out of nightclubs with Cara Delevingne and Rita Ora, and, until March, going out with Bradley Cooper.
The Rise of Suki Waterhouse
The question is, how did she get to this point? To achieve so much in an adult life barely five years long. Who is she and how did she get to be cast opposite Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey in The Bad Batch, one of next summer’s most anticipated romances? The film is the latest offering from writer and director Ana Lily Amirpour, and promises to be a dystopian love story set among a community of Texan cannibals.
and wild but
with none of the
film-star nonsense; there are no
Taylor Swift sulks
Suki has already starred in Love, Rosie with Lily Collins and Sam Claflin and plays machine-gun-wielding Marlene in Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent, and has just finished filming on Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, due for release early next year, a zany adaptation of Jane Austen’s romantic novel – with zombies. Yup, Suki’s really made the big time.
The first thing to understand about her is that she’s an easy-going kinda girl. She cuts her own hair and says she doesn’t worry about what she eats. She is one of four siblings – sisters Imogen and Maddi are also models – and grew up a tomboy, rock climbing and getting a brown belt in karate. Her father, Norman Waterhouse, is one of Harley Street’s most respected plastic surgeons, a master of the non-windtunnel-looking face-lift. He’s also a thoroughly decent man, who in 2003 co-founded the charity Facing The World, which helps rebuild the lives of people with facial deformities. Those who know Suki say her father’s work has kept her grounded – she has seen how people less perfect than herself have suffered.
Growing Up Glam
Suki’s childhood was typical monied West London, with a dash of rock’n’roll glamour – she went to Ibstock Place School in Roehampton, a celebrity favourite, where she made friends with Georgia May Jagger and Cara Delevingne. This meant that when, after school, she took up an offer to do some modelling, having been spotted in a nightclub off Oxford Circus, it wasn’t so frightening, because her schoolmates were already doing it. Not that she had perfected her look: back then it was trainers and baggy trousers, and a favourite T-shirt that read “Bad Girls Never Die”.
She signed up with Next Model Management and immediately the work rolled in. The photographer Rankin snapped her up and she embraced the lifestyle, partying at Bungalow 8 and going out with Luke Pritchard from The Kooks.
She traded him in for Miles Kane, lead singer of the Rascals, though he found her to be a little bit too young, and she was, to be fair, still only 21. Her relationship with Bradley Cooper, 40, became big news, not because of the age difference but because they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. It also took her to Hollywood, which she instantly fell in love with. And she’s quite capable of amusing herself – she loves walking, and watching films, and reading challenging books, like those by Jeanette Winterson. She likes nothing better than to go hiking round Will Rogers Park or Laurel Canyon, and makes the intelligent point that “just as London is not one endless afternoon tea, LA isn’t all super-fit, health food-crazy freaks”.
And that’s what we like about Suki – she’s beautiful, glamorous and wild, but with none of the film-star nonsense. There are no diva-ish tantrums or Taylor Swift-style sulks over boys. If Rihanna was a good girl gone bad, Suki is the opposite – the grungy teen turned shiny movie star. She works hard, she plays hard, and then she goes and climbs a mountain. No wonder Hollywood has fallen for her. ML