Suki is on cover of the next issue of Lucky magazine. I added the scans and the photoshoot. She is gorgeous, I love the photos! Enjoy !

Magazine Scans > From 2015 > Lucky [April]
Studio Photoshoots > Sessions & Outtakes > Lucky [2015]

Simply Irresistible: Meet It Brit Suki Waterhouse

There’s an old Scandinavian proverb that goes, roughly, There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. And when Suki Waterhouse pops out of a cab on a 21-degree day in New York, she’s swaddled head to toe in thick layers. We’ve met at the cozy British-themed restaurant Tea & Sympathy in Greenwich Village, with the notion to warm ourselves with tea (obviously) and minced lamb pie (er, maybe—it’s on the menu).

We head inside, sit down, and Waterhouse begins the intricate process of unbundling herself. “Let’s just recover from the cold for a moment,” she says with a laugh, unwinding a knee-length green cashmere scarf, which is positioned over a black Moncler puffer jacket, which sits atop a Magaschoni cashmere pullover, which is zipped over deep blue flared Zara overalls, which are, themselves, worn on top of a cream cotton tee. Total number of layers: five.

Actually, six. Waterhouse is also wearing a rather aggressive push-up bra, which, she points out with a little squish of the boobs, is not typically a part of her routine. “I just got back from an audition where I played a pregnant teen mum,” she explains. “So all of this [gesturing to her scarf, cardigan and puffer jacket] went in here [gesturing to the front of her overalls] to make a big pregnant belly. And that’s why I’m wearing the push-up bra.”

Even with the 21st century’s most advanced bra technology, Alice Suki Waterhouse has an old-fashioned kind of look: button nose, big eyes and rosy pout … like a modern mixture of Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton. At 23, she’s on her way to a multidimensional career as a model and style icon, while studiously adding acting (and more) to the portfolio. We’ll start with the modeling, which is where she did, too. She was scouted as a teenager on the street in London (where she grew up), picked up a few major jobs here and there—H&M, French Connection, Sass & Bide—before vaulting into the big leagues as the face of Burberry early last year, thereby becoming a credentialed “cool girl” of the kind that is seemingly among U.K.’s top exports these days. Predecessors and peers include Alexa Chung, Rita Ora and Agyness Deyn.

And, of course, Cara Delevingne, who is Waterhouse’s dear friend and a fellow face of Burberry. The pair make a power duo in print—two English roses with clever gazes and assertive eyebrows—and in real life, where they’re photographed roving London with a girl gang that also includes Georgia May Jagger and Waterhouse’s younger sister, Immy (also a model). And while it’s not easy to stand out alongside Cara and Georgia May, Waterhouse’s particular aesthetic swiftly captured the eye of stylish girls everywhere, as well as the eye of her now-boyfriend, Bradley Cooper. They met on a dance floor two years ago and have the same birthday, January 5. Sigh.

Waterhouse is understandably circumspect about Cooper and grows skittish (though never impolite) when conversation rolls around to him—even accidentally. When I ask whether anyone refers to her by her given name, Alice, she nods and tucks her head down a little. “Yeah, they do.” Your family? I ask. “No, they all call me Suki. Um [squirm, giggle]—let’s just leave it at that.” Later I read a rumor that Cooper calls her Alice. By this point in the conversation, she’s nervously scooched all the way to the front of her chair, like someone who might need to hit the eject button at a moment’s notice.

Finally, then, the acting. Shortly after her modeling career gathered steam, Waterhouse started winning film roles—snippets but respectable snippets—in indie films like Pusher (as a drug dealer’s girlfriend) and Love, Rosie (as an intimidating high schooler). If this arc seems awfully typical (model turned actress, yawn), note that Waterhouse has been a thespian-in-training since her kneesock days: “I was über into theater and had a lot of training, so it’s not completely out of nowhere at all,” she says, explaining that she joined a theater company at age six. Our interview finds her fresh from filming her biggest role yet, as post-apocalyptic teenager Marlene in Insurgent, alongside Shailene Woodley. It’s the kind of knee-buckling make-or-break moment that will either seal Waterhouse’s fate as our new favorite ingenue or, well, the alternative seems unlikely enough that we don’t need to go there.

Before she and I get deep into Insurgent, however, we need some hot beverages to warm us up. A chilly waitress approaches to deposit menus on the rose-printed tablecloth. There’s an encyclopedia of comfort food from the British Isles: Welsh rarebit, Cornish hen, Yorkshire pudding. “Ooh, look at these,” Waterhouse says, scanning the options. “Oh my God, could I have a hot Ribena? And could I also get a rose hip tea with some bits of lemon?”

On registering Waterhouse’s accent, the waitress—a fellow Brit—instantly thaws.

“Could I also have a soup of the day? What’s that?” she asks.


“Perfect, absolutely delicious,” Waterhouse says, with a smile that could melt frozen peas. “Whereabouts in England are you from?”

And so it goes, and after five minutes of U.K.-centric chat, Waterhouse has charmed the waitress into bringing us dainty china teacups and a large mug of a purple substance, which is—?

“The Ribena,” she explains, offering a taste. “It’s a very sweet black-currant drink.” Sort of a hot toddy for kids, she says.

Waterhouse’s just-hopped-the-pond appeal is arguably the first thing Americans notice. Then there’s her voice, which is an actor’s dream: honeyed and confident and with an accent like polished silver. (If she were directing traffic, you would obey her commands.) Instead of sprinkling “like” into her conversation, she says “quite.”

There’s also something quintessentially British about her lack of pretension. She cuts her own bangs, eschews body-con dresses (“I don’t like stuff clinging to my bum”) and prefers to wear things that don’t inhibit mobility (“I always want to know that I can run away down the street easily”). In paparazzi photos, she tends to be “caught” doing extremely normal things, like waiting in line or wheeling her baggage around the airport. Her preferred mode of relaxation is taking a bath. “I can stay in the bath for—well, the longest has been seven or eight hours,” she says. “I get completely set up with my laptop so I can watch The Sopranos, put out some scented candles, music. I have a towel nearby so I can dry my hand to change the music or the TV. I make a little heaven for myself. And then I just refill and refill.” She has dropped her phone in the tub more than once.

Her fashion whims are equally idiosyncratic. “Patti Smith once said, ‘My style says look at me, don’t look at me,’ and that resonates with me,” Waterhouse says. “I want my clothes to be alluring but not über-sexy.” (Along with “quite,” the word “über” is a staple of her vocabulary, though in heraccent it sounds like “ooba.”) What this means, in practice, is a 1960s-inflected wardrobe of ladylike frocks and knee-length coats, Peter Pan collars, the occasional Keith Richards–type suit and loads of pink, pink,pink. All shades: peony, bubblegum, ballet slipper, shrieking magenta. She wears it often and in different forms: a floor-length Christian Dior dress at Cannes and a custom-made Burberry Prorsum gown, paired with wedge-heeled combat boots, for last year’s Met Gala. “Baby pink is an underrated color,” she declares.

As you’d expect, Waterhouse’s wardrobe in Insurgent included zero shades of pink. “I wore Japanese-inspired karate trousers that were really light and comfy, with Nike boots that were a bit grungy and cool, and a tight sports bra–esque top. My hair was plaited on one side, with the fringe back. Very badass.” Indeed. And although Insurgent wasn’t her first film, Waterhouse says, it was certainly the most intense she’s ever worked on. “I can see how a person could get addicted to the adrenaline of moviemaking. With fashion, you go deep into a shoot for one day, but a movie lasts so much longer. It’s literally like going to summer camp. I’ve got a bunch of keepers from movie sets.”

Keepers? “Yeah, keepers. Friends for life!”

Right! Keepers. Did her costar Shailene Woodley turn out to be a keeper? “I’m so fascinated by Shailene,” Waterhouse marvels. “She’s a calm soul. An old soul. It sounds cliché, but she’s never anything but herself.” Among other things, Woodley taught Waterhouse the importance of maintaining good vibes on set: “When you go on a shoot, everyone’s morale hinges on yours. If you’re down and not fun, then everyone’s day is not fun. You’re central to the energy of the day.” Wise words.

Waterhouse has got some wisdom herself. In response to tabloid scrutiny—especially in the U.K., where paparazzi hound her on every routine dog-walking excursion—she’s adopted a wicked sense of wit. If an unflattering photo surfaces? Who cares. “Here’s something I do,” she explains. “If I have a spot [read: zit], I name the spot. I introduce it to my friends on a night out. If my friend has a spot, I ask them if I can borrow it. ‘Can I borrow your spot? Can I pleaaaase borrow it? I really want it.’ ” She cackles. “You have to own your spots. Show them off. I’ve had some great spots—I named one Greg; another one was Trevor. Tortola was a good one.”

If the media surveillance (or anything else) does creep into stressful territory, Waterhouse says, “I’m a big fan of going to the bathroom, locking the door, putting on some loud music and just [demonstrating crazy dance gyrations]. I have a playlist for every mood.” For when she’s angry: Kelis. To de-stress: Thin Lizzy or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. For chill evenings: ’70s folk singer Judee Sill.

At the moment—with tea, two hot Ribenas and a bowl of soup downed for sustenance—Waterhouse is mentally gearing up for the flight she has to catch in three hours. “I’m constantly trying not to get ill on a flight,” she says, zipping back into her five layers. “Sometimes when I land, I feel like I’ve caught the plague. This is quite gross, but before getting on a plane, I take Vaseline and I put it right inside my nose because I have a theory that it stops any disease or infection from getting in.” She laughs. “I think it works.”

It had better. Waterhouse is a busy lady: modeling, acting, designing (she oversaw a line of sneakers for Superga last fall), singing (check YouTube) and who knows what else. When asked if there’s anyone she holds up as a career model, she looks genuinely perplexed, as if I’ve asked her a question in pig Latin. “I wouldn’t model my career after anyone else’s,” she says. “Everything that comes to you is completely unique. There is no other way than to be yourself.”


Leave a Reply