Camila Morrone Tells Riley Keough About Entering Her “Yes” Era

Camila Morrone wears Coat, Skirt, Boxers, and Shark Lock Cowboy Ankle Boots in Ivory Givenchy.

The road from model to actor is littered with bad reviews and busted dreams, but not for Camila Morrone. Three days after the 26-year-old L.A. girl reunited with her costar Riley Keough over Zoom, she nabbed an Emmy nomination for her role in Daisy Jones and the Six (Riley got one too). Now, Camila, who made her runway debut in 2017, is a minted Hollywood star, and there’s no going back. Here, she tells Riley how she pulled it off.



SPEAKER 2: I see Riley joining. Hello? You’re muted.


SPEAKER 2: There she is. 

CAMILA MORRONE: Hi guys, it’s Cami, I’m back on.

KEOUGH :Hi Cami!

MORRONE: Hi! Oh, are we going to do it on FaceTime, Riley? That’s horrible.

KEOUGH: No, I’m just saying hi.

MORRONE: Oh, okay. Then I’ll say hi too.

KEOUGH: Of course. Are you ready?

MORRONE: Oh my god, I’m scared. Let’s do it.

KEOUGH: Where are you in the world? 

MORRONE: I’m in London and I’m heading to Italy tomorrow for a little vacation, now that I have time to get some sun and relax.

KEOUGH: Do you like London?

MORRONE: I love it. I’d love to move to Europe one day. I’ve left L.A. and now live in New York and I feel like the next step would be to cross the pond. I just went to see Mark Rylance’s play yesterday at a Saturday matinee. It was rainy, I went alone, and had the best three hours of my life. That’s something that is such a luxury in Europe, having access to that kind of art and theater.

Coat and Earrings Givenchy.

KEOUGH: Because you grew up in L.A.?

MORRONE: Yes, I was born and raised there. I love how we have to talk to each other like we’ve never met before.

KEOUGH: I actually don’t know what kind of upbringing you had. Were you living in the Valley? Were you in Hollywood? What kind of L.A. girl were you?

MORRONE: Oh baby, I’ve been everywhere. I’ve been so many iterations of an L.A. girl. I was born at Cedars-Sinai—I think that’s in West Hollywood, right? And I lived in Beachwood Canyon, I’ve lived in Studio City, I’ve lived in Santa Monica. I’ve been to school in Beverly Hills. I lived near Lake Hollywood. I lived in Malibu.

KEOUGH: Wow. So you really tried L.A. before moving to New York?

MORRONE: Yeah, I lived a quarter century in L.A. and then I wanted to go somewhere new and scare myself a little bit. I’m in a phase of my life where I’m just going for it.

KEOUGH: That’s great. Tell me about when you realized you wanted to act. 

MORRONE: I’ve always been a bit of a ham, and I grew up surrounded by industry people, so I always knew that it was something I’d end up doing. But I was also a bit in denial.

KEOUGH: That’s part of growing up in L.A.

MORRONE: Did you have that, too?

KEOUGH: I did. I was like, “I’m not going to tell anybody because everyone’s an actor, so I’m going to keep this to myself a little bit.”

MORRONE: I was in denial even with myself and I was pretending like I wasn’t going to do it. Meanwhile, I knew it was all I ever wanted to do. But being born in L.A., you’re so exposed to the industry at a young age that there is a part of you that rebels against it before you inevitably dive into it. 

KEOUGH: What did your parents do?

MORRONE: Both my mom and dad were actors. I’d go with them to their castings and wait in the casting room with them after school.

KEOUGH: I feel like that’s a true L.A. upbringing. A lot of friends I grew up with had the same childhood—your parents are auditioning, there’s self-taping in the house, or going to casting calls.

Jacket, Shorts, and Shark Lock Cowboy High Boots 60mm Cotton with Pocket and Metallic Details Givenchy.

MORRONE: It’s funny because my parents tell me that when I was young, I would hear them running lines for a scene in the living room and I’d be like, “Why do you keep fighting and keep saying the same thing over and over?!” I was really little and didn’t understand what they were doing, but that was a beneficial tool to understand how much hard work goes into it—how you get the audition, then pray you get a callback, then after the callback you pray to get the job. When I talk about it with people in a more “traditional” job, they only go in for job interviews a few times in their careers. With an actor, you’re basically in a job interview asking someone to hire you every single week.

KEOUGH: Every day. [Laughs]

MORRONE: [Laughs] Yeah, every hour of the day, introducing yourself and pitching yourself. 

KEOUGH: I want to talk about your work ethic. And I’ve seen it—how hard you work on a set and how much time you spend preparing. Was that something that you think came from your parents or was that just in you yourself ? Because I also have a crazy work ethic, but it didn’t come from my parents—they were both wild artists that didn’t really stick to schedules. 

MORRONE: When people tell me I have a good work ethic, it’s literally the biggest compliment. It goes toe to toe with, “You’re a good actress.” I think it’s just the fact that I found a career that drove me crazy and how in love with it I am. I realize how little I know and how much I have to learn, and that propels my work ethic. When we were filming [Daisy Jones and the Six], I was like, “I want to deliver for the fans of this book. I want to deliver for the audience members. I want to deliver for my costars.” As an actor you have this tool deep within you, this instrument, which is being someone who’s very connected to and aware of their feelings and triggers and trauma. And then it becomes, “How do I access that on com-mand when I have to?” So that’s what the work ethic has been about for me.

KEOUGH: And what is your process for doing that? People ask me and I don’t ever seem to have a good answer because, for me, it’s different every time.

MORRONE: I’m saying all this as if I know what I’m doing, which I definitely don’t and I’m constantly figuring it out. But what has given me confidence has always been to work with a coach. I was hesitant about acting class for a really long time and then when I dove into it, you realize there are infinite possibilities to explore within this craft. I’m never going to hit perfection or know it all, so I’m just going to soak up everything.

KEOUGH: That’s the key, to stay with that mindset of, “I’m always learning.” That’s what keeps it so exciting. When you start to feel comfortable—I never like that.

MORRONE: Yeah, somebody once told me, “You never have it in the bag.” Even the actors that I idolize don’t have it in the bag. Sometimes they give a good performance, sometimes they give an okay performance, sometimes they don’t hit the mark. Sometimes the movie’s a flop and sometimes it’s a hit. Even when you think you’ve crushed it you can get a review that is the opposite.

Sweater, Briefs, and Shark Lock Pant Boots in Absinthe Green Givenchy.

KEOUGH: It’s subjective. One person can watch a performance and go, “This totally moved me,” and another person can watch it and go, “I didn’t connect.” If you’re looking for outside gratification from viewers, it’s certainly not the career for you.

MORRONE: Totally.

KEOUGH: Do you remember a moment or a scene where you were feeling like, “I am so addicted to this”?

MORRONE: When I was 19 and got my first bigger role in a movie called Death Wish. It was just so clear to me. Even though I was young, I was still like, “Why did it take me so long to go for this?” When I speak to people my age and they’re in a phase of their life where they’re not quite sure what drives them, I think to myself, “Wow, I’m really lucky that I know with certainty where my heart wants to be.”

KEOUGH: It’s a real blessing to know what you want to do with your life and then to be able to do it. And for me, I’m like, “I don’t know what else I could do! I’m not good at anything!” [Laughs]

MORRONE: I didn’t go to college, so I guess I’ve got to figure this thing out and make it work! [Laughs] 

KEOUGH: Were there performances you remember growing up that really moved you? For me, it was Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge.

MORRONE: I have more appreciation for performances now as an adult, knowing how hard the craft is and how much work it takes for it to look easy and natural. Even just recently, I saw Jodie Comer in her play, Prima Facie, and you realize how many tools went into this looking so seamless to us and for it to move us, how much work that person is carrying on their shoulders. I know what was sacrificed for the performance to have landed and for me to have felt it. As an actor, you sacrifice a part of yourself with every performance. You give something up. 

KEOUGH: What do you think that thing was with Camila Dunne [Morrone’s character] in Daisy?

MORRONE: I left a part of my youth and some pain in my life on the table. I got to live it through and flesh it out, because to access those emotional places, you have to go there, and your body doesn’t know the difference when you’re putting yourself in that state. 

KEOUGH: You grew up a little bit with Camila?

MORRONE: Camila pushed me to expand my horizons on what I think love looks like, what it actually means to love someone, and just how blurry the lines of love can be. I have a very traditional way of looking at marriage and love. Camila made me go, “Love is unpredictable, complicated, painful, heartbreaking, beautiful, and messy. And there’s no right or wrong way to do it.”

Coat and Shark Lock Pant Boots in Gold Givenchy.

KEOUGH: It’s been a very big year for you. You’ve moved, our show came out, and you’ve changed a lot of things in your life. So I’m wondering, who are you in this moment right now as opposed to one year ago today? 

MORRONE: I am in a place of wonder, curiosity, fearlessness. I’m ready to take on anything. I am in my “yes” era. I’m saying yes to new adventures, yes to new directors, yes to scary roles that I don’t think I can pull off, yes to meeting new people. 

KEOUGH: It’s a good time to ask you on a date! [Laughs]

MORRONE: Riley, do you want to go on a date?

KEOUGH: It’s a good time for all the guys out there to ask you out.

MORRONE: Hello! Sometimes when you’re young, you’re selfish and not really interested in the world. I’ve outgrown that a little bit. I’m just curious.

KEOUGH: I want to know about your new movie Gonzo Girl. Tell me about the audition. I love knowing about auditions.

MORRONE: My agents sent me the audition and told me that Gonzo Girl was going to be Patricia Arquette’s directorial debut. I did the tape during the pandemic, downstairs in my basement with someone who was living with me at the time, sent it in, didn’t hear back for a month, and assumed I didn’t get it. Then, on my birthday, I got a call from my agents. They said, “Call us, we have a great birthday gift for you.” I called them and they said, “Patricia Arquette’s offering you the lead of Gonzo Girl based on your audition.”

KEOUGH: Oh my god.

MORRONE: I was like, “What do you mean? I didn’t even meet her. I didn’t even do a callback. I didn’t even Zoom with her.” I didn’t understand why she was just trusting me with this. I was in shock. 

camila morrone

Sweater, Shirt, Briefs, and Shark Lock Pant Boots in Absinthe Green Givenchy.

KEOUGH: What was she like as a director?

MORRONE: I can’t put her into words. I’ve never met a more soulful, unique person in my life. She’s more than just an actor. She, as a human, is the most worldly, the most cultured, the most intelligent, the most articulate. I’ve learned a lot from just asking her about life and listening to her point of view. And then it’s always interesting when an artist who is so established in their field already tries a new field. With this, she was tapping into another part of her artistry, and I think that she made a really special film. It’s an adaptation of a book called Gonzo Girl by Cheryl Della Pietra, who was a young woman who went to live with Hunter S. Thompson in the ’90s at his ranch. She spent a summer with him as his assistant and multiple events happened in those three months on the ranch with a very genius, complicated older man. 

KEOUGH: That’s amazing. What was the prep for this character?

MORRONE: Well, I knew I was going to work with Willem Dafoe.

KEOUGH: What was that like?!

MORRONE: Willem is such an experienced artist. I just thought, “How the hell am I going to show up with these professionals and make them proud?” I saw them both the first day and said, “You guys, I’m so terrified and I don’t know what the hell I’m doing so please just bear with me while I figure it out.” Patricia put me and Willem in a rehearsal room and we did trust exercises and crazy experimental rehearsals.

KEOUGH: That makes the difference. I wish that every film allowed the actors to do that. 

MORRONE: Oh yeah, we broke the ice on the first day. I walked into rehearsal and she was like, “Will and Cami, let’s do this.” And we just started doing the hardest scenes in the movie, screaming, chasing each other around to loosen up and get comfortable. I learned just by watching Willem. It’s freak-of-nature how good that man is at connecting. 

KEOUGH: That is so cool. I’m so excited to see this movie. Is there anything else you want to say that I haven’t asked you about Gonzo Girl?

MORRONE: I think that was everything. I love you and thank you for doing this.

KEOUGH: You’re welcome.

MORRONE: Is that good, guys? You guys got enough stuff?

Pants and Shark Lock Cowboy Ankle Boots In Black Givenchy

*This conversation and photoshoot was completed before the SAG-AFTRA strike.


Hair: Evanie Frausto using Bumble and Bumble at Streeters.

Makeup: Janessa Paré using Chantecaille at Streeters.

Nails: Eri Handa using Chanel Le Vernis at Home Agency.

Digital Technician: Ryan Jones.

Photography Assistants: Tim Shin and Matt Roady.

Fashion Assistants: Nicholson Baird and Danielle Zeldis.

Production Assistant: Jordan Santisteban.

Location: Neighbors.