The first time Camila Morrone moved to New York, she was completely overwhelmed. She was 17, working as a model, and missed her parents, who were back home in L.A., too much. This time around, she’s hunting for apartments in between press commitments for her first major commercial streaming show, traversing the city as six billboards of her project glow in Times Square.
“I’m just coming up for air right now,” she says, having finally earned a few moments of downtime in New York after taking the show to L.A. to premiere.
The show, “Daisy Jones and the Six,” is a television adaptation from Amazon of the beloved Taylor Jenkins Reid megahit book, about a Fleetwood Mac-esque band in the ’70s. It’s the first project of such a scale for the Argentine-American Morrone, who has previously worked exclusively on indie films like “Mickey and the Bear” and “Never Goin’ Back.”
Three-plus years after she signed onto the project, “Daisy Jones” is finally dropping on Amazon on Friday, an experience Morrone describes as “vulnerable, surreal, scary and exciting, all these contradicting feelings.”
“It’s funny because you can be absolutely terrified and absolutely elated and beyond excited at the same time,” she adds. “Actually, I’m feeling really great. I think that it is that peace and quiet, the calm before the storm, and I think that this show will be accepted in a beautiful way. I think that the fans will get all of the things that they have been waiting for years to see on the screen.”
The project came Morrone’s way in 2019; she’s close friends with the agent of Riley Keough, who had signed on early to play Daisy, and she called her one day to tell her to go out and read the book immediately.
“She said, ‘I’ve just read this book, “Daisy Jones and the Six.” Riley Keough has gotten the part of Daisy Jones, and there’s a character named Camila in this book who you absolutely need to play. You are this character,’” Morrone recalls.
She put off reading the book until 48 hours before her audition, and rather than skimming it found herself consuming it whole in two sittings.
“This book was my reintroduction to reading as an adult and recreational reading, because I hadn’t been reading for fun at that point. I had been reading scripts and plays and doing work stuff, but I had not, since high school, picked up a book as a hobby,” Morrone says. “This style of writing showed me a different world of books, which can be fun and juicy and binge-worthy and entertaining. And since then it’s kind of started my love affair with reading. From then on, I’ve gone on to read over 30 books in the past three years. So I do really attribute my newfound love for recreational reading to this book.”
Initially it was Daisy Jones who captured her attention, but she came to love Camila and her journey throughout the book.
“She’s got this subdued superpower of strength and groundedness; she’s the glue that keeps the story together,” Morrone says. “I ended up falling in love with Camila and exploring Camila, and she ended up teaching me a lot of really beautiful lessons in life and widened my range and my brain capacity to look at love and life and family and self-worth and values. She’s actually ended up being a part of my coming of age.”
Morrone grew up in Los Angeles, the daughter of two Argentine immigrants who were working actors. She grew up watching her parents struggle with landing jobs, which taught her the reality of the industry.
“Both of my parents have very thick Argentinian accents. In America, that limits your potential for roles. For every 10 characters that I can go out for, they could only go out for one or two in which the storyline would apply to a Hispanic person. So I think that it was really hard for them, and I think that it was an emotional rollercoaster,” Morrone says. “I watched my parents read lines in the living room and repeat them, repeat them, and drill them for auditions and memorize their lines and run scenes and rehearse. I just grew up with a very realistic understanding of what the business was and that it wasn’t all glamorous and Hollywood and diamonds and pearls. I think that thank God I had that experience because it is a ruthless business, and I needed to have that in order to have, I think, the deep appreciation that I have now for this industry.”
After “Daisy Jones” she has two more indie films coming out that she worked on last year, but is soon going to resume the audition process in search of the next thing — as soon as she lands an apartment in New York.
“I just love this city and I love theater, and all the best acting coaches are here. Maybe I’ll dabble into theater,” Morrone says. “I’m just in a place where I’m just very excited to try new things.”