Check out our interview with multi-talented stage and screen British actress Georgia Waters who can be seen as Eliza on Disney+ series “SIREN.”
A TV series, based on Eric Wald and Dean White’s mermaid story, The Deep. SIREN was recently added to the Disney+ streaming service so can be seen by an entirely new global audience. Georgia has a background in Martial Arts and swimming that really helped her with her role in SIREN.
Georgia’s most recent feature project was her leading role in TOYS OF TERROR which debuted in 2020. This R-rated horror film takes place in a secluded mansion, which used to be a children’s hospital with a haunted past. Hannah (Kyana Teresa, Star Trek: Discovery, Shadowhunters) moves her family to the worn down estate with the dreams of renovating. Her two youngest children prove to be quite the handful so their Nanny, Rose (played by Waters), discovers that a trunk full of old toys creates the perfect distraction.
Follow Georgia @georgia_scarlet_waters
Hi Georgia, please tell us a little about you?
For some reason, that’s a hard question! I suppose the best place to start is that I’m an English actress living in Vancouver. I’ve always had a love of storytelling including films, plays, and books. As a child I would obsessively read which led me to take my degree in English Language & Literature at the University of Oxford.
Since graduating I’ve been acting professionally, modelling and now writing. When I’m not working, I like to drink wine with friends, eat, hike, kayak, run, and read!
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Pensive, Romantic, Sensitive
How did you get started into acting?
Since I can remember I’ve always wanted to be on stage, and would take up any opportunity to perform. I joined drama groups, performed in school plays, and was also in the school orchestra playing flute. When I went to University, I joined the drama society, and was cast in productions at The Oxford Playhouse. This is where I was scouted by an acting agent, and my professional acting career began.
How has this changed your life?
In every way. Finding a way to tell stories will always be the thing that drives me. My nana had wanted to be an actress, and had been encouraged by her teacher to go to drama school. But it was a time when that wasn’t seen as the ‘done’ thing. You had to keep your head down, get a respectable job, and get married. So I feel very grateful that these options are open to me.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
The best part is getting to tell stories, to be part of a collaborative process, and for me especially, to explore character psychology. I especially love being on set, everyone there is working together to create something, each highly skilled in their different areas.
The worst part is not having control. That extends from not being able to control what auditions come your way, what roles are offered to you, and how the story gets told. I think that’s why a lot of actors are starting to make their own work.
Tell us about your work in Disney+ “SIREN?”
SIREN, is a show set in a fictional fishing town called Bristol Cove, where mermaids are forced on land. In the first season, it’s because the military capture Donna, a mermaid hunting for food. Her sister, Ryn, comes on land searching for her. In the second season, it’s due to sonar waves from the fishing boats and oil drills destroying the mermaid’s sense of direction and eating patterns. On land the mermaids look human, but they have superhuman strength, killer instincts, and still essentially half wild animal. And of course, things get dangerous and complicated.
And about your role as Eliza?
I play Eliza, a healer mermaid who comes on land in Season two. She’s able to create concoctions and use her own sound vibrations to help heal. She is gentler than the other mermaids, and shows more empathy and curiosity to the humans. However, she’s still a keen fighter, especially when her pod is threatened.
How is working with such a talented cast?
Just amazing. Everyone was so committed and dedicated. We had some really challenging days, but it didn’t alter anyone’s output. That type of attitude is contagious, so everyone just pulls together. I learnt a lot about what it means to stay humble, keep a level head and get the work done. There should be no place for ego on a film set, as it just wastes time and resources. We also had a lot of fun in the process. Chats in the greenroom would range from over tired silliness to deep philosophical debates.
Working with Eline, who plays Ryn, was also an absolute joy I will always be grateful for. For season one, she extensively researched how the mermaids should move, speak, and think. On our first day she did a long workshop with us to help us learn everything they had built in season one. It was fascinating to see the amount of detail she had layered into the role. It also inspired me in my own research for Eliza. That there is always another snippet of information that might spark a new idea.
I was also lucky to have so many scenes with Rena Owen. She is such a phenomenal actress and has worked on so many incredible projects in this industry. It was a privilege to watch and learn from her.
And now about your lead role in Syfy’s horror feature film “TOYS OF TERROR?”
This project was filmed out in Winnipeg, so it was fun to explore a whole new city.
The film is about a family who stay in an old house, because the Mother is renovating it to sell. My character, Rose is their nanny. What the Mum doesn’t tell the rest of the family is that the house used to be a children’s hospital with a tragic haunted past.
Rose starts to notice strange things that happen, and is on a mission, with the teenager Alicia to discover what happened in order to stop history from repeating itself with these children.
How do you prepare for a role?
I start with script analysis, so deciding what motivates my character, what holds them back, and what their specific personality traits are.
Then I also like to read around certain topics, for example for Eliza I read a lot about medicine women in different cultures. This gives you more knowledge to make more interesting choices. I might also see if any films or youtube clips are helpful. For Toys of Terror I watched The Orphanage, which gave me a lot of material to think about. I also had to work on accents for both these projects, so I certainly spent some time doing that.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I am definitely drawn to ethereal characters. I mostly seem to want to play darker roles. But one day it would be fun to play with something lighter and more comedic. I would also love to see myself in a period drama, as I’m obsessed with watching them!
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The team I work with. That’s a strong part of what motivates me. Seeing a story come to life. And then of course, connecting with the people who watch it. It’s so rewarding seeing people enjoy the projects you spent so long creating. I suppose that’s what it’s about at the end of the day!
How would your best friend describe you?
Oh gosh I don’t know – determined maybe? You have to have a lot of determination in this industry.
I also think/ hope they would say I’m a good listener, and I don’t take myself seriously.
What’s next for Georgia Waters in 2021?
This year is a big year for focusing on my writing projects. I’ve written a feature and a pilot so far, so I want to see how those can be developed. I appreciate it’s another challenging side of the industry, but it’s one that feels like a natural fit for me.
I’m also in an independent feature film called VIEWFINDER which will be released later this year. So I look forward to promoting that.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love a good salad with everything, kale, avocado, roasted chickpeas, roasted squash, feta, and topped with eggs.
I also have a banana everyday.
And your favorite cheat food?
Pasta, always. And ice cream.
The English girl in me loves a good beef pie with gravy and apple crumble too.
How would you explain your fashion style?
At the moment?? Very much sweaters and leggings.
I almost can’t remember normal clothes. But I love vintage and thrift store finds. So much gets wasted, especially in the fashion industry, so I love finding beautiful second hand pieces. My favourite leather jacket is second hand, which I got ten years ago, and it’s still going strong. I find vintage pieces often last longer too.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Talking for hours with a close friend over a glass of wine. Curled up on the sofa with a book. Long walks in the sun with my partner, and then enjoying a long meal.
I think to be happy, you have to be content with yourself and where you are in the moment. We live in a world where we put so much pressure on ourselves to constantly be better, we often forget the little moments that really matter.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Hrmmm. Katherine Hepburn. She seemed to be a real trailblazer in her time. Maybe one day I could play her in a film…. 😉
Best advice ever given?
A big one has been – “why not you?” – someone has to book that role, so why not you?
And in terms of doing the work, the best advice has actually been “just make sure you do the good work, and let the camera see it”. At the end of the day that’s the part that matters. We can get swept away with the politics of set, of doing intense emotional work, but if you’re not able to bring your best work for when you’re on camera, it doesn’t matter.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Hopefully writing and performing in my own projects!
What do you think of Social Media?
Social media can both be a helpful powerful tool, and a really toxic tool. It’s certainly enabled much needed awareness around topics of racism, sexism, and social injustice. However, my worry is that we’re not having meaningful conversations through it. I almost think it’s increased the divide between people. I’ve become increasingly aware how it can be like an echo chamber. I’m not sure if anyone’s opinion is actually changed through social media, people’s beliefs and ideals are enhanced and further entrenched. But equally it’s been amazing to see the movements social media has helped create, and hopefully triggered real change.
On a personal note, I can find it addictive. I don’t even have addictive tendencies, I usually like everything in moderation. Social media is like my unhealthy tick, if there’s a pause, my thumb goes to instagram. It takes me out of focusing on the moment, and it can affect my mental health.
But at the same time it’s been so helpful to promote my projects, to stay in touch with people, and for design ideas. I’m still navigating the right balance.
Where we can follow you?
Book: Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift
He was a political writer showing the folly of human nature in a comic way.
Movie: August in the Osage County – some of my favourites showing the ugly complications of family life.
Tv Series: Modern Family! My guilty pleasure, this show gets me through all my sad times, I just love it. I was gutted when it ended.
I May Destroy You – Just amazing writing, direction, and acting – exploring extremely important themes.
Favorite Food: Italian
Travel Destination: Italy 🙂