Whitney Peak’s first audition got here after she noticed a business on Disney Channel promoting an opportunity to be on the community. It turned out to be a rip-off, however the joke’s on them. Since then, the 17-year-old, Uganda-born actor, who moved to Canada along with her household when she was 9, has acted on the hit Netflix collection Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and within the Aaron Sorkin crime drama Molly’s Sport, reverse Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba. However it’s her subsequent position that has individuals speaking. Later this yr, she stars within the secretive HBO Max reboot of Gossip Woman.
JULIANA UKIOMOGBE: How did you get into performing?
WHITNEY PEAK: It’s truly a bizarre story. So, initially I heard a business on Disney Channel once I was 13 or 14. It was like, “Do you wish to be on Disney Channel?” And I used to be like, “Yeah, in fact.” So I acquired in contact with my mother and we went to that audition and all of it turned out to be a rip-off. However then from there I began doing background performing after which I acquired forged off the background set to play the youthful model of a lead in a TV collection referred to as Minority Report, and the man who performed my Dad, Colin Lawrence, referred me to his agent. I photoshopped a headshot to make the background clear. It was an entire factor. After which from there, I acquired my agent and now right here we’re.
UKIOMOGBE: When do you know that performing was going to be your profession path? Was there one second or was it like a end result of moments?
PEAK: I don’t assume I ever actually considered it like that. It’s at all times been one thing that’s been enjoyable for me and I’ve been fortunate sufficient to have the ability to pursue it, however I don’t assume there was a second the place I’ve mentioned, “That is what I’m going to do for the remainder of my life.” I imply, truly, most likely once I booked Gossip Woman, that was an enormous eye-opener for me and I used to be like, “Oh my goodness, that is truly one thing that I may probably do for the remainder of my life,” which is a dream and it’s wonderful and I’d completely love to do this if I used to be given an opportunity to.
UKIOMOGBE: Did you do any faculty performs in class? Have been you a theater child?
PEAK: I actually wasn’t. That’s the factor, I’ve by no means actually been good at public talking, particularly in class. At any time when I needed to do a venture or one thing or needed to give a speech, I might actually shake in entrance of your entire class as a result of I used to be simply so nervous. The identical type of factor occurs in auditions, however for some cause, it’s just a bit bit much less intimidating since you don’t know the individuals that you simply’re auditioning for.
UKIOMOGBE: You had been born in Uganda. What was it like rising up there?
PEAK: what? I truly don’t keep in mind a lot of it. I moved to Canada once I was 9 or 10 in 2012. I went to boarding faculty in Uganda, so the college system there was positively loads harsher and extra disciplined, however it was unimaginable. I had fun. However there was much more alternative [in Canada], plenty of freedom. In Uganda, the tradition that you simply’re born into is sort of what you observe all through the remainder of your life, however once I got here right here, it felt extra like I had the choice to be my very own individual and select the place I needed my life to go.
UKIOMOGBE: Have been you a fan of the unique Gossip Woman?
PEAK: Oh my gosh, was I? Sure. I most likely began watching it two years in the past and I’ve now seen it 3 times. I used to be positively a fan of it earlier than I even auditioned for the present, however once I auditioned, I used to be like, “There’s no approach I’m going to get this. I’m 16. I don’t actually have that a lot expertise. There’s no approach that is going to occur.” So it’s humorous how that labored out.
UKIOMOGBE: What was the audition course of like?
PEAK: Earlier than I even acquired the tape, my supervisor referred to as me. I used to be in class and I needed to dip out of sophistication as a result of each time my supervisor calls, it’s both one thing actually good or it’s one thing actually unhealthy. So I went out into the hallway and I referred to as him again and he mentioned that they’re doing a reboot for Gossip Woman and he’s going to attempt to get me an audition. I believed it is perhaps troublesome, however I used to be like, “I’d positively love to present it a shot.” So a number of weeks later I acquired the tape and I did the audition after which instantly after, I went to Uganda for my sister’s marriage ceremony for a couple of month or two and I got here again in January after which my supervisor referred to as me and was like, “Gossip Woman desires to e-book you.” And I used to be like, “What?” I used to be tremendous excited and I used to be like, “Okay, however when do I take a look at?” As a result of normally you get a callback and then you definately take a look at and there’s plenty of steps to the method earlier than you absolutely e-book the factor. However then my supervisor was like, “Oh, no, they booked it, you’re in. We’re simply finalizing your contract.” I used to be shocked. I used to be positively very excited and I used to be very honored to have that response. I nonetheless can’t even consider it, you understand what I’m saying? It’s a kind of issues the place it’s like, “What is going on?”
UKIOMOGBE: Vogue was such an enormous a part of the unique present. Is that also prevalent within the new collection?
PEAK: I can’t think about it wouldn’t be. I believe vogue’s such an enormous factor within the unique. For those who weren’t watching Gossip Woman for the performing or for the drama, then you definately had been positively anticipating the style as a result of it was so fascinating. I can’t think about how vogue wouldn’t be part of the brand new Gossip Woman.
UKIOMOGBE: Are you daunted in any respect about showing in a reboot of such a extensively beloved present, or does that not faze you?
PEAK: Oh my goodness, how may it not faze me? There’s such an enormous fan base of the unique. When the information acquired out, my Instagram went loopy and everyone needed to know who I used to be taking part in and when it was going to start out filming. I used to be like, “Oh my gosh, that is going to be loads.” There’s positively plenty of stress, however I’m a fan of the unique present, so I can perceive how individuals acquired so hooked up to those characters and now that they’re attempting to convey it again once more. Individuals are simply conflicted. They’re like, “No, why would you already contact one thing that’s so lovely?” I really feel like there’s no should be threatened. It’s positively going to be fascinating and I don’t assume it’s going to remove in any respect from the unique present in all its glory. It’s simply going to be the identical type of world, eight years later.
UKIOMOGBE: Is there something that you simply’ve realized from engaged on this present, both about your self or about performing on the whole?
PEAK: It’s been type of bizarre as a result of normally once you e-book one thing, you begin filming instantly. I discovered that I booked it in late January and we had been supposed to start out filming, however then it acquired pushed for seven months due to the pandemic. So it went from “I can’t wait” to “Oh my gosh. Is that this going to occur?”
Hair: Lucas Wilson at Residence Company utilizing Oribe.
Make-up: Courtney Perkins at Frank Reps utilizing Mac Cosmetics.