When Delaney Rowe hops on a late-August Zoom chat, she’s wearing a sweater. If you’ve seen any of her viral TikToks— such as her musings about people who love black coffee or reflections on a weekend bender— you’ve likely seen it.
“This is one of a kind. This was stolen from an ex,” she says of the beloved garment. “It is really special. It's just what I wear usually to bed, and then when I wake up and I shoot content, I just like immediately go into filming because that's kind of the only time of day I can work and I get the most light.”
Rowe came to Los Angeles by way of Boise, Idaho to attend the University of Southern California. Aftering earning her bachelor’s degree in 2017 from the infamous School of Cinematic Arts, she hit the ground running and began auditioning while working as a private chef. But things just weren’t working out and then the pandemic hit. So to find a way to showcase her talents, Rowe signed up for TikTok.
In a year and a half, Rowe has amassed over a million followers across her social media platforms and 50 million likes across 400 videos. She’s gained a loyal following with laugh-out-loud TikToks that hone in on the absurdity of Los Angeles, Gen Z and everyday clichés. And with a love for fashion and beauty, she has also secured brand partnerships with Abercrombie, Target, Fidelity and Sunday Riley, among others.In addition to dominating the digital space, Rowe wrapped filming on The List earlier this year, in which she will appear alongside Halston Sage, Gregg Sulkin, Christian Navarro and Nick Viall.
Read below for more from Rowe on how she finds inspiration in manic pixie dream boys, her favorite L.A. restaurants and why TikTok is the ultimate platform for expression.
We’re still pickingoriginal sound - Delaney Rowe
What is the brainstorming process like for your TikToks?
It's mostly spur of the moment. But my favorite thing is when I am out and about with friends— like this happened this weekend at dinner. I had a friend who was the table representative, just taking everybody's orders and things like that. And I thought it was really funny, and so I just write it down in my notes app, and then I'll mark it later. That's my favorite: I know that idea, but I don't have it all written yet. And I'll write it live as I'm shooting it. Sometimes, honestly, the creative process looks like just setting up the little tripod and sitting in front of it and waiting to see if something happens.
You have a number of TikToks as the indie kid in coming-of-age movies. Why do you think those videos have done so well?
People really like that nostalgic content with that song and the costumes and the tropes. I think it hits the generation that's most on TikTok right now. It was based off of Cliff Pantone in Bring It On. I just watched it and I was like, “That's such a good trope,” because now you see it in Riverdale and stuff. And it's so ridiculous. It's basically the male version of manic pixie dream girl, but it’s manic pixie dream boys.
I really like the John Green stuff. It's just really tasty. They're really, really broken down almost to a science. You can look at all the tropes and all of the devices used in those films. I'm a little old for them now, but when I was watching them when I was coming of age, I genuinely liked them, not even in a jokey way. I loved Paper Towns, I wanted to be Margo Roth Spiegelman, the whole thing. The whole series was born out of genuine love for these kind of hacky characters. As you get older, you realize how ridiculous it is. But at the time, I was like, “I just love this.”
@delaneysayshello Replying to @user2455154735926 Coming of Age - Blondes
How has TikTok helped you hone your talent as an actor?
I spent a lot of time auditioning and meeting people in L.A. before making my own content. And when you're not putting anything out there that's yours, you're basically allowing other people to tell you what kind of actress you are, what they see you as. And that's fine, by the way. I was happy with doing that until I realized it wasn't working. So I was like, “OK, clearly there's some disconnect between the way that people in the industry see me and the way that I see myself, so my only option here is to show them who I am.” And I think that's what's so impressive and important about TikTok is it gives everyone an equal opportunity to be like, “This is what I'm good at. This was my talent.” And it comes down to committing to making videos and really putting everything behind it. It's this great platform about expression in a way that no other social media platform has been able to do.
Given your interest in food, beauty and fashion in addition to acting, is your plan to have a multifaceted career or do you want to really hone in on more of a traditional entertainment path?
I have learned in the last few years to keep my hobbies, my hobbies so that I don't hate them. I used to be a private chef. I love food. Food is an enormous deal for me, but then when I was a private chef, I really got sick of it because when you make your hobby, your work, I think you run that risk. Luckily, acting and writing comedy has always been my passion, so I don't feel like I get sick of it when I do that as work. But with the food stuff, I would just like to keep that involved in my Instagram content or maybe I could do some sort of series on it eventually. But I'm really into food. And not only food. It's something about L.A. nightlife that I'm just obsessed with— restaurants, bars, that whole culture.
What are your favorite L.A. bars and restaurants?
I think the best restaurant in L.A. is Marvin, which is a French restaurant in West Hollywood. And then I really love Cafe Stella, which is in Silver Lake. That's a great bar. If I think of my dream bar, it's that bar. It's small, it's moody, it's dimly lit, the crowd is older. I hate it when I'm at The Bungalow and everyone's like 19. That's not my vibe. All Time in Los Feliz is really good. Downtown's got really great food too. The Arts District is one of my favorite places to go. I love Bestia, I love Bavel, which is the same chef. A lot of fun stuff happening down there right now. I love the Ace Hotel here.
Capri Club is great. That’s new in Eagle Rock, and I feel like people need to go. Really amazing. It's like frozen negronis and incredible tiny Italian bites. And then Gold Line, which is in Highland Park.
When you cook at home, what is your favorite meal to make?
Lamb stew. It’s Alison Roman's recipe. It's lamb stew with anchovies in there. You top it with basically croutons. You fry up pieces of bread and you put it on top with fresh tarragon. And that will impress anyone. If you're trying to impress somebody or you're having a person over in a romantic way for dinner, you got to make this recipe. It is foolproof, and even for people who say they don't like lamb, they’ll like this.
Do you have any projects you’re looking forward to later this year?
I'm looking forward to just spending some time outside of L.A. I want to spend some time in New York and create content there and see how that inspires new content. I want to do collabs with people. I've never really done that. And so I'm in this great place where I've met so many amazing creators that I was real fans of and now they're my friends, so tricking them into making content with me would be something that I'd like to do in the next few months.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Photography by: Jonny Marlow