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What Went Wrong With… Katherine Waterston?

An image of Katherine Waterston alongside Doofus Rick both with bowl haircuts

Katherine Waterston is a strange-looking actor. With her forgettable looks and repetitive performances, all I can recall after watching a few of her films is her small, dimpled chin and her unvarying acting. If you ever watch one of her movies, you’ll note that Waterston usually looks forlorn and/or bewildered, looking teary-eyed, hard-done-by and trembling like a cold, shitting dog. Although not particularly bad as an actor, her repetitious performances means that other than a wardrobe change and a haircut, Katherine plays every part so similarly that she might as well be motion-captured and digitally inserted into movies as CGI.

In 2007, Waterston began appearing in films, for the most part going completely unnoticed (which is understandable considering her small roles in indie films as well as her bland face). But then suddenly, in 2016 she began popping-up in big-budget blockbusters; Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them and Alien: Covenant. In both these movies, Kathy looked completely out of place, like an actor from a Sunday BBC drama lost at Pinewood Studios wandering onto a film set. I mean who exactly thought she was good enough for a lead role in a movie? Very odd.

Being the daughter of an actor and an ex-model, sister to an actor, sister to a director-slash-producer (and the half-sister to another actor) I guess this is nepotism in full effect. If there’s ever a star without star-quality, you can bet your fertilised egg that it’s down to nepotism.

Remember the movie Capricorn One starring James Brolin, O.J. Simpson, and err… the other bloke? No, not Elliot Gould, not Hal Holbrook, the other bloke. Well, the other bloke is Waterston’s father, actor Sam Waterston (of Law & Order fame). In that respect, Katherine Waterston is following in her daddy’s footsteps; a decent enough actor but not particularly memorable. Katherine however, is much more forgettable than her pops, in fact she could be replaced by almost anybody with an Equity card without affecting her pictures in any way.

Being teary-eyed in Steve Jobs, teary-eyed in Fantastic Beasts (and presumably its sequel), and almost teary-eyed in Alien, if she’s not looking miserable and distressed, Katherine almost disappears into the scene like a filmic chameleon. The only way she stands-out is by performing with her trademark bowl-haircut which has been utilised twice so far, making her look like Doofus Rick from Rick And Morty. Her lamp-shade haircut in Alien: Covenant (and Logan Lucky) was distracting to say the least, her do looking like it could rotate like a spinning-plate and topple at any minute (which surely isn’t safe for space travel?).

So will Katherine Waterston ever be able to act in any other way than to be annoying and unremarkable? I mean her character was annoying in Fantastic Beats and her character was annoying in Alien: Covenant, maybe that’s because the actor herself is annoying and she can’t portray anything other than her own personality, which is err… annoying. Never since Anne Hathaway has someone this irritating and with such little appeal appeared on screen.

Looking like a melted Alicia Vikander and usually seen acting like a shivering chihuahua being prodded by a long stick, Waterston is simultaneously irritating and insipid (which I didn’t think was possible). Even Jack McCoy from Law & Order couldn’t convince me in one of his closing statements that she isn’t dull and irksome.

As Bland As Water(ston).

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