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Katherine Waterston has been a working actress for close to a decade, but chances are you’ve never heard of her prior to last fall. This is despite appearances in "Michael Clayton," "Robot & Frank," "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby" and a stint on HBO’s now defunct drama "Boardwalk Empire." Her anonymity is now a thing of the past, thanks to Paul Thomas Anderson.
The auteur is back now with "Inherent Vice," his hugely anticipated follow-up to "The Master" — and Waterston features prominently in the loopy comedy, opposite Joaquin Phoenix who plays her ex-boyfriend. In a film full of nutty turns from the likes of Phoenix, Josh Brolin and Martin Short, it’s Waterston who grounds the proceedings with a raw, memorable performance that drew raves upon the film’s unveiling at the New York Film Festival late last year.
The actress told Indiewire that she gravitates to projects that scare her. She also opened up about Anderson’s process and the one negative aspect of working with the auteur.
On top of her screen work, Waterston has worked extensively onstage. Below, she explains why the two mediums aren’t all that different for actors.
This feature was originally published on January 21, 2015.