If you don’t know the name Katherine Waterston, you will soon.
The 35-year-old actress, who broke out big in Paul Thomas Anderson’s trippy “Inherent Vice” as Joaquin Phoenix’s elusive love object Shasta, will headline Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter” prequel spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” The casting news arrives on the heels of Eddie Redmayne, whom Warner Bros. plucked earlier this month.
The Brit leading lady will play the role of Tina, a.k.a. Porpentina, a witch operating in the United States, which has been swapped for the original novel’s UK setting. In New York City, she meets Hogwarts alumnus Newt Scamander, whose textbook forms the basis of the film and who will be played by Redmayne.
“Fantastic Beasts” will mark author J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut, and will be directed by David Yates, who helmed the last four “Potter” pictures. David Heyman, who oversaw the entirety of the eight-film franchise topped by “Deathly Hallows – Part 2” in 2011, will produce this prequel set 70 years before “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Obviously, Warner Bros. wants to keep this money-making property alive.
Waterston will also be seen this Fall in Danny Boyle’s “Steve Jobs” as Chrisann Brennan, the artist-mother of Jobs’ first child. The actress also shined in 2015 Berlinale premiere “Queen of Earth,” written and directed by Alex Ross Perry, as the BFF of Elisabeth Moss’ gloriously unhinged femme hysterique.