Katherine Waterston

A fearless presence in independent features since the mid-2000s, Katherine Waterston earned critical praise for her portrayal of strong-willed young women in "Babysitters" (2008) and "Inherent Vice" (2014). The daughter of Oscar-nominated actor Sam Waterston and former model Lynn Woodruff, Katherine Boyer Waterston was born March 3, 1980 in Westminster, London, where her parents were working at the time. She was raised in Connecticut and through her father's career, gained exposure to film and television sets at an early age. Waterston attended New York University as a double major in theater and photography, but found the workload required to pursue both subjects too overwhelming, so she focused her energies on theater. She made her small screen debut in "Americana" (2004), a television series pilot directed by David Schwimmer, before appearing in the short "Orchids" for actress-turned-director Bryce Dallas Howard. Waterston's screen acting career launched in earnest in 2007 with a feature film debut in Tony Gilroy's Oscar-nominated "Michael Clayton," and she soon balanced regular appearances in features with roles on the New York stage. In 2008, she vaulted to the lead in "Babysitters," playing a cagey honors student who supports her academic career by forming an escort ring that services the friends of a hapless suburbanite (John Leguizamo) whose child she babysits. Her performance set in motion a string of intense bit and supporting parts in independent features, including the comedy "Taking Woodstock" (2009), "Being Flynn" (2012) with Robert De Niro and Paul Dano, and as a kidnapping victim suffering from Stockholm Syndrome in "The Factory" (2012) with John Cusack. During this period, Waterston was also a regular in theater productions, most notably Off-Broadway in "Bachelorette" (2010) and a revival of "The Cherry Orchard" (2011). By 2013, Waterston was appearing in several features per year, logging character roles in indie features like "Manhattan Romance" (2014) and the neo-noir "Glass Chin" (2014), which led to her breakout role as the vixenish Shasta Fay Hepworth in "Inherent Vice" (2014). Based on a novel by Thomas Pynchon and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the anarchic comedy-drama starred Joaquin Phoenix as a drug-addled private eye who is sent by his former lover (Waterston) to track down her current paramour, a missing real estate developer, which introduces him to an array of bizarre characters and situations. Waterston's no-holds-barred performance earned her an array of award nominations from critical societies, including the Satellite Awards and Denver Film Critics Society. The exposure afforded by "Inherent Vice" led to more high-profile projects, including the biopic "Steve Jobs" (2015), for which she played Chrisann Brennan, the high school girlfriend of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.