Alien: Covenant star Katherine Waterston on filling Sigourney Weaver's shoes
Sigourney Weaver's Alien character did not weigh on Alien: Covenant actress' mind during filming
Katherine Waterston is not your typical movie star. She's over 1.8m tall, which was a hindrance to getting roles when she was younger. She doesn't care about clothes.
"You probably know more about what I'm wearing then I do because I have barely looked in the mirror," said the London-born actress.
"Nobody recognises me too because I'm often mistaken for a boy with my very short haircut.
"It happens all the time. There is no Beatlemania here. I'm not running down the street trying to get away from adoring fans," she added, laughing.
But fame is going to catch up with her sooner or later, following last year's outing opposite Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
Now she's director Ridley Scott's latest warrior heroine in Alien: Covenant, which opens here tomorrow.
We meet at London's Ham Yard Hotel to talk about the 37-year-old's role as Daniels, head of terraforming operations on the spaceship.
So you are the precursor to Sigourney Weaver's Ripley from Alien (1979). How much pressure was there on you?
Yeah, I was preparing Sigourney for her work (laughs). I didn't really think about it, probably because on a subconscious level I knew that if I really engaged with those kinds of thoughts, I wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning.
Ridley hired me to do this job and I wanted to be able to do it well. I didn't think about her or the legacy much while we were working. I had this great script and this new character.
To consider her journey and to prepare for everything she was going to do took up all my energy and focus.
So only now do I think about filling Sigourney's shoes... it's terrifying!
Were you a fan of the Alien movies?
I was 10 when I first watched Alien. A friend's older brother showed me the chest bursting scene, and it totally traumatised me. I was afraid to watch the film for so long that I didn't see it again until I was in my mid-20s.
But even then, it was extraordinary to see Sigourney's journey in that film. A lot of great leading lady warriors came after Ripley.
Talk about working with Ridley Scott.
The first thing that comes to mind, and this is so weird, is that I would take a bullet for him. I feel a tremendous amount of respect and affection for him.
I'd seen his films and I knew what a unique, exceptional film-maker he was and that actors loved to work with him. But I didn't expect to find such a lovely person as well, which is kind of shocking when someone has achieved so much.
He is scrappy, he's approachable, really playful and loose on set. He is probably one of the hardest working people in show business. And someone who has simultaneously not worked a day in his life because it's so clearly a pure pleasure for him.
What scares you in real life?
I'm horrifically terrified of mice. That's why it's fun to be an actress and play a part like this where you're staring in the face of a big monster and not flinching, because in real life I'm not so impressive.