Art is patient. It doesn’t proclaim its presence and demand your attention, it simply waits. At first you may only be mildly curious, but that quickly turns to intrigue. Soon, you are fascinated, marveling at the depth and complexity of the work. Eventually, you find yourself lost in a world that you never knew existed, but you don’t want to leave.
That’s the magic of Kate Watson. She is patient. She knows what she has to offer. She lives in the moment and is confident that you’ll join her.
This Friday, February 5, at 8/7c on LMN, Kate stars as Beth Curtis in Lifetime’s latest thriller Killer Advice. One night, after work, Beth suffers a traumatic attack. She’s a resilient woman, but the attack makes her feel helpless. She tries desperately to stay strong and move forward, like she’s always done, but this time, it doesn’t seem to be working. Eventually, her friends and family convince her that she needs to talk to a professional. However, as Beth learns to drop her guard and become vulnerable with her new therapist, her life seems to be getting worse instead of better.
Kate was kind enough to answer a few questions from Entertaining Options. Like her character, she opened up and revealed a great deal about herself.
You were born and raise in Oahu, Hawaii. Your bio says that you studied dancing at Hawaii State Ballet. Did you have any other creative pursuits besides dancing? Did you sing or write or draw?
Yes to all of those! I was a curious ball of creativity. I’m fairly certain that I attempted to “perform” most of my school book reports. I loved writing short stories, reading mystery novels, and without a doubt art was my favorite subject. My mother was an opera singer, and music was essentially a second language. Although, I really wish I knew how to play an instrument.
Many people want to end up in Hawaii, but you started there. Is it really the paradise that the rest of us think it is? Was it hard to leave?
The magic of Hawaii is difficult to capture with words. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful, but the island’s meaningful, deep-rooted culture and people make it extraordinary. People grow up valuing the environment and each other. Everyone is “Auntie” or “Uncle.” Strangers and friends are immediately considered family. Although, just like any other place, there will always be contrast. Being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean does have limitations such as a higher cost of living and fewer employment opportunities. And because of those reasons, we moved to the mainland when I was almost a teenager. It was incredibly difficult to leave. I try and get back often. It’s good for the soul.
For a time, you were an executive. Was there anything that you learned in business that carried over to acting?
I am immensely grateful for my experience in the business world. There are a multitude of skill sets that carry over into what I do now as an actor. Communication and negotiation, strategical planning, and problem solving are vital in the work I do. Working with a team in business is similar to working on a film set, however the biggest limitation on a set usually is time.
What is it like being in the acting business?
I believe this business is one of compounding millimeters. It’s a forever marathon. It takes an incredible sense of self, resilience, and agility to keep going.
How did you find out about this role?
Our director, Jared Cohn, and I have made a few other films together. After reading the script, I jumped on board.
When did you shoot the film? Did you feel safe?
We shot the film right before Los Angeles went into complete Covid lockdown. Safety was paramount. It took every person on that set to follow protection protocols in order to keep each other safely working.
What is the auditioning process like now?
Every audition I’ve done this past year has been through a self tape or zoom call.
Do you feel safe on set?
Set regulations are extremely strict and testing is done almost every other day. Any set not in compliance with union regulations isn’t a set I’d feel safe to work on.
What can you tell us about Beth, the character you play in Killer Advice?
Beth is a woman that’s used to treading turbulent waters. Whether with her family, or in her demanding job, she’ll put on a brave face and take care of business. But, after she survives a traumatic attack she decides that the only way towards recovery is in seeking professional help. In doing so, she get’s more than she’s bargained for. This film, although centered around the delicate subject of mental health, has a heartbeat of love between a mother and her family.
Have you ever been in a situation where you experienced something like Beth did?
Nothing quite like Beth’s experience, but I have been in a few scary situations. I wish I could say that what Beth experiences is extremely uncommon, but unfortunately it’s not.
What qualities do you have that brought Beth to life?
I’d like to think that I, like Beth, am resilient. I’ll stand up after every round in the ring. Beth’s also fortunate enough to have a profound love for her family and friends, which becomes the ultimate driving force within her.
Did you learn anything from Beth?
I did. One thing that I remember scribbling down on my script after reading it for the first time was this age old quote: “Bravery is not the absence of fear, but the moving forward in spite of it.” In a time where we see so many movies that are filled with inhuman, infallible superheroes, I knew Beth had to be as human as possible. It was right there in the writing. She wasn’t fearless, she was brave.
What is your favorite memory from making this movie?
I have so many! But, if I had to choose, it might be the scene where Beth visits her therapist for the first time. I remember feeling like I was walking the tight rope of restraint and utter undoing. And as an actor, the reward is always finding that honest place to honor your character.
Do you think Lifetime offers empowering stories and roles for women?
I think a lot of Lifetime films do. Although packaged in a tight, television movie time frame, these thrillers tackle extremely poignant subjects.
Why do you think we find these thrillers so compelling?
They’re probably compelling because the characters connect with us, in all their widely imperfect, relatable ways. And who doesn’t love a clever twist?
What kind of movies do you watch for entertainment?
I love all types of films, but find myself always gravitating towards an intellectual, character-driven, intense drama/thriller.
What kind of characters do you like to play?
I love playing strong, complex women, who on some level subvert your expectations.
What has been your favorite role so far and why?
I don’t know if I can choose. Every character has had their own magic. Beth Curtis is certainly climbing my list!
What is the most important thing about you that you’d like others to know?
Just that I’m grateful.
Is there anything important that we missed?
Killer Advice sheds just a sliver of light on the importance of mental health. During these challenging times so many of us are isolated and struggling due to the repercussions of this pandemic. Let’s continue to combat the social and personal stigma against seeking mental health care, and encourage better education and awareness.
Killer Advice premiers Friday, February 5 at 8/7c on LMN.