Kate Watson is the star of the Lifetime original movie Killer Advice, and as the title indicates, it’s not a comedy. Kate’s character Beth has already survived one traumatic event before the film starts, and then gets imperiled again by her therapist (played by Meredith Thomas).
Kate recently spoke to me about the broad appeal of Lifetime’s TV-movies, how she portrayed Beth as strong despite her traumas, and her favorite parts of the movie. Get to know her in our chat below, and then watch Killer Advice now on Lifetime.
Brittany Frederick: Lifetime’s thrillers have such a devoted audience. Most of what the network does now are these movies like Killer Advice. Why do you think they appeal to viewers so much?
Kate Watson: When I first started watching Lifetime movies, I thought wow, these stories are so far-fetched and there’s no way things like this happen. I don’t know if you’re into true crime stories, but some of these stories are eerily similar to real life. In a way, perhaps they heighten the reflection of humanity. They keep you on your toes with twists and turns and present characters with very relatable emotional aspects. They’re human, imperfect, and complicated.
BF: With the character of Beth in particular, she’s already been through trauma before the movie even starts, so how did you portray her to honor that trauma without her just turning into an emotional wreck?
KW: My concern was that I didn’t want her to play in the realm of melodrama. Beth is the antithesis of that. I needed to keep her grounded in truth every step of the way. And coming from a truthful perspective of, what would compound trauma actually feel like? As an actor, and as Beth, I felt like scene I was walking a tight rope between restraint and surrender.
BF: Did you have time to figure out the specifics of her backstory or her emotional space going into the shoot? These movies are so fast-paced that they don’t really go back much, if at all.
KW: With these movies, there’s not a whole lot of time of prep. I think I had about a week, if that. Usually I do construct some sense of a backstory. Who is Beth? She’s a successful businesswoman navigating the demands of her profession, a fractured family relationship, and a belief-shattering experience. How did she get here? What does that look like for her? What’s her physicality? What are her emotional characteristics? So you do have to do a bit of that work, but on a film like this, you have to do it very fast.
BF: How did you play that relationship with her therapist? Because this woman has to be a truly frightening person for Killer Advice to work, but you also don’t want to make Beth appear too naive or dense to not notice what’s going on.
KW: With someone being my therapist, I can’t know that she’s villainous or else I would get out of there as soon as possible. So, it’s slow boil. I’m the frog inside of that boiling pot of water, and slowly the heat starts turning up. I think we built the intensity simply by Beth beginning to put the pieces together of what she’s actually experiencing.
She’s got other things she’s dealing with, that’s for sure. And she’s someone who’s not versed in therapy. Discomfort is her distraction.
BF: Do you have a favorite part of Killer Advice that you loved shooting?
KW: When people watch this film, if you feel uncomfortable watching me, then I’ve done my job. Because when I read the script for the first time, I felt uncomfortable. Especially the first time Beth goes to see her therapist and talks about her attack. It gives you the honest gravity of his woman’s mental state and what’s really at stake. It was all there, just bubbling on the surface. She’s oozing, about to burst, but continues to walk that tightrope.
BF: Is there anything else that’s caught your eye or that you want to say to people as they check out the film?
KW: We’re in a time and age where there’s so much content, and there’s so much good content that coming forward. I’m so honored to be a part of some of narratives around women who are complex, and imperfect, and powerful. And so it’s an exciting time for women in this business. I love women supporting women and women supporting men, and moving forward in this kind of different space of entertainment.
Killer Advice is now available to stream through Lifetime. Check your local listings for upcoming TV airings.
Article content is (c)2020-2021 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr, on Instagram at @BFTVGram.