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Why Kathryn Newton is the Most Underrated Actress of Gen Z

Kathryn Newton Underrated Actress

This Up-in-Coming Actress Deserves More Recognition

Kathryn Newton is an American actress who started her career back in 2002 in the soap opera All My Children (1970-Present). From there, she was able to springboard to other projects, such as Gary Unmarried (2008-2010), before rising to more prominence in films like Paranormal Activity 4 (2011). Afterward, she got bigger roles, whether it was starring in her own show, The Society (2019), or most recently, appearing in the blockbuster superhero film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023). However, despite her career continuously growing, she doesn’t get enough recognition for her work. Here is why Kathyrn Newton is the most underrated actress of this generation. 

The Actress has Great Comedic Energy

Newton has been in her fair share of comedies, and each time, she always brings a comedic energy that makes audiences naturally like her character. In the movie Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019), Newton plays the role of Lucy Stevens, who is a junior reporter investigating the disappearance of Harry Goodman (Ryan Reynolds), the father of the main character, Tim Goodman (Justice Smith). In her character’s first introduction, she shows her comedic talent by starting off by saying a ridiculous line like, “Stories like this spread fear. But I don’t fear, fear. I walk the walk and talk the talk and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get the honest scoop and that’s the hard truth” -Lucy Stevens, Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019). What makes it work, though, is Newton’s performance as she delivers that entire line completely straight. On top of that, she comes out from the shadows and walks down the stairs in an intimidating manner. It’s almost a noir film, which makes sense since the movie is framed as a detective story, so the style fits within the narrative. It’s even funnier when it’s revealed that her character isn’t even a serious reporter, only doing fluff pieces about Pokémon, so the whole thing was an act. Her character could have easily come across as annoying if given to the wrong actor, but Newton performs the role in a way where viewers will instantly warm up to her. 

Another example of this is in the film Blockers (2018), where she plays the role of Julie Decker. In the film, Julie and her friends Kayla Mannes (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Sam Lockwood (Gideon Adlon) all make a pact to lose their virginity at prom. Early in the movie, there is a scene in which Julie reveals to her friends that she plans to have sex with her boyfriend, Austin (Graham Philps). In the scene, she tries to describe what her night with Austin is going to be like, but she describes it in a vague and awkward way, saying they’ll touch each other’s faces for a really long time before “kapow” in her own words. What works really well is not only does Newton say these lines with complete conviction, but also, because her character Julie hasn’t had sex by this point, it makes sense that she wouldn’t know how to describe, making her descriptions all believable and therefore more hilarious. 

Kathryn Newton Underrated Actress

She’s Great When Acting Off Aside CGI Characters 

In movies like Pokémon Detective Pikachu and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Newton has had to work off of characters composed of CGI. Whether it be a group of pokémon like Psduck or Bulbasaur or a sentient being M.O.D.O.K. (Corey Stoll), she’s had the difficult challenge that many actors have faced of working off of essentially nothing. Sure, in these cases, filmmakers will provide a reference for actors to use to help them with their performances, but they still have to imagine what they’re looking at and act like it’s really there. Fortunately for Newton, she does this really well. She’s able to match the energy of whatever CGI character is supposed to be there and does a great job at interacting with it. In Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, not only are many of the characters made up of CGI but also the environment, so Newton is surrounded by green screens and people in mo-cap suits, and yet she still gives a serious performance that almost makes that world and its characters feel like they’re there. 

Newton’s Physical Acting is Amazing 

What makes a good actor isn’t just how they deliver their lines but also their body language and facial expressions. A single look or mannerism can sometimes say so much more than one line of dialogue. Kathryn Newton excels at such a thing. In the movie Freaky (2020), she plays the character Millie Kessler, who, after getting stabbed by a mystical dagger, ends up switching bodies with a serial killer known as the Blissful Butcher (Vince Vaughn). Most of the film has Newton playing the killer, meaning she has to act like another person, which she does phenomenally well. Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn worked with each other to study the other’s mannerisms so they could nail them down perfectly. She does a good job of distinguishing Millie’s body language from the killers, making them easily identifiable. There’s a great scene where the killer first wakes up in Millie’s body and eats breakfast with her family. She has little dialogue, yet there is so much being said through her expressions of confusion and surprise. The killer then pretends to be Millie, not to cause any suspicion, so Newton has played a character within a character, and it is so well done. 

What Comes Next for This Steller Actress 

Ultimately, Kathryn Newton’s career is going to continue to grow. She has a couple of horror films with Universal, including one titled Lisa Frankenstein (2024). So, no matter what, she will continue to excel and deliver memorable performances. Hopefully, in time, she will get more acknowledgment of the hard work and dedication she puts into her roles in time. Check out Kathryn Newton’s films on Prime Video.

Kathryn Newton Underrated Actress

Freaky (2020) Official Universal Pictures Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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I am from Michigan. I am a recent graduate of Bowling Green State University majoring in Film Production with a minor in Media Production.
Elke Simmons' writing portfolio includes contributions to The Laredo Morning Times, Walt Disney World Eyes and Ears, Extinction Rebellion (XR) News/Blog, and Dead Talk News.