Katarina Leigh Waters is a German-born Actress and wrestler who has starred in “Red Light Dairies,” “Redcon-1” and more. Her most recent project is called “Karate Kill, ” and it is a 1980s throwback that chronicles the adventures of a woman who is searching for her missing sister in Los Angeles, California. Katarina recently discussed the film, her experiences in entertainment, and her career in general via an exclusive Interview.

Acting and wrestling

Blasting News (BN): What initially inspired you to seek out a career as an actress?

Katarina Leigh Waters (KLW): Both my parents had been performers; my mother was a ballet dancer and my father an opera singer, and so growing we went to see a lot of live theater. I loved everything about it, and when I was eight years old, had the opportunity to join the children’s chorus- my first professional gig if you will.

I was hooked instantly.

In addition to that my sisters and I would make up our own little plays that we performed for the family, and then, of course, there were plenty of school plays and musicals I got to take part in, so it was really something I enjoyed from an early age. Then after I left school, I studied film and theater at University and was inspired to take on the ‘other side’ of the business as well.

BN: What and when was the ‘big break’ for you in your opinion?

KLW: That depends on what you mean by ‘big break’… wrestling for WWE gave me a lot of exposure and opportunity, but regarding acting, I am certainly still scratching the surface. That being said, I have been incredibly lucky to have gotten involved with some extraordinary productions with a lot of very talented and dedicated people, and ‘Karate Kill’ has definitely been one of the highlights of my career so far.

BN: How did “Karate Kill” come about?

KLW: I saw a role online that I thought I was perfect for - Simona - and submitted my headshot and resume. I was asked to send in a video audition, was lucky enough to be invited to the callback and was cast off of that…

BN: How did you get into wrestling and what are the challenges of that field for a woman?

KLW: I was a big wrestling fan when I was a teenager, but it wasn't necessarily something I thought I would end up pursuing.

I was not even aware of the wrestling scene in Europe where I grew up, until one day, by coincidence, I came across a British wrestling show in London. As I sat watching it, I literally thought 'if these people can do it, so can I!' From there I did some research, found a school online and started training. Once I was good enough to perform on some shows, the whole thing just kind of took off.

Challenges specifically for a woman, I think, are mainly that there is less opportunity.

In fact, when I first started, there were hardly any other girls around, at least in the UK. For me personally, that ended up working out in my favor, as it gave me more visibility in promotions like Hammerlock and FWA where I was the only female, fighting against the guys. Now the scene has changed drastically, and there are a lot more women wrestlers around, which ironically brings its own challenges. I would definitely say the standard has gone up as the competition has grown, so you have to work harder to keep up, although that can really only be a good thing.

Now the scene has changed drastically, and there are a lot more women wrestlers around, which ironically brings its own challenges. I would definitely say the standard has gone up as the competition has grown, so you have to work harder to keep up, although that can really only be a good thing.

BN: What came first, wrestling or acting?

KLW: Acting came first, and wrestling came in on a side note and basically took over, but luckily, I am at a point now where I can pursue and enjoy both.

BN: Do you enjoy wrestling or acting more and how do you think they compliment each other?

KLW: I would say that I enjoy acting a little bit more, to be honest; I just really like words. I was an avid reader growing up and love language and well-crafted dialogue. Also, in acting, you usually get to experience a wider range of emotions, not always but generally speaking, so that's a bit more of a draw for me. I think that both disciplines certainly compliment each other, and each provides me with a set of skills that I am able to utilize for the other. For example, a lot of the techniques you use in acting to create a character and emotional layers are useful in wrestling too. Wrestling, on the other hand, taught me a lot about being in the moment and helped with my

For example, a lot of the techniques you use in acting to create a character and emotional layers are useful in wrestling too. Wrestling, on the other hand, taught me a lot about being in the moment and helped with my improvisation skills since it is not very often rehearsed and you have to be able to think quickly and on your feet. This was very useful for ‘Karate Kill’ since pretty much all of my dialogue except for the ‘high noon’ sequence with Hayate was completely improvised.

Movies and roles

BN: Can you tell us a bit about your character in "Karate Kill" and what most interested you about the role and the film?

KLW: Simona is Vendenski's right-hand woman, so it is her 'job' to catch, torture and imprison Capital Messiah's victims- and it is a job she really enjoys. When you watch the film- I'm doing all these evil, sadistic things, but I'm essentially smiling the whole time. Everything is a game to Simona, and it seems that the more pain and suffering her victims go through, the higher she considers her score to be.

Well, you can imagine how much fun it was to play that role- in fact, I find myself drawn to these types of characters, and most of my wrestling personas have been along those lines as well. As for 'Karate Kill,' I loved everything about it, from the crazy, wild storyline to the amazing action scenes, to working with Kurando Mitsutake. It was so great to be directed by him because he encouraged us to really go for it and be over the top and play with these characters.

BN: Do you enjoy one type of genre or character most; essentially, what would be your dream role?

KLW: I am very eclectic in my taste in general and enjoy all genres- but as an actress, what I find most exciting is to be able to enter the world that is entirely different from my day to day reality. So, whether it takes place in a different period, a fantasy world or like “Karate Kill” in a sort of dystopian setting, anything that really stirs the imagination and allows me to step into an environment that is completely new to me, that is my favorite for sure.

BN: Do you consider yourself to be a big fan of action/physical films?

KLW: I am definitely a fan of working on these types of movies, especially when I get to play the villain… As a consumer, I wouldn’t say I prefer them over other genres necessarily, in fact, I have quite an eclectic taste. But I do enjoy movies that are quite dark, especially when they bring something unique to the table, which ‘Karate Kill’ does. I mean, yes, it’s action-packed, and the fight scenes are spectacular, but there is also a lot of tongue in cheek humor in it and some really wild and intriguing characters. For me, one of the stand out performances comes from Kirk Geiger as Vendenski. He is so incredibly twisted and depraved; it’s a treat to watch.

Future projects and advice

BN: Thus far, what have you enjoyed most about your involvement in the movie industry and, career-wise, where you envision yourself being in ten years’ time?

KLW: Just being on set is the best part, especially when you have something like “Karate Kill” where the environment is very different from your day to day experience, and you get to be transported into literally a parallel universe… I don’t think anything compares to that. Also, when you have a director like Kurando Mitsutake, who knows exactly what he wants, but gives you so much freedom to perform and knows how to bring out the best in you. And then, as a writer/director, to be able to witness something that was merely conceived as a vision in your head manifest itself in real time for other people to see and hopefully enjoy…that is an incredibly thrilling experience.

Ten years from now I would like to think that I have continued to grow and better myself as an artist. The main idea is just to be working continually in the entertainment industry, perhaps on a larger scale, both as an actress and as a writer/director. My big goal is to direct my own first feature film… and I would love to step back onto a theater stage as well.

BN: Do you have any immediate upcoming projects that you would like to mention?

KLW: I shot a pretty epic zombie movie last year called “RedCon-1” which is now in post-production. I play Sergeant Kira Paige, a soldier in a team of eight that have entered the ‘infected zone’ in order to find a cure and thus save the world. It stars Carlos Gallardo and Martyn Ford among others, is directed by Chee Keong Cheung, and the whole project is now in post-production. We had some pretty spectacular sets as well as incredible cinematography by Lorenzo Levrini, and I am very excited to see the result!

BN: What tidbits of advice can you offer people who are aspiring to enter the industry, especially as an actress?

KLW: My advice is to enjoy the process because it may be long and arduous! Believe in yourself and understand that the struggle is part of the fun. Be grateful for every small step you can take, and every day you get to spend on set. Thrive to learn and be better and take nothing for granted.

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