Most actors who begin their careers at the age of four find themselves, at some point, getting homeschooled. But not Kathryn Newton. “I’ve gone to real school my whole life,” says the now-20-year-old actor. But despite a regular education, the brutal schedules and irregular hours of show business made Newton something of an absentee student. “I ran for president every year, but nobody knew who I was because I missed so much of it,” she says. “They were like, ‘Who’s Kathryn Newton? Does she even go here?’” Today, it’s likely that Newton’s former classmates have a pretty good idea of who she is.
In 2017 alone, Newton has made small-screen appearances as Reese Witherspoon’s daughter Abigail on HBO’s bougie melodrama Big Little Lies, and as another independent spirit (and daughter) on the final season of AMC’s critically acclaimed but criminally underwatched drama Halt and Catch Fire. And this month alone, she’ll show up on the big screen as Frances McDormand’s daughter in the furious black comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and as a classmate to the title character in Greta Gerwig’s nostalgic bildungsroman Lady Bird. It’s a year that many actors her age would kill for. “The past six months, I did three projects at the same time,” she says. “Two were in Atlanta, so I’d work in the morning on one and in the afternoon on another. I felt like I was the luckiest actor in the world to be on two great projects in one day, like, boom-boom.”