You may know Catherine Lidstone from her work as Isabel Sanchez on Fox’s Proven Innocent or as Winnie the Wyvern on BYUtv’s Dwight in Shining Armor. But perhaps you are familiar with the actor because of her role as Christina in Julian Acosta’s short film What Bitch?, which HBO Max recently released. The anecdotal short centers on a family thrift-shopping trip interrupted by another mother-daughter duo at the store, which escalates into a full-scale brawl. Lidstone virtually sat down with Casting Networks® to share her casting story for What Bitch?, which includes a same-day self-tape, a direct booking, and homemade cookies.
What can you tell us about your character and how you landed the role?
Christina is a young mom who is very close with her mother but has a contentious relationship with her sister Ketta. You get to see their sibling rivalry in action because their mother, Cruz, seems to favor Christina. Things might have come her way a little more naturally growing up, so it’s a fun sister dynamic to explore. The casting process involved a quick turnaround and a direct booking because they needed to replace another actress who had a last-minute conflict. Michael Sanford re-released the breakdown and was urgently trying to find a fluent Spanish speaker to play the role since everything else was locked in. I got the self-tape request just a day before we were to drive up to the location for the weekend shoot. So I went over to my friend’s house, and we started filming it right away. There was a scene in the audition sides where Christina’s mom gives her a cookie, and my friend actually baked homemade cookies for it. It’s funny how little, subtle things can enhance your storytelling. I think that had a nice effect on the mother-daughter dynamic in the scene. So here’s a shoutout to my friend — she’s a sweetheart!
I love how your story encourages other actors to always be ready for quick turnarounds on audition requests, as well as to really go out of their way to help each other. Your friend sounds like a gem of a human. And what were some of the reasons you were hoping to book the project?
My team usually prioritizes TV and feature films, but when I first read the script for this short film, it seemed very unique and like something I wanted to be involved with. Plus, this was the director’s first foray into theatrical work. Julian was really known for his commercial work, but he’s super talented in the art of storytelling for any genre. So it was a really special experience to get to work with him on a new venture. And it was such an authentic story — I could totally see my family behaving like the characters in the short. I mean, it does show a fight, which shouldn’t be our first response to conflict. But Ketta’s response becomes almost redeemable — or at least relatable — as it happens in the defense of a loved one.
It sounds like there were a lot of reasons to want to be involved in What Bitch?. Do you feel that after filming it in 2017, it influenced any of your following projects?
Yes. This project had a female-heavy cast and crew, and shortly after it, I got to star in a theater production for Hollywood Fringe that featured a pro-woman story about sexism over the last several hundred years. Our two-woman show was called Echoes, and we got to work with a very skilled British director named Linda Slade. So What Bitch? seemed to kick off this cool phase of my work exploring how we portray women on camera and on stage. Plus, the project felt like a big turning point because it also came right before I booked the biggest job of my career so far, which was an eight-episode arc on Proven Innocent with Kelsey Grammer.
As for more of Lidstone’s recent projects, she can be seen starring in episode 20 of Hulu’s Bite Size Halloween entitled “Summoned” and as the lead in the upcoming thriller Dead in the Water, which is slated to release January 15 on Lifetime Movie Club. The actor is a singer-songwriter as well, and executively produced the music video for her single “Benefactor.” She’s also co-producing a dramedy short film at the moment to get more experience behind the camera. “There are so many ways to be involved in this industry,” the multi-hyphenate concluded. “My experience has been that the more things you can learn to do, the better off you are.”
This interview has been edited and condensed.