EXCLUSIVE: In a real coup for a young actress, Katherine Waterston has landed a lead female role in the Paul Thomas Anderson-directed adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice. I’ve heard she’ll play Shasta, the ex-girlfriend of Joaquin Phoenix’s character, Doc. She is a free-spirited hippie chick who turns straight for real estate mogul Mickey Wolfmann. Doc’s main task is, at first, to help Shasta Fay protect Wolfmann, her current love, from his wife and her lover. She joins Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Josh Brolin, Martin Short, and Jena Malone, with Sean Penn reportedly eyeing a role as well. The film shoots this summer for Warner Bros, and PTA is producing through his Ghoulardi Film Co. along with JoAnne Sellar and Daniel Lupi.The daughter of Sam Waterston, Katherine has been working consistently in New York Theatre and supporting roles such as Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton, and she recently wrapped Ned Benson’s The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves and stars in Manhattan Romance opposite Chris Messina. Waterston also just wrapped an arc on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. She’s repped by UTA, Silver Lining Entertainment and attorneys Robert Koch and Marcy Morris.