Best Kate Siegel Movies & TV Shows

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Actress Kate Siegel has put together an eclectic resume of roles in the horror genre. Her most recent role in Midnight Mass was completely different than the one she played in The Haunting of Hill House, both of which can be found on Netflix. Siegel has played women that are warm or cold, women that can see the best in people, and those who anticipate the worst. The two aforementioned shows were also part of a continuing collaboration between herself and her husband, Mike Flanagan, who directed those projects.

In taking a look back on some of the best performances in Siegel’s career so far, not all the characters are in Flanagan directed projects. The roles in them helped introduce her to a wider audience, but there are other examples that showcase her talents. It was in these roles that truly allowed audiences to see how flawlessly Siegel is in creating memorable characters. And even in the horror projects where she wasn’t headlined as the main cast, Siegel still gave a performance to be remembered by.

RELATED: ‘Midnight Mass:’ Kate Siegel Details Her Approach to That “What Happens When You Die” Monologue


Hawaii Five-0 (2020)

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Image Via CBS

In the episode, “I ho’olulu, ho’ohulei ‘ia e ka makani,” of the show’s final season, Kate Siegel comes on to play Leslie, a love interest to Detective Danny Williams (Scott Caan). The show only has so much time to develop a likable guest character within its forty-three minute runtime. It succeeds quite well and that is mostly due to Siegel. She appears right away in the beginning, showcasing the charisma fans have come to love and comedic timing that may surprise fans who are only familiar with the darker material she often acts in. The show establishes that Leslie knows the ingredients to an Irish Mule and nudges Danny to ditch his club soda in favor of something harder, despite it being early in the day. Then the two set some ground rules – no work or boring introductions will be had, only “original and interesting” topics will be discussed.

Just when you think that this all sounds too lovey dovey for a cop show, their meet cute goes south. Out driving on an isolated road, Danny and Leslie are run off by a passing vehicle. Their car flips around violently down a steep hill. The charm that Siegel uses disorients the audience, making it unclear whether she’ll survive or not. The countdown begins as Danny tries to help Leslie and flag down a passing vehicle. It won’t be the last time Siegel finds herself playing a character with a potentially grim fate.

Steam (2007)

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Image Via Wolfe video

In this indie film, Siegel took an early film role alongside actresses, Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club) and Ruby Dee (Do the Right Thing). The cinematography isn’t always creative and the sound design is a bit jarring at times, but the power of the screenplay comes alive in the performances by Siegel and her notable co-stars. Siegel’s expressive eyes have always been a crucial aspect in her acting toolbox, and this film is no different. She engages with the rest of the cast and doesn’t depend on dialogue to get across what is going through her mind. To see her so early on in her career is surely inspiring for any Siegel fan. In her role as college student, Elizabeth, queerness and religion – two elements featured prominently in later Speigel projects (Hill House and Midnight Mass) – are presented in her storyline.

Elizabeth’s parents go as far as to threaten to have her removed from campus in order for her to comply with their orders to attend Sunday mass. Matters get more complicated with her domineering parents when Elizabeth starts to fall for fellow classmate, Niala (Reshma Shetty of Royal Pains), who is very secure in her bisexuality. A key moment of the humor that Sigel is great at comes when Elizabeth hooks up with Niala and sleeps over, only to hysterically wake up the next morning in a rush to get to church. Dressed in hardly a proper conservative church attire, her father whispers harshly, “Swear to me you did not sleep with some guy last night.” To which she responds sharply and truthfully, “I swear to God, I did not sleep with some guy last night.”

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

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Image Via Universal Pictures

In a small role that appears in the first ten minutes, fans might not even recognize Siegel in a blonde 1960s wig in Flangan’s Ouija: Origin of Evil. She plays Jenny Browning, daughter to a grieving father that has come to seek the seance help of the Zander family. It’s a money scam but so too is the financial request Jenny’s hubby is attempting to persuade her father into making. All of this happens in a dimly lit room where three candles are presented. If the apparition needs to respond to a question with a “no,” the candle’s flame will be blown out, and if the answer is a “yes,” the flame remains alive. It’s all orchestrated well by the Zander family but so too is the build up to the scares by director Mike Flanagan. When spooky things start to happen, Siegel’s spoiled character sells the scene.

Despite her limited screen time, Siegel is an audience surrogate and Flanagan uses her character to express the fear and uncertainty of a non-believer forced to believe. The matriarch to the Zander family will be recognizable for many – Elizabeth Reaser, who would go on to star with Siegel in a certain Netflix show about a haunted house and a dysfunctional family. More on that later.

The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020)

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Image Via Netflix

Siegel’s role in the second of Flanagan’s “Haunting of” series, The Haunting of Bly Manor was much more limited than its predecessor, with her biggest appearance happening later on in episode 8, “The Romance of Certain Old Clothes.” Althought it’s the penultimate episode, the show detours from the ongoing narrative to go back in time to the first ghost of the Bly Manor estate. It was the most gothic of all the episodes in this season and it puts Siegel front and center. She is “The Lady in the Lake”, a faceless specter that haunts the land the Bly Manor estate sits on and an angry spirit that will end the life of anyone in her way.

With actress Carla Gugino’s narration playing over the scenes, we learn that The Lady in the Lake was once Viola Lloyd, one of two sisters that lived in Bly Manor. Due to the 17th century time period, Viola calculated her decisions to marry a man that would allow the two siblings to not lose their power entirely. Featured in black and white, contrasting the rest of the episodes that were in color, the haunting visuals express the tragedy that befell Viola. Siegel has sparing dialogue, but uses her face and body to convey all the anguish, fear and pain through the silence. Viola has a consistent routine of awakening in her bedroom, wandering the house and grounds, restlessly and bored, and then she sleeps. She then repeats it all, doomed to do so for an undetermined amount of time. She’s trapped and no matter how ornate the room decor is, it becomes her personal hell. She’s robbed from her motherhood and life. In her short appearance, Siegel has plenty to play with in the role of Viola. She’s a woman who’s body can’t even succumb to tuberculosis like many others would, because as the narration goes, she was, “held alive, some would whisper, by stubbornness alone.”

Hush (2016)

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Image Via Netflix

As an able-bodied actress, Siegel was committed to accurately portraying the character of Maddie – a deaf-mute writer. What Siegel does right, is not let Maddie fall into harmful stereotypes usually placed onto such characters. Her other senses were not ballooned into superhero status, with no spidey tingles in sight. Instead, the film treated her as a character capable of her own safety rather than a damsel in distress. The screenplay was conceived by both Siegel and director, Flanagan, one of their earliest projects where the actress took on the lead. Like with her other roles, Siegel uses her face and body to express the fear she falls into and the strength she needs to pull herself out of it. While the intruder believes Maddie’s disability makes her an easy target, that is anything but the case. Siegel wanted to focus on the act of self-isolation that Maddie puts herself in and even though she finds herself in a worse case scenario, she never becomes an easy victim to the intruder. Maddie maintains her own agency.

The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

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Image Via Netflix

As Theodora “Theo” Crain in The Haunting of Hill House, Siegel plays a hard, often prickly woman with her own dark past connected to Hill House along with her family. She’s a psychologist and the middle child, who builds walls around her to make sure she isn’t hurt. She’s also queer and finds it tricky in holding down a relationship with a hookup who she never had any plans to follow up with. Plainly said, Theo is complicated.

Where Theo becomes even more unique compared to her siblings, is the gift she holds in her hands. Anything she touches is immensely powerful, thanks to a heightened sensitivity. Gloves protect her, acting as a barrier, but in many situations, she removes them to use her gift to help others. Siegel displays more of her acting chops in Theo but it’s when she’s put together with the ensemble cast that Siegel really shines in the role. Especially with one actress in particular. Theo is closest with her sister, Shirley, played by Reaser. Like any siblings with very different personalities, they clash and a major storyline in Hill House is how they grow apart but slowly find their way back together. Theo Crain is Kate Siegel and vice versa. It’s the role that many would consider the best in Siegel’s filmography.

Midnight Mass (2021)

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Image Via Netflix

The heart and warmth of the series is the love story between Siegel’s Erin Greene and old love interest, Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford). They both grew up on the island of Crockett and when they find themselves back, they reconnect. It’s clear they wished to have left the island for good but life is strange in how it works out. And with this being a horror show, life gets plenty more stranger, but the chemistry between Siegel and Gilford is one of the elements found in Midnight Mass that keep it grounded.

Death and religion are important themes addressed in this show. That is made clear in more ways than one during Episode 4, “Book IV: Lamentations,” when Erin and Riley explain their differing views on what happens after you take your last breath. Even with no physical romantic scenes, the power of the two actors still sell the immense amount of romance building between the two. Perhaps it’s how honest and truthful they are to one another. Where Riley believes he will have an experience of euphoric bliss with his body and the cosmos becoming one, Erin has another view.

As with many of the residents on Crockett, Erin experiences terrible tragedy as the “miracles” take over the community. She faces many losses and still fights to end the darkness that has taken over her childhood home. Erin is an individual full of hope, and for her, Heaven is not exactly a place but a state of mind. It’s a place where you are loved, safe and never alone. Midnight Mass is a very dark show but with Siegel’s Erin, the narrative never remains permanently grim.

Kate Siegel is the gift that keeps on giving as her next horror, Hypnotic, is available to stream on Netflix from October 27.

KEEP READING: ‘Midnight Mass’ Stars Zach Gilford and Kate Siegel Break Down Their Very Different Ways of Working

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