Katherine Waterston as Daniels in ALIEN: COVENANTMany are already calling Katherine Waterston "the new Ellen Ripley," if only because she's a leading lady battling monsters (while wearing a tank top) in a Ridley Scott "Alien" movie.

"Obviously, you can see the parallels because she's a woman at the center of this story and in peril fighting aliens," the actress agreed during a recent interview at the NYC Fox press event previewing "Alien: Covenant." "But that's kind of where it ended for me."

Waterston plays Daniels, a member of the Covenant colony ship on its way to a remote part of the galaxy, when the crew discovers a planet they believe to be an uncharted paradise. Spoiler alert: It's anything but.

The actress told press during a special first-look footage presentation that the crew are scientists, not soldiers. "It's a colonist ship, right? So they're going to a new planet to live there -- not to ever return home," she explained to Moviefone. "So she's head of terraforming. So it's like, you know, growing things there and setting up the housing and everything there, so things happen in the film that really alter her.""Alien: Covenant" is a sequel to "Prometheus," and Waterston teased that they are both "connected in some ways." One of them, obviously, is the larger "Alien" cinematic universe, as the action in both films ultimately predates the events of Ellen Ripley in the 1979 original.

"It really feels like Ridley returning to the feel and intensity of the original 'Alien' film," Waterston said of "Covenant." "Maybe it's sort of their love child. There's elements of both ['Prometheus' and the original 'Alien']."Another is an emphasis on practical monster effects. "There were doubles of some of the actors that looked so real that I thought they were the actors," Waterston recalled of her time on set. "So there was one day, there was a guy who was actually just like a scarecrow -- his body was made of, like, floppy straw, and I thought it was the actor."

She added, "They did such incredible work, the effects department, and the art department, and hair and makeup. Everything was extraordinary. So there was a lot we got to see on set that was really powerful and disturbing to see.""Alien: Covenant" also stars Michael Fassbender (in a dual role), Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Billy Crudup, Amy Seimetz, and Carmen Ejogo. The movie hits theaters May 19, 2017.