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Kate Winslet insisted a "bulgy bit of belly" not be cut from her Mare of Easttown love scene.
The British actress, 45, talked to the New York Times about the HBO limited series, which concluded Sunday and saw her as a small-town Pennsylvania detective, Mare Sheehan, trying to solve a murder of a local teen girl. Viewers embraced her unglamorous character — and so did she.
Winslet said she knew people have been asking, "'Oh my God, how can she let herself look so unglamorous?'” But that was part of bringing Mare to life, a character she described as a "wildly flawed, messy, broken, fragmented, difficult woman." And one Winslet loved for "her marks and her scars and her faults and her flaws and the fact that she has no off switch, no stop button. She just knows ‘Go.’”
The Academy Award winner said she made sure that all it was seen onscreen. When director Craig Zobel told her he'd cut “a bulgy bit of belly” from a sex scene she did with Guy Pearce, for example, she won't hear of it, telling him, “Don’t you dare!”
She also said she sent back the show's promo — twice — because she felt it was too retouched.
“They were like ‘Kate, really, you can’t,’" she said, "and I’m like ‘Guys, I know how many lines I have by the side of my eye, please put them all back.’”
She also spoke up when she thought her skin looked too good during a scene early on, noting, “We tried to light it to make it look not nice." Her sunspots and imperfections were left alone.
“We’re so used to seeing this stuff airbrushed away,” she said.
As for wardrobe of jeans and flannels, she said she left the clothes in a "rumpled up ball" on the floor of her trailer after shooting. They weren't washing the clothes — or even hanging them up. She borrowed a Peloton and biked at night while shooting to make her thighs more muscular.
Of the part, which is generating Emmy buzz, Winslet said, “Listen, I hope that in playing Mare as a middle-aged woman — I will be 46 in October — I guess that’s why people have connected with this character in the way that they have done because there are clearly no filters. She’s a fully functioning, flawed woman with a body and a face that moves in a way that is synonymous with her age and her life and where she comes from. I think we’re starved of that a bit."
Winslet said her buzzy role in the whodunit was giving her old-school vibes.
“It’s like Titanic again,” she told the NYT. “I’m on the side of buses again! It’s like going back in time 24 years where I’m walking down the street and people are nudging and pointing and whispering again.” (Fun fact: Rose DeWitt Bukater was also a Philly girl, though fancier than Miss Lady Hawk herself.)
Winslet also spoke of her marriage to Edward Abel Smith, noting in the piece that he changed his name back after being known for a while as Ned Rocknroll — and added Winslet as one of his middle names.
“He’s the superhot, superhuman, stay-at-home dad,” the mom of three said of the man she married in 2012. “He looks after us, especially me. I said to him earlier, like, ‘Neddy, could you do something for me?’ He just went, ‘Anything.’”
Winslet went on to call him "an absolutely extraordinary life partner" and herself “so, so, so lucky." And while his brief surname led people to think he had a rock ’n’ roll persona, she said he's very mellow, noting "He’s vegan, does yoga, breath work and cold water swims.”
She said Smith, the nephew of Richard Branson, is "severely dyslexic" but helps her run her lines. And he loved her in this role.
"In episode one, she’s having sex on a couch. I said to my husband, ‘Am I OK with that? Is it all right that I’m playing a middle-aged woman who is a grandmother who does really make a habit of having one-night stands?’" she recalled. "He’s like, ‘Kate, it’s great. Let her do it.’”
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