When the director said he'd cut "a bulgy bit of belly" from a sex scene, she told him, "Don't you dare!"
Kate Winslet approached her role on HBO's "Mare of Easttown" honestly -- and with as few filters -- as possible.
In a new profile in the New York Times, the 45-year-old actress revealed she pushed back multiple times against choices made by the show's creative team when it came to how she would be seen as the titular character. On the show, which just wrapped up its limited run on Sunday, Winslet played a police detective investigating the murder of a teenage girl and the disappearances of other young women in a Philadelphia suburb.
She told the publication she knows viewers are asking themselves, "Oh my God, how can she let herself look so unglamorous?" while watching the series and admitted that -- after seeing early cuts of the show where her skin looked too good -- they purposefully "tried to light it to make it look not nice."
"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," said Winslet. "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."
According to Winslet, she told director Craig Zobel "Don't you dare!" when he told her he'd edit out "a bulgy bit of belly" during her sex scene with Guy Pearce, a scene she also said she consulted with her husband about before filming. "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.'"
She also said she sent back two revisions of the show's poster (above) because her face had been too smoothed out. "They were like 'Kate, really, you can't,' and I'm like, 'Guys, I know how many lines I have by the side of my eye, please put them all back.'"
To prepare for the role, Winslet worked out on a Peloton to add some muscle to her thighs and said she'd start "jumping up and down" whenever they found something deemed "unflattering" for Mare to wear. She also was adamant to not cover up sunspots and imperfections on her face, saying, "We're so used to seeing this stuff airbrushed away."
"There's a sloppiness to her, and there's a looseness to how she sits and how she walks and just how she holds herself," said Winslet. "Her body posture is totally different to mine. I actually stand quite upright."
"Mare of Easttown" is streaming in full on HBO Max.