Now that the Off-Broadway play Dying City is taking place, Mary was recently interviewed by The New York Times about what made her want to finally get into the theater world, her work in Gemini Man, and how she enjoyed playing the role of Nikki Swango in FX’s Fargo. Below are some highlights but click the link above to read it in full. I’ve also added photo shoot outtakes into the gallery.
What made you change your mind about doing a play?
I did this PBS show called “Mercy Street” with a cast of theater actors. I came at it with an inferiority complex but they really encouraged me to try. At that point I thought I could do the Williamstown Theater Festival or something, dip my toes in. Then the script [for “Dying City”] came when I had been doing “Gemini Man” and “Birds of Prey,” back-to-back, wall-to-wall action movies — which was really fun, but I was starting to crave something intimate and personal. I thought, “That’s it, that’s what I have to do. I need something new to challenge myself.” It was sort of a no-brainer so I auditioned. I think they were already interested in me but I didn’t realize it and I was like, “Please, let me have this part!” [laughs].
In “Fargo,” Nikki struts around as if she were always in control. Was it as fun to play her as it looks?
I loved [the role] but I was like, “Me? Really? This is what you want me to play?” I was a little bit perplexed because I was expecting some sort of Minnesota-nice character. I guess I was surprised that I would be playing someone so brash and tough and sexy and ballsy — all of those things I never attributed to myself. Usually there tends to be some sort of sweetness in what I’m offered, or bookishness. But I love it when I’m offered something in the opposite direction.
“Gemini Man” is a big action thriller. Did you get to hang from a helicopter? That seems to happen a lot in this type of film.
No, but I do a lot of running around and I get to fight some people. I had to train in jiu jitsu, do a little tactical gun training — there’s some shootouts. “Birds of Prey” was the next level up. In “Gemini Man” I’m a D.I.A. [Defense Intelligence Agency] agent who’s been hired to keep an eye on Will Smith, but in “Birds of Prey” I play this assassin who’s been trained since childhood. It’s all women and genuinely funny and weird. It feels from the ’90s, in the best way.
Dying City takes place at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theater, with opening set for June 3 and will run until June 30. (Previews are currently taking place).
You can purchase tickets here and if you’re 30 years old and under, can purchase tickets for $30. More info for that is on the ticket site. There is also a great Memorial Day deal going on where you can get two tickets for the price of $40 using the code DCSM40.
November 12 by JessicaComments are off for this post
Last week I had mentioned that Mary would be getting an ‘artist of distinction’ award from the Newport Beach Film Festival for her amazing career, and that event took place on Sunday afternoon as Mary and fellow honorees Colman Domingo, Topher Grace and Zazie Beetz attended the event. In the gallery, I added over 20+ photos of Mary there, and have included a few videos of Mary being interviewed on what movies influenced her, acting career advice, and spoke a little about Birds of Prey. Enjoy the new content!
October 17 by JessicaComments are off for this post
On Monday night, Mary’s episode of ‘Off Camera with Sam Jones’ aired on the Audience Network and I’ve added the photo shoot Mary did to the gallery. You can watch some of her clips below but if you want to watch the whole thing, you can do so on the Off Camera site. You can also listen to a podcast version of the show. She looks SO gorgeous in the photos. I love them!! During her interview, she revealed she almost quit acting in her 20s, how she chooses her roles, and how she viewed acting first as a kid and then as an adult.
October 12 by JessicaComments are off for this post
Mary will be sitting down to appear on the interview show Off Camera With Sam Jones and her interview will air Monday night at 9pm ET/PT on The Audience Network, which is available on Direct TV and if you have ATT U-Verse. Be sure to check you listings to see if you can watch it! You can head to the gallery to see a stunning shot Sam took of Mary after her interview and watch a preview below!
October 04 by JessicaComments are off for this post
Mary recently gave an interview to The Wrap while promoting her new film All About Nina and said that working with Will Smith on their new film GeminiMan was a real treat. The film, directed by Ang Lee, follows Winstead opposite Smith as an operative tasked with surveilling Smith’s character. The film follows an aging assassin (Smith) facing off against his own clone 25 years his junior, at the peak of his abilities.
“We started in February, so it was a long project, but it was really amazing,” Winstead said of filming. “It’s this big action movie, but with a heart. You know with Ang Lee directing you’re going to have some thoughtfulness behind it. Really it was a wonderful thing to be a part of. One of the reasons the movie is finally being made is that the technology is at a place where it’s possible to make it and to make it well,” Winstead said. “The technology is really kind of experimental in a lot of ways. I think Ang is really pushing the boundaries of filmmaking and the visuals and the experience of watching a movie. It’s hard for me to describe because I’m not the most tech savvy, but I think you’re going to be experiencing a completely new way of watching a movie and I’m really really excited to see the final film,” she added.
The film was a six month shoot and Mary says during that time, being around Will was amazing:
“He truly is just the most wonderful, wonderful person,” Winstead said. “He was just this shinning light. He’s just so lovely and warm and so respectful — just like thankful to be there, you know. You don’t really find that in people in his position… it was a really amazing thing to witness.”
October 04 by JessicaComments are off for this post
Mary did two talk show appearances on the same night and appeared on both ‘Last Call with Carson Daly’ and ‘The Late Late Show with Carson Daly’ on Tuesday to promote her film All About Nina. Paige added screencaps to the gallery which you can view by clicking on the thumbnails below.
October 01 by JessicaComments are off for this post
After attending the Los Angeles screening event of ‘All About Nina’, Mary did the same when she was recently in New York City last week. You can watch the interview below, and if you want to see the Los Angeles Q&A, you can click here. Additionally, you can head to the gallery and view pics of Mary when she was at the NY SAG-AFTRA screening.
The film is currently in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles. You can find tickets by heading to the site.
September 28 by JessicaComments are off for this post
Mary is having a busy couple of days as she’s been hot on the trail promoting her new film All About Nina which is in select theaters today in New York and Los Angeles! First up is an interview with Collider where Mary talked about All About Nina and working on her upcoming film Gemini Man opposite Will Smith, which hits theaters October 4, 2019:
What most excited you about playing this character?
WINSTEAD: Probably everything about who she is. She felt really different from me. Every time you play a character, you get a little something from them, so I feel like I’ve got a little bit of her in me now. I felt like I wanted to know what it would be like to be her, and to bring that to life. Also, once I met with Eva and learned that the character’s backstory is based largely on her own personal backstory, it felt like a really important thing to get to be a part of. I’m telling Eva’s story, speaking her truth, and being a part of something bigger than just the comedy that it looks like on the surface.
Along with everything else you have to do in this movie, you also have to do impersonations. How did you decide who you would do impersonations for? Were there a bunch of different ones that you tried?
WINSTEAD: We tried a bunch of them. Some of them were scripted, so we tried those. And then, I came up with some that I thought I might be more suited to do. I’ve never done impressions before, in my life. Everybody probably has certain people that they’re more suited to doing an impression of because of the tone of their voice or a look in their face, or something. I knew I could sing, so I thought that was a good place to start. I knew that my voice could go towards Cher, Shakira, Céline Dion, Britney Spears, or Christina Aguilera. Björk made it into the movie. She’s one that I always do around the house, so I figured that I could throw that in. And then, Werner Herzog came out of the fact that, whenever I hear him, he sounds very similar to my Björk impression. So, I came forth with my ideas of who I thought I could impersonate, and Jamie Loftus, who was our comedy consultant, helped us a lot with all of the comedy stuff. We would get together and come up with how we could use the impersonations.
You also have Gemini Man coming out, which sounds like it uses some crazy high tech stuff. What was that experience like and what most surprised you about the approach to all of that?
WINSTEAD: It was an incredibly amazing and totally unique experience. We worked on it for nearly six months. I just wrapped it not too long ago, and it was amazing. It was so incredible to get to work with Ang Lee on something that’s this big action movie, but also this experimental drama, all wrapped together. The technology feels very experimental, in a way. Ang is really pushing the envelope of that and what it can do, and he’s also experimenting with what you can get away with, under the umbrella of an action movie, what you can talk about, and how sensitive you can be. It was really great to get to explore all of those things with him, and with Will [Smith], as well, who is just one of the most wonderful people you could ever be working beside, for months at a time. He’s so positive and uplifting for everybody, in a really amazing way that I was really blown away by.
What kind of character are you playing in that?
WINSTEAD: I play an operative with the DIA, who’s been hired to watch Will Smith’s character. He is a sniper for the government who’s retired, and I don’t really know why exactly I’ve been hired to spy on him and keep an eye on him. He starts to catch on to the fact that he’s being watched, and once we realized that there’s no real reason for it, we start to realize that maybe there’s something nefarious happening within our government and within our own people. And so, I team up with him to fight back against them, and we go on the run together, from our own government, who are trying to hunt him down for reasons that we don’t understand. And then, we come to find that he’s been cloned and he’s basically being hunted down by a younger clone of himself. All of these questions emerge about our government, about ourselves, about society, and about all of these things that come from it. It’s a complex plot, but I think it’s an exciting thriller/drama. I’m excited to see how it turns out.
September 27 by JessicaComments are off for this post
Now that Mary has landed the role of The Huntress in DC’s Birds of Prey opposite Margot Robbie, Mary is able to talk a little about playing the character of Helena Berinelli. Here is what she dished to The Wrap:
“I’m going to start training, and I’ll be learning how to shoot a bow and arrow, too — which is new for me.” She continued:
“I can’t say that I was a huge comic book reader. But when I met with Cathy Yan, who’s directing the film, and learned kind of the back story of the character, I was really interested,” added the actress. “It’s a really strong, kind of emotional place to start from for a superhero character. I won’t go into too much detail now, but I think it’s interesting and an opportunity to do something cool with this kind of character,” she said.
The film will be directed by Cathy Yan with a screenplay by Christina Hodson, who is also writing “Batgirl” and Winstead is happy to be on a set that will be more female driven: “It’s really exciting, and even the process of going through getting the role and everything was a very different experience than I’ve typically been through,” Winstead said. “Being with the other actresses and a female director and just the whole energy behind this is so unique, so I’m really happy about that.”
Mary also spoke with The Observer about how the film could change the superhero genre:
“I think it opens it up to a new perspective and artistic energy that I think is needed in that world,” she said. “That’s not to say that the films that have already come along aren’t good or valid or worthy in their own way. But I think more perspectives in every aspect are needed.” She continued… “I think the perspective is really interesting and different for a superhero film in that sense…And the idea of suiting up into a superhero suit and it being from the female gaze is really interesting.”
September 27 by JessicaComments are off for this post
EW has debuted a brand new clip of Mary in writer/director Eva Vives’ All About Nina, hitting select theaters in New York and Los Angeles tomorrow. Additionally, Entertainment Weekly talked to Eva about how she turned her real life trauma into this film, which is loosely based on her.
There’s a distinct rage coursing throughout Nina and the film, too. I don’t mean to probe into your past, but is that what inspired the script: a personal rage from a similar experience?
I wouldn’t say it was the rage that sparked me wanting to tell it, but I certainly didn’t want to shy away from the rage…. Until very recently it wasn’t really allowed in women, but that doesn’t mean we don’t feel it. We’re certainly feeling it a lot more in the last year — specifically this week. I’m incredibly triggered by what’s going on with the Kavanaugh hearings and how Dr. Ford is being treated. I’m upset that it feels like she’s being bullied into testifying and it’s a bunch of white, straight men trying to overpower her and not believe her! I was, funnily enough, trying to write a movie that’s somewhat hopeful for survivors. At the end of the day, she’s somebody who has a passion and does what she does well, and hopefully by the end of the movie you feel like she will at least be able to open herself up to love. I also didn’t want that to mean she wasn’t in touch with her anger and her rage. Keeping that stuff down is really hurtful.
You’re a survivor as well?
It’s very much my story, except I’ve never done stand-up comedy. Everything else is very much taken out of my life. Definitely in terms of everything she says on stage during her breakdown is me. I was abused by my father for eight years.
Was writing Nina’s liberation liberating for you?
The liberation happened already; that’s why I was able to write about it because I didn’t have to create that much. She’s similar to how I was in my twenties. I’ve calmed down since…. The bulk of my recovery — not that it ever ends — was 10-12 years of living in New York, exhibiting [destructive] behaviors Nina does…. I was able to write this with some distance because I’d recovered and healed enough. I also had a son five years ago, and becoming a parent gave me that kind of power. I want to be strong and good for him in the way my parents weren’t able to be for me, and that gave me strength and security.
It was more empowering to write in the sense that I don’t really think about my father anymore. As Nina also says in the movie, he committed suicide years ago, so he was already not part of my life. For me, maybe it will be liberating soon enough…. We’ll see what happens when it comes out. It was empowering to at least have some say on how I told the story, because for so long he defined me, what he did to me or what he was how I had to live.