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!
In further casting news for Birds of Prey, it has been announced that Mary’s Fargo co-star Ewan McGregor has joined the DC film as the villain Black Mask. He will join Margot Robbie who is reprising her role of Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad along with Jurnee Smollett-Bell who is playing Black Canary. Rosie Perez is playing Renee Montoya.
Black Mask is a Gotham City mob boss aka Roman Sionis who leads the False Face Society gang. In the comics, he killed his wealthy parents in order to take control of their corporation, but he was a terrible businessman and lost everything. He blames others for his shortcomings with Bruce Wayne being one of his targets.
In a recent interview this past week, director Cathy Yan confirmed that Birds of Prey will be rated R. The film is scheduled to hit theaters on February 7, 2020.
Nice to see that Nikki Swango and Ray Stussy will be reunited again! 😛
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.
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.”
Mary was in New York today to attend the AOL Build Series to talk about her new film All About Nina. While there, they also tried to get some info out of her about landing the role of The Huntress in DC’s Birds of Prey, but she just said she was very excited. Be sure to head to the gallery to see new candid shots of her arriving at the studio!
AOL Build portrait
Just a week ago, Mary was reported to have screen tested for the role of Huntress in the upcoming DC film Birds of Prey opposite Margot Robbie, who’d be reprising her role of Harley Quinn from 2016’s Suicide Squad. Now it has been confirmed that she has landed the role and will star with Margot as well as Underground‘s Jurnee Smollett-Bell, who will take on the role of Black Canary.
In the upcoming film, Huntress is a former mafia princess, who like Batman, saw her family killed at a young age, hence why she became a vigilante. In the movie, the team will fight a Gotham crime lord who has yet to be unveiled though it is rumored to be a character by the name of Black Mask.
Production is scheduled to begin in January and will have a release date of February 7, 2020.
HUGE CONGRATS to Mary on landing this role! I’ve wanted to see her in a superhero film for ages and this is so exciting! She’s going to be fantastic. I’m thrilled for her.
Multiple outlets inclding THR & Deadline are reporting that Mary Elizabeth Winstead has either “tested or read” for the role of Huntress in DC’s upcoming film Birds of Prey, with Margot Robbie attached to reprise her role of Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad.
Other actresses including Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who starred in Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, and Jurnee Smolett-Bell, who appeared in the critically acclaimed WGN series Underground, are in the mix for Black Canary.
Production is scheduled to begin next year in January with final decisions on the above roles in the next two weeks.
I will keep you all updated on this very exciting news!!