Just as the title reads, Mary’s 2015 film FAULTS will be screening at the Nitehawk Cinema in New York City on May 10 at 7pm et for one night only. Tickets are currently available for $16 which can be purchased here.
Mary and her husband Riley, who directed the film will be in attendance.
Nitehawk presents a special screening of FAULTS featuring an introduction by director Riley Stearns and a Q&A with Stearns and lead actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Claire (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is under the grip of a mysterious cult called Faults. Desperate to be reunited with their daughter, Claire’s parents set out to recruit Ansel Roth (Leland Orser), one of the world’s foremost authorities on cults and mind control. But Ansel’s specialty, deprogramming cult members and returning them to their families, is not an exact science, and a series of financial setbacks has left him in debt to his manager. Ansel warns Claire’s parents that his deprogramming methods are risky and expensive, but they agree to hire him to kidnap and deprogram their daughter. Claire quickly reveals herself to be a formidable challenge. Her belief is unshakeable and her logic is undeniable. A battle of wits develops between the two as they delve deeper and deeper into each other’s minds.
It’s a really good film, so if you’re in the New York area and want to catch the flick, be sure to do so!
Richmond.com seems to be getting excited about the upcoming PBS civil war drama, Mercy Street. Seeing as how the show was filmed in Virgina, the site has uploaded a couple of new photos, one of them being a new still of Mary as her character, nurse Mary Phinney.
Head to the gallery to check out the full-sized pic. Mercy Street will be premiering on PBS on January 20, 2016.
In other news, Mary’s film FAULTS, which was directed by her husband Riley Stearns, will be heading to Netflix on July 4th. In case you don’t know what it’s about, the film follows Claire who is under the grip of a mysterious new cult called Faults. Desperate to be reunited with their daughter, Claire’s parents recruit one of the world’s foremost experts on mind control, Ansel Roth played by Leland Orser.
The first clip of Mary in Alex of Venice has been released via Indiewire. The scene also gives us a first look at Don Johnson playing Mary’s father in the film. Check it out below:
In other news, a brand new interview with Mary talking about Faults and her other projects has been posted online. Click on the link here to read it in full. Below are some highlights:
SCREAM: Riley told me he would show you about ten pages each day as he wrote them. How much input would you say you provided in terms of the story and characters?
MEW: I definitely gave my thoughts on everything that I read and, for the most part, I loved what I was reading so I didn’t have a tonne of stuff to say. I would give little notes about my character and would just kind of gently push him along the way to make sure he gave me something juicy to do, which he did in spades. Some of those notes he took and others he didn’t but I knew that he was making something great so I gave as much constructive criticism here and there as I could but everything ultimately was exciting to me and I knew he was working towards something that I was going to be really excited to be involved in.
SCREAM: I know you had your doubts about taking on the role but you must be delighted that you did in hindsight.
MEW: I’m certainly thankful that I did it now. I always wanted to do it but I think I just had fears about the character and whether or not I could pull it off. I wondered that if I wasn’t his wife that I wouldn’t be the person that he would cast. I guess that, as an actor, because you go through so many rejections you kind of get used to being told you’re not right for something. *laughs* Pretty much any time I get offered something I kind of go, “Are you sure?” I mean, I’ve been told so many times over the years that I’m not right for these kinds of parts that I wonder if can really pull them off. But it’s nice to get the challenge and to feel like you’ve achieved something that you didn’t know whether or not you could do.
Thanks to Paige, I’ve added screen caps of Mary in her new film Faults. You can view them in the gallery and if you haven’t done so yet, you can watch the film on iTunes or Vimeo.
Also, there are two new videos from episode 2 of The Returned which are now online and you can view below. I have also screen-capped them and you can view them in the gallery as well.
In related news, Netflix picked up global rights for The Returned, meaning that the streaming service and FremantleMedia International have sealed an exclusive, landmark deal for Carlton Cuse’s 10-episode suspense series to launch as a Netflix original beginning March 10 in all regions outside the U.S. and Canada. Episodes will be available weekly for Netflix members to stream within 24 hours of the U.S. broadcast and Netflix will add the series to its North American portfolio next year. You can read more about the deal here.
Now that Faults is out in select cities and available to stream online either via iTunes or Vimeo, a couple of new interviews have come online. The first comes from Collider where Mary and Riley discuss about wanting to work together, Mary directing in the future and working with John Krasinski in The Hollars:
Did you try to influence your husband, in regard to the character?
WINSTEAD: Oh, yeah, definitely. Part of it was that he always knew I was gonna play it, so I was worried that the character would be underwritten and that he wouldn’t really put as much detail into it ‘cause he’d be like, “You’re the actor. You’ll fill in that.” So, I was preemptively like, “Make sure you make this character really interesting.” My character doesn’t come into the script for quite a long time, and the first 30 pages are so strong. I was like, “Please don’t, when you introduce the girl character, make her the least interesting thing in the whole script.” That’s happened to me, a few times, in reading scripts. So, he definitely knew, going into it, that the pressure was on for him to write an interesting female lead. And as it was going, there were a couple of times that I [pointed things out]. The first chunk of the movie, there was a lot of talking about the cult and explaining things and explaining who she is. I was like, “I don’t want that to be all that she does. Let’s make sure that there’s other layers of things going on.” So, he added a couple scenes, early on, that showed a bit more of her strange personality. That was helpful for me, in terms of getting excited about it.
What was it like to be directed by John Krasinski for The Hollars?
WINSTEAD: It’s a small part. I was actually shooting The Returned, so I just went and showed up on his set for a couple of days, on a break from [the show]. It was a very small part, but super fun. He’s a sweetheart, and I was really happy just to get to work with him. He was just so full of excitement and passion. He was really lovely, and he wrote a really nice letter to me, asking if I would do it. I had met him before, but only briefly, so I didn’t actually know him. But, I was super happy to be amongst that really great cast. It was a great script on that, so it was fun.
After working with your husband, in that capacity, and then John Krasinski, did it inspire you to also want to direct?
WINSTEAD: It did. I think every film I do, I’m paying more and more attention to all of those things, and watching the directors and how they work. It’s making me feel more like I could eventually do it. I do want to direct, eventually. I don’t know if it will be a short film or a music video or a feature, but I know that I want to at least try it and see.
You can also read the full interview Mary and Riley did with Den of Geek discussing how they felt about filming Faults:
The family creative partnership is an interesting one to me. Do you take the work home with you? Do you try and leave it on set?
Stearns: We’re pretty good about not taking it home.
Winstead: I was going to say, when you’re doing this kind of movie you’re just never home.
Stearns: Her mom came and stayed at our house and watched our dogs, so we didn’t have that to worry about. One thing though is that I was editing at the same time as we were shooting because we were trying to see if we could possibly submit it in time for Sundance, so there was some stress and lack of sleep in that regard. We were staying at a hotel nearby our Long Beach soundstage so that I wasn’t driving far every night. Mary would just stay with me a lot of those nights and I would wake up in the middle of the night sleepwalking basically.
Now that Faults is out, here are some new video interviews Mary, Riley and Leland did during a press day earlier this week to promote the film. You can rent it or buy it on iTunes or Vimeo.
ComingSoon also caught up with the cast and you can view their video interview by clicking on the link.
And finally, ShockTillYouDrop interviewed Mary about her new series, The Returned debuting Monday night at 10pm on A&E. Read the full interview by clicking on the link provided:
Shock: Were you familiar with the French series when this came around?
Winstead: I was familiar with it in the sense that I had heard of it from friends who have really good taste and had told me that it was a great show, but I hadn’t seen it. Then Carlton contacted me about it and I watched the first episode and thought it was so beautiful. But I decided not to watch any more after that because I knew that I would be totally attached to the way that they did it, particularly with the acting, so I didn’t want to be too swayed by that.
Shock: If someone is going through grief, does having the returned come back actually interrupt that natural process?
Winstead: That’s definitely one of the questions the show explores. There was a question posed at the panel, who would you want to come back? I’m like you. I’ve really only had people die when it was their time, so for me that thought seems really odd and unnatural. It seems like it was right for them to pass when they passed. That’s sort of the natural law of things, but I can only imagine if you had something as traumatizing as a child lost, or someone lost before it was their time to go, how desperately you would want them to be able to come back and how much you would hope for something like that. But, is it a good or bad thing? It’s questionable.
After posting several new interviews early yesterday afternoon with Mary talking about her film Faults and The Returned, more new interviews are also online. First is one with Rama Screen where they discuss the film and the possibility of a Scott Pilgrim sequel:
Rama’s SCREEN: This movie was your husband’s feature directorial debut and he wrote it as well, so your having worked with many directors before, did you give your husband any input or advice along the way, during the filming process?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: “A little bit, but he knew what he was doing, which I was really impressed by, he’s kind of a natural born leader, which I think is the most important thing in a director. And he’s also spent so much time on set with me just hanging out, and he’s learned so much in just by kind of observing, so I didn’t really have to give him that much advice, which was nice, it was really wonderful to be on set and to watch him in his element doing something that he’s really good at, it was awesome.”
Rama’s SCREEN: I was rooting for you guys, “Scott Pilgrim” back in 2010, but “The Expendables” and “Eat Pray Love” came out on the same weekend and you guys got beaten by those two films. So do you think Edgar Wright will come call you and say ‘Hey, let’s do SCOTT PILGRIM 2!’ or do you not see that happening at all?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: “I don’t see that happening, I think because the film didn’t make a lot of money, I don’t really see the studio backing a sequel for that reason. But I don’t think it needs it either, I think it’s such a great movie on its own, and it will always be there, it will always exist, this great movie that we all made, and that’s certainly enough for me and I think enough for everybody involved. So ya, hopefully we’ll all get to work together again in some capacity because it was a really amazing talented group of people that I’d love to work with again someday, but I highly doubt it will be on the set of Scott Pilgrim 2.”
ShockYa (SY): You play Claire, a young woman whose parents are desperate to be reunited with her after she falls under the grip of a mysterious cult, in the new thriller, ‘Faults.’ What was it about the character, as well as the script, that convinced you to take on the role?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (MEW): Well, I was a bit biased from the start, because my husband wrote the script and role for me. So I instantly knew that this was a character I was most likely going to play. It helped that I loved the script so much, and thought the role was so smart, exciting and interesting.
But I did have doubts about whether I’d be able to do the role justice, which was one of my main concerns throughout the process. I wanted to make sure I brought a lot of complexity to the role, and keep the audience engaged in the character. But once I got over those doubts and we were on the set, shooting, I knew I loved this character so much. I had so much fun playing her.
SY: Besides films, you have also starred in several short films and television series throughout your career, including the upcoming supernatural drama series, ‘The Returned.’ What is it about television that you also enjoy working on? How does it compare and contrast to making films, particularly indies like ‘Faults?’MEW: Ultimately, I like to do good material, as well as work with people I like. When I go back and look at all the things I’ve done, I typically chose my roles, based on the scripts and people involved. It doesn’t really matter what type of platform it is, whether it’s a short film, play, TV show or feature; it’s all the same to me, as long as I’m enjoying what I’m doing when I’m there.
The platforms all have their differences. TV is different, as actors are usually closer to the writers than we are on a film. We’re typically closer to directors on a movie than on television. So that’s a bit of a changeover we have to do in our minds, and get used to the different ways of working.
But at the end of the day, it all stems from the script and the material, which you have to be passionate about. That’s what really matters to me.
SY: Speaking of plays, since you’re primarily known for staring in feature films, as well as on shorts and television series, would you also be interested in performing in theater?
MEW: I would love to do theater. There have been a couple scripts that have come my way, which I have tried to get but didn’t, or have been offered to me, but I couldn’t do them because of scheduling. I’m certainly intimidated by theater, but the more people I meet, and the friends I make who are in the theater world, the less scared of it I am. They all tell me I’ll be fine, and it’s all the same, so I should give it a try. They’ve all been encouraging me to do it, so I think I will try it one of these days, whenever I can, and find the right project.
Several new interviews with Mary have come online in anticipation for her new film, FAULTS (you can pre-order it on iTunes or Vimeo), and her upcoming show The Returned, debuting on A&E Monday night at 10pm. First up is Mary’s interview with Carson Daly which aired Tuesday night:
Next is a video interview of Mary appearing on KTLA discussing her show The Returned:
Also, Indie Wire has posted a new Faults clip which you can view by clicking on the link along with some new stills which you can view in the gallery.
Finally, BadAss Digest also caught up with Mary to discuss both projects. Click on the link to read on the interview in full. Below are some highlights:
Faults is your husband’s project, but did he intend for you to play the role of Claire from the beginning?
Yeah, I think it was always this unspoken thing. He told me the idea for it and I loved the idea. And then every ten pages or so he would kind of show it to me, and for the first thirty pages or so, my character doesn’t come into it at all, but I immediately loved it. I was like, this is going to be an amazing movie and I can’t wait to see what role I’m going to be playing in it and what it’s going to be like. It was always kind of understood that I would play it, although when I started reading it I wasn’t really sure if I was the right person for it, and I would get worried about that. But I kind of just trusted him in that he trusted me, and I kind of had to have faith in him, and it all worked out.
Is it easier for you to find those roles in indie films versus bigger studio movies?
Oh definitely. I think everybody gets bogged down in what they think will sell, and for whatever reason, people have decided that movies about women don’t sell, or that women who are not exactly the perfect archetype of the girl next door don’t really sell. There’s all these sort of things that we hear all the time about what sells and what doesn’t sell, but it doesn’t really make sense to me. Obviously there’s a lot of great, female-led franchises right now with young women that are selling great and doing really well. So I think we’re all just kind of, like, wondering when that tide is really going to change, or when that dialogue is going to change because I feel like they all keep saying that, but that’s actually starting to prove to not always be correct. I’m hoping that’s eventually going to change.
Were you a fan of the original series before you signed on for the U.S. version?
I had heard of it and I had a lot of friends who told me about it, and I knew that it was good because those friends are people with some good taste. I was intrigued because of that, and I was sent the first two scripts and I loved them. And I loved the role and how emotional it was and how kind of haunting it was. So I’m drawn to it immediately, and I’m kind of one of those people who, if I like the material, I’m kind of hooked from that point on. I then went and watched the first episode of the original immediately and I thought it was so beautiful, and so I stopped watching it because I knew if I watched any more I would be, like, scared to do it or I would get something in my head about the way the original actress performed the part and all that stuff. So I decided not to watch it, but I went back and watched it after we finished shooting our first season. I thought it was really beautiful, but I was kind of relieved to see how different ours actually was at the end of the day.
Today was press day for the cast of Faults which means some new interviews and reviews have come online. While more while be released within the next few days, here’s some new ones to keep you interested. First is an interview with Mary with Metro U.S.:
Cults are a fascinating issue, because they involve sometimes perfectly rational people subsuming their personalities for a crazy idea.
I think that’s the real horror. It’s scarier than thinking someone breaking into your house and grabbing you or something. To me the psychological horror of thinking that as strong or smart as you think you are, you’ll always be vulnerable to that kind of manipulation. That anybody could be vulnerable to that is really horrifying to me. [Laughs]
Some couples, even very close ones, find it difficult to make films together. How was it for you two?
We were really lucky in that we dipped our toes into it before; we’d done some short films together. We’ve been together for a really long time, so we know each other really well. I don’t think there was any way we could really surprise each other, like me suddenly realizing, “I didn’t know you were a tyrant on the set!” But at first it was a little weird, because we didn’t have to say much to each other. I’m used to being given direction and really talking about what the director wants. But he knows me and I know him, so we didn’t have to say much. At first that made me nervous — like, “Are you sure I’m doing what you want? [Laughs] You’re not just trusting me too much because I’m your wife?” I just had to make sure he wasn’t letting me slack off.
You’ve done very big films — two “Die Hard”s, a “Final Destination” — but you’ve lately been doing smaller, independent films, where the roles seem more challenging. Was that a conscious move on your part or just how Hollywood rolls right now?
I’m just trying to find good roles. And lately for the most part those have been in the independent world. For me it’s hard to find good roles [in big budget Hollywood films]. I’m not a huge name, and not to say they don’t exist, but the good roles tend to go to the same handful of people, and they’re all amazing. But that does make it difficult for someone like me to get those great roles. For me, to find those great roles and do great work, I’m likely going to have to look in other places. Hopefully, eventually, one of those things will open up and I’ll be able to do that. But I’m not going to sit around and wait for it.
Also, both IndieWire and ion cinema have written their reviews which you can read in full by clicking on the appropriate links. Come back soon to check out more upcoming interviews with Mary discussing Faults and The Returned!
After Mary and Riley talked to The Bitter Script Reader in part one of yesterday’s interview and how Faults came to be, part two focuses on writing and performing characters with layers, and Mary’s thoughts on issues with the writing of many roles for women. Click the link to read the full interview. Highlights below:
BSR: Mary, how are you layering your performance? It would be easy to just play Claire’s deception as sincere up until the reveal, but in watching it, it feels like you were very aware of “real Claire” and “fake Claire” and letting us get a hint that she’s wearing a mask. How do you do that?
MEW: I wanted it to feel very sincere in the beginning. I kind of realized as I was doing it how much I was enjoying all of it. At first I was worried about it, like, “Should I be having this much fun doing these emotional scenes?” Then I realized that was a good thing because ultimately Claire is having fun with this whole situation. She’s just like getting a kick out of it. I was going with sincerity, but also enjoying it.
BSR: Do you often get offered roles like this, with this complexity?
MEW: No, I don’t think that kind of material comes around very often in general. Just look at the landscape of female roles out there. I just think it’s really hard to find material that’s exciting and roles that are gonna showcase everything that you can do. And I wasn’t even sure going into this if I’d be able to bring the complexity that would make this a great role for me. Not even until I saw the movie was I like, “Okay, I can take a deep breath.”
SR: Mary, I don’t feel like you’re typecast in the sort of roles you do, but do you feel like you’re typecast in the sorts of scripts you’re sent?
MEW: That’s interesting… I think it’s changing now. The past couple years it’s been different than it was before. It’s really interesting how one project can kind of shift the perception of how people see you, even in terms of looks and stuff. I used to get “the cute girl” and now I get “rough, haggard” because of Smashed.
RS: Or after The Thing where they thought of you as really tough.
MEW: You can always tell someone saw something else I did and thought “She’d be good for this.” I still get heroine roles or action roles, and then I get more indie, rough-and-tumble, kind of messy…
Thanks to a bunch of massively underrated, underexposed actors who are given the meaty screen time they deserve to shine, Stearns makes a flawless debut as writer-director, showcasing his ability to shock even where you may have guessed the twists. The Coen brothers-esq characterisation is so captivating that you almost feel you’re being indoctrinated into some sort of cult yourself. Thanks to fearless performances, the results are darkly humorous, disturbingly convincing, and above all, manipulative. When one character asks: ‘doesn’t it feel good just to listen instead of thinking?’, it is like being awoken from hypnosis, and you realise how easily Stearns has pulled us under.