Blackbook Magazine recently sat down with Mary and director James Ponsoldt to discuss their film Smashed. “Our goal was identification, not objectification—and the humor if it speaks to the fact that it’s really fun to be drunk and it’s not wrong to say that! There’s a reason people drink and we wanted that to be a part of the spirit of the film,” admits writer/director James Ponsoldt. Below is part of the interview the mag did between Mary and James. Click the link above to read the FULL interview:
How did you get involved with the film?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I was looking to meet people who were doing films that were small and performance-focused and was sent two scripts and one of them was Smashed and I pretty much flipped out over it. I called the producer immediately and was like, “what do I have to do to be considered for this part,” and he introduced me to James, who I loved. So, I put myself on tape and did an audition tape and sent it to them. Yeah, it was pretty shocking and amazing that they actually cast me off the tape and didn’t audition anyone else. I feel really lucky that they put faith in me because usually that never happens.
So once you were cast, how did you prepare to become Kate?
MEW: Well, I had close to a month to work on it, which I was very thankful for because I knew I needed to do a lot of work to really to get to the places I needed to get to. So I started out going to a lot of AA meetings with Susan our co-writer and Elyse our producer, who was also in recovery. I was always welcomed into these open meetings and I went to every different neighborhood in LA basically and tried different meetings and I would see so many different types of people and I realized that if I took alcohol out of the equation that I could fit perfectly in those rooms with those people; they were completely and totally relatable. So that was kind of the first step in relating to the character and then once I started looking at my own life and my own issues, then it just kind of went further and further into becoming her because I kind of made my problems her problems and they kind of became one.
Was that frightening for you?
MEW: It was a funny experience because it all felt so real—the dark moments felt incredibly real or challenging and exhausting but at the same time, it was such a fun, relaxed set that I always felt comfortable and happy. It was a really surreal experience in that way because it was just my favorite place to be even though we were doing things that were sometimes emotionally hard. I always felt kind of relived and happy at the end of the day.