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!
Variety has announced that Mary will be receiving an Artist of Distinction Award at this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival taking place on November 11 along with her former The Beauty Inside co-star Topher Grace and Fear the Walking Dead‘s Colman Domingo.
Over the past 20 years, Winstead has been portraying complex women in projects on TV (“Fargo”) and film, both studio (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) and indie (“Smashed”). This year, she took on one of her most challenging roles as a troubled standup comedian in “All About Nina,” the feature film debut from writer-director Eva Vives. “When I read it, it was absolutely the most intimidating role I’d ever read. It was an easy yes for me obviously, because the role was so incredible,” Winstead says. Only later did the fear sink in. “The closer we got to shooting it, the more scared I started to become.”
Up next, Winstead will be seen in Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man” and “The Parts You Lose.” And she’s just landed the coveted role of Helena Bertinelli / Huntress in “Birds of Prey,” the Harley Quinn spinoff with Margot Robbie. But she’ll never abandon the indie world. “I love it,” she says of the fast pace, noting “All About Nina” was shot in 21 days. “It’s difficult for sure but in terms of the energy, the frenetic, intense energy, it’s easier to get that on a short shoot.”
Congrats to Mary on this fantastic recognition in her career! I’m very happy for her! She deserves this. 🙂
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.
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.
The Late Late Show with James Corden
Last Call with Carson Daly
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.
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.
Yesterday, Mary attended the New York City SAG-AFTRA screening of her film All About Nina, which is in theaters TODAY in select cities in New York as well as Los Angeles. Head to the gallery to check out the new photos.
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.
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
Yesterday I posted four interviews of Mary promoting her new film ‘All About Nina’ and as previously mentioned, more interviews with her have been released. As I always do, I will add excerpts, but be sure to click on the links to read them all in full.
Variety also interviewed Mary, where she talked about potentially doing stand-up before filming:
“We talked a lot about how Nina is so confident onstage. I knew how to do that as a character in front of a camera because I know how to tap into that confidence,” she says. “But strip all that away from me and put me at an open mic night somewhere, I just would have bombed. I would have been terrible.” It helped to have comics in the film, such as Jay Mohr, and Jamie Loftus, who served as comedy consultant. “I was nervous, I would come in early on the days we shot those scenes and work with Jamie,” Winstead says. “By the end, it actually started to be really fun.”
Front Row Features also had a really in-depth interview with her where they talked a lot about the film Some highlights:
Q: Did you go to comedy clubs to watch comedians on stage?
Winstead: A little bit. I signed onto the movie and then I went to shoot (the TV series) “Fargo” almost immediately. Then I came back and we shot the movie almost immediately so there wasn’t a lot of time in terms of preparation. Also, I was so nervous and so nervous and so overwhelmed that I started trying to go to as many shows as I could. I was trying to find that one person who was going to be my inspiration. At a certain point, I had to sit back and figure out who this person is and let the comedy come out of that because if I try to copy somebody else then it’s not going to feel authentic to me. So, I had to take a step away from all that stuff and focus on Nina.
Q: Was your stand up act all scripted or did you improvise or create some of your dialogue?
Winstead: It was a bit of both. The structure of it, the majority of it that’s in the film, is scripted. We would come in early and work on it on the days that we shot the stand up routines. We had this comedian named Jamie Loftus who was our stand up consultant. So, the three of us—Eva, Jamie and I—would get together and we’d go over it and I’d say it for them. We’d talk about which things were working, which things could be better, and we’d just riff. We’d take things out and add things in and mix things up and make them feel how they needed to feel for me to feel confident. It also was really fun to be riffing and improvising raunchy comedy with a couple of other women. Typically, in any comedic space I’ve been in, it’s always been only men. So, it was a totally new experience and I loved it.
Q: Did you relate to Nina as a performer coming to L.A. from somewhere else to realize your dream?
Winstead: My experience was so different because Nina’s coming from New York. I came from Utah when I was a kid, so I had a much more wide-eyed point of view. I did have that slow falling in love with L.A. It took me a long time to do. I loved working here and I loved that I was able to do what I loved but as a city, I didn’t really get it or figure that I fit in. But now I really love it. I had to surrender to it in some way which I kind of see Nina do in the movie.