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.