Several new interviews with Mary have been released discussing her new show BrainDead, premiering tonight on CBS. As always, click on each of the provided links to read the full interviews. The first one is with Parade Magazine:
Looking at your recent projects, you have BrainDead, Cloverfield Lane and The Returned. There seems to be this horror theme. Is there an appeal to these projects for you, or is it that they’re just the best roles out there for women right now?
I think it’s a bit of both. I always tend to come back to them, partly, because as a viewer, I’m very drawn to those stories. I always have been since I was a kid. I’ve always been a fan of the darker side of things when it comes to movies and TV. So I just love that genre.
But I also think that in terms of female protagonists, there are a lot of great roles within that genre of women really saving the day, getting to be the strong ones, and getting to be the ones leading the charge. I really like that. I like playing these characters, who when things crumble around them, they’re still standing at the end.
The second one comes from Esquire:
ESQ: This is a departure from your other TV work. Why did you want to do it?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I think that’s the main reason. I’d come off of doing a couple shows where it was very dramatic and a lot of emotion and a lot of crying—just very serious stuff everyday. I was really ready to just have fun and to show that side of myself. I enjoy being silly and being more than just that emotional side. When the script came, it was hard to say no to because it checked off every box of what I was looking to do at that moment.
Laurel notices something’s up almost immediately. Do you think that’s because she’s an outsider?
I think so. I think she also has this innate sense about her wherein she wants to get to the truth. That’s why she went off and tried to be a documentary filmmaker. She wants to surround herself with what she believes to be truthful and authentic things in her life. And when she gets to DC, it’s clear something is off and the truth is being hidden in some way. She has this need to scratch at the surface in some way. She wants to be good at her job and she wants to learn why it’s impossible to get things done in Washington.
The next is one from Collider where Mary also talks about working with her husband Riley on their new film, The Art of Self Defense:
The Kings are great at creating flawed female characters that are so fun to watch because they are so imperfect. What most excites you about working with them, and what do you think they bring to a project that makes it that much more special?
WINSTEAD: I really do think that they’re geniuses. They never stop thinking. They never stop working. They live to tell these stories. They live to do what they do. And I have such admiration for that. They’re also just incredibly good people and an incredibly lovely couple. Their energy is so warm and calm and soft and open. They know what they want because this is what they love. They know how to delegate, as any great director or showrunner does, but at the end of the day, it’s their vision and I love, as an actor, knowing there’s one person, or in their case one couple, who has the vision for the entire thing. They know what’s going to happen. They know what the couch in my character’s bedroom looks like. From the biggest macro ideas to the tiniest micro things, they’re so involved in every detail, and I love that. I think that’s so important to have a real visionary at the helm of a project like this.
You went from The Returned to Mercy Street to BrainDead, and you’re doing Season 2 of Mercy Street, and whatever movies you did in between. Are you just a workaholic, or have you just had an embarrassment of riches with characters that you couldn’t say no to?
WINSTEAD: That’s how it’s been, ever since I opened myself up to the idea of doing TV. It’s been so exciting for me because there’s just been this wealth of opportunity, in terms of great roles. It’s tough, in the film market, to really find female leading protagonist roles where you get a real arc and you get a real active story, and you get to be really involved and pushing the story forward. So, once I started really stepping into TV with both feet, it’s just been really exciting and kind of exhausting, but in the best way. And the people have been so lovely to work with. I feel like I just keep getting really lucky, and one thing keeps leading to the next. I just want to keep the ball rolling.
Faults was such a great film, and it’s so exciting to hear that you and your husband are teaming for another movie. What can you say about The Art of Self-Defense and the character that you’ll be playing?
WINSTEAD: I am really excited about it. It’s still in the rewriting phase, so I don’t want to say too much about it. It’s slowly coming together. We’ve got a producer on it, and we’ve got people who are really excited to make it work, but it doesn’t really have its funding yet. It’s still in the very beginning stages, but it does take place in the martial arts world and it is a very dark comedy, in the vein of what Faults was. And I’m excited to take center stage for this one. I was the antagonist of Faults, in a lot of ways, but in this one, I’ll step into the other role. It’s another two-hander, but this time it will be two women going head-to-head. I’m excited. There’s so much I want to say about it, but I can’t say too much, in case it changes. We’re hoping that it will turn out to be this feminist martial arts movie, if it works out to be what we’re trying to do with it. But, we’ll see.
Mary also spoke with Paste Magazine:
Paste: You’ve done television before, and now more than ever there is talk about the revolution of TV and how we’re in this golden age. As an actress, do you find there’s more freedom on television?
Winstead: Absolutely. I go where the great roles are. I don’t want to be sitting back and playing someone’s wife, who doesn’t really get to do anything interesting. I’m happy to go wherever those roles might be. Right now, TV is definitely where the great protagonist female roles are. You can really drive the story and have a character arc, and go on adventures. That’s what I wanted to do, so I feel really lucky to have found that role to keep me challenged and exciting every day. It’s a great place to be in.
Paste: I love that Donald Trump’s lunacy has been explained through the premise of the show. Wouldn’t it be great if we could point to something like aliens as an explanation for him?
Winstead: I know. It would be great. It would be the perfect explanation and who knows, maybe we’re on to something? Maybe that’s what’s happening (laughs).
Paste: Do you see the current election and its results affecting the show?
Winstead: Yeah, there’s definitely plans. The Kings have mapped out the first four or five seasons in terms of what the focus is going to be. This season is really about the current summer and the election, but from season to season, it’s really going to move and travel. I know they’ve been talking a little bit about it, but I don’t want to give away more than they’ve been saying. It’s not going to be in the same place, or the same city. It’s always evolving.