Following some reviews praising Mary’s performance in All About Nina, I’ve found one more interview with her and director Eva Vives which you can [partly] read below. Click here to read it in full. Additionally, The Playlist has also written their review applauding Mary’s work. You can read that after the cut…
You’re taking on this new role as a wayward comedian. Did you ever get involved and go to the comedy clubs and get on stage?
I did but I did not get on stage—even though I intended to! I talked a big talk for awhile there. I was like, “yeah we’re gonna get out there and do some open-mics and do that.” But the thought of that made me want to throw up. I really just couldn’t do that. And the closer we got to shooting, the more scared I was getting. So I decided to approach it more from an acting perspective as playing someone who’s a really good comic because I felt that I myself wouldn’t be. So instead I watched a lot of comedy and saw a lot of shows with Eva [Vives]. We took a lot from what we saw and then we worked with other comedians in terms of trying to craft and create a character that could feel like it could come from me but isn’t me.
Was there any newfound respect or hatred you gained going through that experience?
I mean yes and no because I’ve always had huge respect for comedians. I’ve always seen it as something that seems like the most nerve-wracking, difficult thing to do. To get up on stage and ask for their laughter is to me just an incredibly vulnerable thing to do. It’s just really brave. I’ve always felt like that and I think that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to take the part. I thought it would be a great thing to at least pretend to be that kind of person to have the balls to go up and do that.
Eva Vives‘ directorial debut about a raunchy female stand-up isn’t just a foul-mouthed comedy with excellent timing; there’s real depth and emotion present in the filmmaker’s sharp script, brought to life by Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Common.
Contrasting with his smoothness is Winstead’s Nina; she’s all hard angles to put off those around her, but she doesn’t bear these traits in the moment just because that’s the character written by Vives. The filmmaker has built a history for her that fits with the woman we see on screen, and her responses in situations – whether to Rafe, sexually aggressive fellow comedian Mike (Jay Mohr) or her mother’s overeager neighbor (Mindy Sterling) – feel true to the woman we’ve gotten to know. Winstead’s performance draws us in, even as her character pushes everyone around her away. She’s bold and brash, but Winstead crackles, making her always watchable, even as she’s working to implode her life. She’s able to handle not only the stand-up performances but also the more nuanced emotional parts of the role. There might have been the temptation to cast an actual comedian for the lead, but Winstead aces the wide range of emotions that a less experienced actress might have struggled with. [B+]