Now that the Off-Broadway play Dying City is taking place, Mary was recently interviewed by The New York Times about what made her want to finally get into the theater world, her work in Gemini Man, and how she enjoyed playing the role of Nikki Swango in FX’s Fargo. Below are some highlights but click the link above to read it in full. I’ve also added photo shoot outtakes into the gallery.
What made you change your mind about doing a play?
I did this PBS show called “Mercy Street” with a cast of theater actors. I came at it with an inferiority complex but they really encouraged me to try. At that point I thought I could do the Williamstown Theater Festival or something, dip my toes in. Then the script [for “Dying City”] came when I had been doing “Gemini Man” and “Birds of Prey,” back-to-back, wall-to-wall action movies — which was really fun, but I was starting to crave something intimate and personal. I thought, “That’s it, that’s what I have to do. I need something new to challenge myself.” It was sort of a no-brainer so I auditioned. I think they were already interested in me but I didn’t realize it and I was like, “Please, let me have this part!” [laughs].
In “Fargo,” Nikki struts around as if she were always in control. Was it as fun to play her as it looks?
I loved [the role] but I was like, “Me? Really? This is what you want me to play?” I was a little bit perplexed because I was expecting some sort of Minnesota-nice character. I guess I was surprised that I would be playing someone so brash and tough and sexy and ballsy — all of those things I never attributed to myself. Usually there tends to be some sort of sweetness in what I’m offered, or bookishness. But I love it when I’m offered something in the opposite direction.
“Gemini Man” is a big action thriller. Did you get to hang from a helicopter? That seems to happen a lot in this type of film.
No, but I do a lot of running around and I get to fight some people. I had to train in jiu jitsu, do a little tactical gun training — there’s some shootouts. “Birds of Prey” was the next level up. In “Gemini Man” I’m a D.I.A. [Defense Intelligence Agency] agent who’s been hired to keep an eye on Will Smith, but in “Birds of Prey” I play this assassin who’s been trained since childhood. It’s all women and genuinely funny and weird. It feels from the ’90s, in the best way.
Dying City takes place at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theater, with opening set for June 3 and will run until June 30. (Previews are currently taking place).
You can purchase tickets here and if you’re 30 years old and under, can purchase tickets for $30. More info for that is on the ticket site. There is also a great Memorial Day deal going on where you can get two tickets for the price of $40 using the code DCSM40.