Under the Radar magazine caught up with Mary and her All About Nina director Eva Vives during the Tribeca Film Festival last week. You can read part of the interview below and click the link provided to read it in full:
Do either of you have any experience doing stand-up?
Winstead: Now I do. This was my first foray into it.
Eva Vives: I was there for her first performance.
Winstead: It was one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever done, I think. I was kind of paralyzed with fear about it. When we were just at the stage of getting ready to do it, I’d always thought I’d really throw myself into it, and immerse myself in it. I’d do open mics, and I’d do all of these things. But then, I was scared to do it. And then part of me thought, “You know, I’m not really a comedian.” Like, [my character] is supposed to be good at it, and if I just went and did open mics, I’d suck at it. [Laughs] it wasn’t necessarily going to do what I wanted it to do, you know?
So instead I just tried to harness her confidence with it. I’d just go in and believe in what I was saying, and believe that it was funny. It helped that it was funny, between what Eva had written and the consultant we worked with, Jamie Loftus, who came in and helped us as well.
Mary, what are things that excited you most about the role?
Winstead: I mean, all of those things: the layers of the character are undeniable. Sometimes you read scripts, and especially for a woman looking for an interesting role, it’s really clear when it’s there on the page, because it doesn’t happen all the time.
At first I was reading the script just casually, but then I was reading it, and reading it, and reading it, and I got through to the end and just went, “Oh my god.” This was an incredible opportunity to be really challenged by a character, and also to do something really meaningful in terms of what it was saying. It was kind of a no-brainer. When I met with Eva, I was so on board immediately.
The role looks like it was very challenging. The character shows such a wide range of emotion – she’ll be on stage, confident and in command in one scene, and then a crying mess moments later.
Winstead: It was a challenge, which is what I wanted. The best experiences, for me, are when you’re excited about something and then you go to do it, and you’re sick with nerves over whether you actually might be able to pull it off. As awful as that moment is, it’s always the best. That’s really what I strive for in the roles I take on.