Kate Winslet Opened Up About Keeping Her ‘Mare of Easttown’ Character “Unglamorous”
She even requested her "bulgy bit of belly" stay in the final cut.
Kate Winslet told The New York Times on May 31st that she can’t believe audiences fell so hard for her Mare of Easttown character Mare Sheehan, whom Winslet herself describes as a “wildly flawed, messy, broken, fragmented, difficult woman.” And she’s so glad that her hard work to make Mare so driven, complex, and so “unglamorous” has paid off.
I loved her marks and her scars and her faults and her flaws and the fact that she has no off switch, no stop button, Winslet told The Times. She just knows ‘Go.’
And Winslet used her own “marks and scars” to help flesh out Mare in a physical sense, fully aware that viewers would question, “Oh my God, how can she let herself look so unglamorous?” Winslet told The Times that she asked Mare of Easttown director Craig Zobel to keep the “bulgy bit of belly” in her sex scene and sent the show’s promotional poster back two separate times because it was over retouched.
“They were like ‘Kate, really, you can’t,’ and I’m like ‘Guys, I know how many lines I have by the side of my eye, please put them all back,'” she said. Winslet even asked to fix the set lighting after she saw early cuts that made her skin look too nice.
“Listen, I hope that in playing Mare as a middle-aged woman—I will be 46 in October—I guess that’s why people have connected with this character in the way that they have done because there are clearly no filters,” Winslet continued. “She’s a fully functioning, flawed woman with a body and a face that moves in a way that is synonymous with her age and her life and where she comes from. I think we’re starved of that a bit.”
Mare’s wardrobe, which consists of flannel shirts and bad jeans, is purposely unflattering, and Winslet would leave her clothing in a heap on her trailer floor because Mare would do just that in her own bedroom. There’s a sloppiness to her, and there’s a looseness to how she sits and how she walks and just how she holds herself, she said, adding that she actually took inspiration for Mare from her own father.
The way she dressed, acted, looked, walked, and sat is all a reflection of the grief Mare carries with her, Winslet said. “She doesn’t want affection. She doesn’t want to be loved. And she doesn’t want to be cared for because if she has to experience those things, it makes her feel vulnerable, and if she feels vulnerable, then she can’t be strong anymore, and she can’t carry on,” she told The Times.
It’s because of Winslet’s willingness to be “unglamorous” that so many people are compelled by Mare. She’s unafraid to go un-photoshopped and unfiltered in order to show what sadness and heartbreak really looks like.