The Oscar-winner spoke lovingly about how she crafted the “wildly flawed, messy, broken, fragmented, difficult woman” at the centre of the critically acclaimed murder-mystery in an interview with The New York Times published after the series finale.
“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, who also serves as an executive producer on the series, told the outlet. “She just knows ‘Go.’”
Early cuts of the series, which stars Winslet as a hardened Pennsylvania detective on the hunt for the killer of a local teenage girl, were too polished for her liking. In the end, they chose to “light it to make it look not nice,” she explained.
When director Craig Zobel assured Winslet that he’d remove “a bulgy bit of belly” in her sex scene with co-star Guy Pearce, she insisted that the camera should capture it all, telling him, “Don’t you dare.”
That same mentality extended to the show’s promotional materials, which Winslet said she sent back twice because she didn’t like the photo retouching.
“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 recalled.
Mare is supposed to be a struggling middle-aged woman still grieving over the death of her son, so Winslet said it was important to keep her character’s appearance as grounded as possible.
Working closely with the costume department, which scouted local Wawa convenience stores for outfit inspiration, Winslet said the team purposefully dressed her in “unflattering” clothing that she’d leave in a “crumpled pile on the floor of her trailer after filming” to give the full effect.
“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 said. “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.”
Months after filming for the show wrapped, Winslet is still having trouble shedding her character’s skin, recently telling TVLine that she would “absolutely love to play Mare again” should a Season 2 materialise.
“I miss her. I really do. It’s the strangest thing. I feel like I’m in mourning. It was an absolutely wonderful role,” she said. “There’s something very addictive about Mare, because she’s so outrageous and lovable and brilliant and real, you know? I loved playing her.”