Kate Winslet just wrapped up a fantastic season of one of the better limited series you are likely to see this year. HBO’s Mare of Easttown finished off its season on Sunday with more than a few twists and turns along the way. Winslet was phenomenal as the titular Mare Sheehan, the local detective caught in the murder investigation in her hometown. And while this show didn’t seem to hold much back, apparently Winslet had to fight to keep one part of a scene in the final cut. According to an interview with The New York Times, director Craig Zobel wanted to cut out a part of Winslet’s stomach that showed in a sex scene, but she insisted it stay in.
Kate Winslet said that after filming a sex scene with Guy Pearce, Zobel came and said he would cut out the part of her belly that showed during the scene. The two were mostly clothed for the scene which was tantamount to a quickie one-night stand as part of the narrative. When Zobel said he wanted to remove it, maybe for Winslet’s sake, she was adamant it remain in. And that admission did follow along with a certain aesthetic for the rest of the series. It’s obvious that Winslet worked hard to ensure her character was authentic for the role, part of the fabric of her dreary and solemn surroundings.
It was also part of this interview, but obvious if you watched the show that Kate Winslet made it a point to make her Mare character significantly more scaled back in terms of makeup and wardrobe than we’ve seen at almost any other point from the actress. As part of the blue-collar Pennsylvania town and one of the area’s key police officers, she’s often wearing thicker jackets, baggier hoodies, and outfits that maybe wouldn’t seem conventionally complimentary.
Kate Winslet wanted it that way. In the interview, she says she worked to have the crew limit the makeup and even sent back promotional material that she thought maybe didn’t reflect the series and her look.
In Mare of Easttown, Kate Winslet plays the town’s lead detective but also a local hero who’s spent her whole life in the town and has almost become larger than life within its confines. But she’s also wrestling with her own demons, having been beaten down by the circumstances of her family and children’s struggles while never being able to really escape any of it. Sure, she’s at work solving a murder in the town, but the show is only really partly about that. It’s just as much about Winslet’s character seeking her own redemption and peace.
It’s not surprising at all to hear that Kate Winslet held strong convictions about how her character would appear on the show and what it would mean to make sure it wasn’t edited with an eye on removing the flaws. That was really one of the show’s central themes. And among other things, like the amazing writing and production, it made Mare of Easttown one of the best shows you’ll see this year. Sitting at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s likely headed for some awards-season love when it’s all said and done. And Kate Winslet holding true to her character, even the flaws is one of the main reasons.