Leave it to Kate Winslet to be absolutely real. While the Academy Award-winning actress nailed her spot-on Philly accent with her HBO series Mare of Easttown enough for it to be parodied on Saturday Night Live, the British actress reveals she fought hard to ensure her character was as authentic as possible, that includes not censoring any bits of her body during a sex scene. In the first episode of the HBO true-crime drama, Winslet engages in a steamy sex scene with actor Guy Pearce with her "bulgy bits" on full display.
After director Craig Zobel told her he would "cut a 'bulgy bit of belly'" from the sex scene, she responded, "Don't you dare," assuring him she wanted it exactly as is. "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," she told The New York Times following Sunday's limited series finale. "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."
Taking on the role of Mare as a "wildly flawed, messy, broken, fragmented, difficult woman" was very different for Winslet, especially as she has a bit of a "sloppiness" to her overall character. Admitting how she wanted her on-screen persona to reflect an emotional and physical "heftiness," Winslet adds how there is a "looseness" to how she presents herself. "This is so clearly a woman who does not cook, doesn't care about what she puts into her mouth, also probably forgets to eat, so that when she does eat, she's so starving, she doesn't even care what it is that she's shoveling in."
The 45-year-old, who is already garnering awards buzz for her portrayal of a broken down and "wildly flawed" character, didn't want her "unglamorous" look retouched in any of the promotional images too. When Winslet saw early cuts of the series, she even asked for a few wrinkles to be included on her face instead of being airbrushed — even sending back images twice before settling on a more authentic look. "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 hopes playing her character becomes more than just what the role is, serving as an example of what real women look like, especially when it comes to relatability. "Listen, I hope that in playing Mare [Sheehan] 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."