Kate Winslet Refused to Let ‘Mare of Easttown’ Remove ‘Bulgy’ Belly from Sex Scene

Kate Winslet revealed in a recent interview with The New York Times (via Insider) that she pushed back against several attempts to make her character on HBO’s “Mare of Easttown” look more attractive. The Oscar winner stars in the limited series as Marianne “Mare” Sheehan, a Pennsylvania detective investigating the murder of a young girl. It was Winslet’s top priority to have Mare look like a real-world middle-aged woman, so when director Craig Zobel told her that her “bulgy bit of belly” could be removed from her sex scene with co-star Guy Peace, Winslet told him, “Don’t you dare!”

The New York Times adds: “[Winslet] also sent the show’s promo poster back twice because it was too 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 she also balked when she saw an early cut in which her ordinarily luminous skin looked too good. ‘We tried to light it to make it look not nice,’ she said.”

“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 added to The Times. “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.”

Bringing the most realism to the character of Mare also meant shopping for the character’s clothing at Wawa, and leaving all of Mare’s clothing crumpled up in a pile on the floor of her trailer so that all of her outfits could appear appropriately worn and wrinkled. “Whenever we’d find something unflattering we’d be jumping up and down like, ‘Yes! We’re wearing this.’” Winslet said.

“Mare of Easttown” lead-hairstylist Lawrence Davis previously revealed he was ordered to give every character bed hair so that no character appeared glammed up on screen. As Davis explained, “Everybody was basically, you know, get up and go, and that was the whole feel of it.”

“Mare Sheehan is — she’s kind of disgusting,” Winslet told IndieWire earlier into the show’s run. “She’s a hot mess most of the time, she doesn’t give a shit what she looks like, she’s kind of stopped caring what people even think about her…We made decisions creatively that this was a woman who looked at herself in the mirror when she brushed her teeth in the morning and would not look in the mirror again [all day]. That’s just who she is. That’s like most busy mothers I know — that’s like me. It really is.”

All episodes of “Mare of Easttown” are now streaming on HBO Max.

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