One of the many films that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director James Ponsoldt‘s Smashed. Written by Susan Burke and James Ponsoldt, Smashed is about a young married couple – played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul – who are brought together by booze. When Winstead’s character (Kate) decides to get sober, it creates its own set of problems. While the film and subject matter could have easily drifted into a Lifetime movie of the week, what makes Smashed work is a career best performance by Winstead and fantastic work from the rest of the cast which includes Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman, and Megan Mullally. For more on the film, here’s Matt’s review.
Shortly after seeing the film, I got to sit down with Winstead for an exclusive interview. We talked about what it means to be a part of Sundance, how she got involved in Smashed and what it’s about, how she went about creating a three dimensional character, karaoke, working with director Timur Bekmambetov on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and who she plays, Roman Coppola‘s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, and what she has coming up. Hit the jump to watch.
Finally, if you missed my video interview with Aaron Paul, you can watch it here.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead Time Index
- Start off with Scott Pilgrim praise.
- 0:30 – Winstead has been trying to break into Sundance for a long time, so this experience means a lot to her.
- 1:30 – There was a lot of pressure to create a three dimensional character. She credits the director Ponsoldt with helping her create an authentic character.
- 3:00 – Pitches the movie for people who haven’t seen it.
- 4:00 – Her go-to karaoke song is “White Lines.”
- 4:45 – She has a small part in A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. There was a very low-key, friendly vibe on set.
- 5:50 – Talk about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, specifically working with the insane director Timur Bekmambetov.
- 6:40 – In Abraham Lincoln, she plays Mary Todd Lincoln. It takes place over many years, so she got to try old-age makeup.
- 7:00 – Winstead’s slate is clean. She’s in the market for good material.