Kate Winslet on playing and producing ‘Mare of Easttown’: ‘I wanted it to absolutely feel like a community’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

Kate Winslet has earned two Emmy nominations for the hit HBO series “Mare of Easttown.” She contends both for TV Movie/Limited Actress (a category she won a decade ago for HBO’s “Mildred Pierce”) and as one of the producers of this riveting crime drama. After more than two decades in the business, this marked her first time working behind the camera. The Oscar-winning actress explained her decision thus: “I wanted all of the actors to feel that they had a leader and that the crew to feel that there was an executive producer always present. It was such a big show shot over many months and often producers aren’t physically there. I didn’t want there to be a hierarchy. I wanted to obliterate all of that. I wanted it to absolutely feel like a community.”

In this well-crafted character study by Brad Inglesby, Winslet plays Mare Sheehan, a small-town detective trying to solve the murder of a teenage mother while juggling a hectic home life. The actress readily admits that nailing this accent, that is unique to Delaware County in Pennsylvania, was the toughest of her career. “It was just so hard for all of us every day. There is a strangeness to the vowel sounds; they smoosh words together and there is no consistency. Even to an American ear it is an odd sound.” And, as she admits, “I am constantly trying to get rid of the English but I had to eradicate any shred of English from my entire body. It’s not just about the noises you make – its the muscularity in the face, the posture, the belonging in that place.”

The actress readily credits the contributions of Emmy-nominated costume designer Meghan Kasperlik and production designer Keith Cunningham for helping her get into character. “Everyone was just so lovely, so welcoming and they wanted my input. And I was so grateful for that because it does bring it all together – the shared conversation, the shared dialogue and the shared rhythm at which you all work contributes to the beating heart of the community we were trying to create.” And she celebrates the invaluable contributions of her Emmy-nominated co-stars Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart and Evan Peters.

To find out what Winslet said to convince Julianne to sign on without reading the final script, watch our interview. And discover what Kate was thinking at the 2009 Oscars when reigning Best Actress champ Marion Cotillard spoke so movingly about her nominated performance in “The Reader.”

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