Mare of Easttown was a massive hit on HBO earlier this year, one of the first successful uses of the Scandinoir dynamic: a grim, downbeat cop thriller with deep emotional dives. Naturally, there was immediate talk about a second series, even though series creator Brad Ingelsby had originally said the series was intended to be a one-off. Now Kate Winslet said in a new video interview with Entertainment Weekly that series creator Ingelsby already has "some very cool ideas" about where her glum policewoman heroine Mare could go next in the second season.
"At the end of shooting we were like, 'Holy hell we can never do that again. If HBO brings up the idea of a Season 2, we all just have to say absolutely not. There's just no way we could possibly do it,'" Winslet said. "And then there was talk, like, could there be? Especially when the show was getting such good responses… Creatively, Brad has shared some very cool ideas. We will see what happens. I also have to figure out if I can do it. Can I go through it again? It did cost me a lot emotionally to be her, and I have to figure out if I can summon it all up again and do it again."
Winslet said immediately after the Mare of Easttown finale aired that she "would love to return" as the character. Actors often become attached to the characters they play – after all, they literally become those characters. "I miss her. I really do. It's the strangest thing. I feel like I'm in mourning. It was an absolutely wonderful role," the Oscar winner told TV Line. "There's something very addictive about Mare because she's so outrageous and lovable and brilliant and real, you know? I loved playing her."
As for what surprised her most about the reception to Mare of Easttown, Winslet told Entertainment Weekly she never could have predicted such a strong reaction to Mare's unkempt appearance. Winslet and the "Mare" team purposefully dressed down the character, with lead hairstylist Lawrence Davis saying there were strict orders to give Mare "bed hair."
"People have been enraptured about how shitty we made Mare look," Winslet said. "That was very important to us creatively. We wanted to keep it real, and we were strict about it… Find the t-shirt that has a line that hits at the hip at the widest part. Don't wear a bra, she just got up out of bed. Why would she have a bra on? Perhaps because of COVID and how much of a struggle that has been for people globally, there was something about how Mare looks that seemed to make people validated in a way. That was very, very surprising. I did not think people would be so responsive and I'm grateful in a way that we would be able to do that."
Did anyone notice that "Mare" might be a play on "mayor" in the title of the show and implies the heroine's real, unofficial position in the town? That took some of us weeks to realise it.
Mare of Easttown is now streaming on HBO Max.
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