‘Mare of Easttown’ – How Kate Winslet connected with her detective character

British actress masters local Philly accent

Kate Winslet of ‘Mare of Easttown’ Sunday on HBO

Q: When you play a character that’s close to you, is that difficult or is it easier to play? And how would you be as a detective?

A: This character, in many ways, she felt a million miles away from me, which she is, in terms of the job that she does. I could never do the job that Mare does. I could never be a detective. I don’t think I have the mental stamina that is required. I have stamina, but in a different way.

But I think the one thing I did feel I had in common with Mare that I quite honestly was able to lean on a lot was that real sense of family and how much it means to her to hold that together at all costs. And also to be able to admit to herself from time to time that she has failed in a lot of areas and tries desperately to correct those errors and to hold everyone as close to her as she can, even if she’s a difficult person to live with from time to time. It doesn’t change the fact that her love for her family is the thing that bolts her down and drives her in life and is her number one priority. And that was something that I was able to connect with in the midst of all these other things.

Q: You’ve always been very good with American dialects and you’ve done it again here. Does it get any easier?

A: Honestly, this (Philadelphia-area accent) drove me crazy … because there are really varying degrees of it. … And the thing that was hardest for me, of course, was to do it well enough that you shouldn’t hear the act of doing it. I always hate that when you can hear someone doing a voice or doing an accent. And that’s one of the things for me that is more important than anything, is just making it just disappear and blend in. So I did spend a long time working with a coach and working with people locally, as well. And it was up there amongst the hardest accents I’ve ever done.

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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