“It was almost like every page I turned, there was another gem, another extraordinary new character or glorious fake food that Mare ate and just didn’t give a sh*t about,” said Kate Winslet about first reading the script for HBO’s seven-episode limited series Mare of Easttown.
The English actress, who stars as Mare Sheehan, a small-town Pennsylvania detective whose life is crumbling around her as she investigates a local murder, sat down to talk about what drew her back to the small screen for this compelling drama in our Deadline Virtual House panel on Thursday night.
“For me, it’s so much more than just a genre-based, small-town cop drama,” she said. “Yes, there’s a murder but to me, the real voices, the real spine of the piece are the people and the community of Easttown and it struck such a chord with me because, contrary to popular belief, I’m not an English rose at all. Everyone else decided that for me. It’s a huge myth and in actual fact I am from a world very similar to Mare’s.”
Winslet was joined by the strong female cast of the series: Jean Smart, who plays Mare’s mother Helen; Angourie Rice, who plays Mare’s daughter Siobhan; and Julianne Nicholson, who play’s Mare’s best friend Lori. The women spoke of what drew them to play these strong, female characters in this addictive series.
The Virtual House kicked off with a panel with writer Brad Inglesby, executive producer Mark Roybal, production designer Keith P. Cunningham and casting director Avy Kaufman, where Inglesby told Deadline what inspired him to create a detective drama centered around women.
Inglesby, who grew up with a lot of women – his two sisters and mother and aunts – spoke about how he spent a lot of time listening to their conversations growing up due to the fact he had a stutter.
“Listening to how these women talk and the relationships and the way they took care of each other and supported each other, it was something that I got to witness a lot as a kid so I think I wanted to do justice to the relationships that I grew up with,” Inglesby said.
He added: “In the case of Mare, it’s particularly interesting because these three women have issues with each other and so you’re living in this house where these women really don’t want to talk about all these feelings they really have but they’re stuck together and so that is ripe with conflict. The soil is there. It’s fertile soil to have these conversations and for all of these backstories to play out.”
We also sat down with director Craig Zobel, director of photography Ben Richardson and editor Amy Duddleston for the second panel before wrapping the event off with the cast.
Check out the conversations above.