Shailene Woodley on Mary Elizabeth Winstead in ‘Smashed’

SAG Preview: Actors on Actors - Woodley on Winstead

I became so lost in the raw vulnerability of Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s acute and accurate portrayal of an alcoholic woman, my mind seemed to forget that I was watching a movie starring an actress instead of observing a dear friend who was fighting personal inner battles.

Mary paved her road of empowerment with penetrating strength and unabridged vulnerability. She sucked me into Kate’s world, a world of messy, difficult, unclear paths that are filled with obstacles and tribulations beyond reason. She did not glamorize AA meetings. She did not victoriously display the perks of abstaining from substances. She did not give me the impression that life gets easier once an individual becomes sober. Rather, she navigated her way through waves of confusion, self-doubt, dependence, separation, honesty, responsibility and courage without ever demanding empathy or compassion from her audience.

I was naturally drawn to root for this woman, to cheer for her triumphs and to cry for her blunders. Mary’s performance left me humbled as she carved her way out of a blinding inebriation with forceful perseverance and pure, stripped-down human bravery.

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