‘Mildred Pierce’ premieres in N.Y.

Winslet, Haynes on hand for HBO miniseries bow

It was the chicken, not the pies, that almost did Kate Winslet in on the set of HBO’s “Mildred Pierce.”

At Monday’s Ziegfeld preem, the thesp recalled, “It was actually the second day of our shoot and the producers were hovering by the monitors, terrified that I was going to hack through a chicken leg and one of my fingers at the same time!”

Winslet was joined at the preem by HBO’s Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo; co-stars Guy Pearce, Melissa Leo, Evan Rachel Wood, James LeGros; and director Todd Haynes, who said of his star, “I didn’t get sick of her, but she may have very well gotten sick of me. What surprised me was how much I trusted her dramaturgical instincts. She’d crack me up because she’d have her dog-eared copy of the book with millions of Post-Its … nine times out of 10 she’d be absolutely right.”

Pearce said he’s a bit like his wealthy playboy character. “I tend to buy vintage guitars,” he said. “It’s an expensive guilty pleasure.”

Keeping her f-bombs at home, Leo talked about how’d she fare in the Mildred Pierce era of 1930s California. “Melissa Leo, Oscar winner … I’d probably be working!” she said. “I mean, unless I hadn’t gotten my Oscar yet.”

LeGros appeared sans his onscreen potbelly. “Oh I was very fat! It took a few months to put the weight on and basically, what you have to do is eat a lot and not move very much,” said LeGros, who passed on the pies at the Plaza afterparty.

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