×

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.

Popular on Variety

Return to the SAG Preview

More Scene

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER

    Donna Karan, Mary-Louise Parker Honored at David Lynch Foundation's Women of Vision Awards

    Donna Karan, Mary-Louise Parker and Deborra-Lee Furness were celebrated for their charitable work at the David Lynch Foundation’s 2019 Women of Vision Awards. “We are all being guided to come together as one. There is so much chaos in the world right now,” Karan said, while accepting her Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual luncheon on [...]

  • Bill Hader

    Bill Hader, Greg Berlanti, Margie Cohn and Cindy Holland Inducted Into Variety Hall of Fame

    Variety’s annual Hall of Fame ceremony mixed comedy, gratitude and warmth at the annual awards ceremony Tuesday night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Because the class of 2019 celebrates technical innovation and achievement across film, TV, digital, video games and music. The honorees — Greg Berlanti, Bill Hader, Cindy Holland, Dametra Johnson-Marletti, [...]

  • Billy Porter FNAA

    Billy Porter Explains Why Fashion 'Can and Should' Be Activism

    On Tuesday in New York City, a handful of fashion’s marquee names, including Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Steve Madden and Pete Nordstrom, and many of its muses, including Billy Porter, Lena Waithe, Adriana Lima and Paris Hilton, gathered to celebrate the annual Footwear News Achievement Awards — or, as it’s more colloquially dubbed, the “Shoe Oscars.” Activism and the potential for designers to spur [...]

  • Tiffany Haddish Black Mitzvah

    Barbra Streisand Gives Tiffany Haddish Star of David Necklace for Her 'Black Mitzvah'

    Tiffany Haddish rang in her 40th birthday Tuesday night by celebrating her black and Jewish heritage with a star-studded “Black Mitzvah” party. One of Haddish’s famous friends, Barbra Streisand, was noticeably absent from the festivities, but sent the comedian a special memento for the occasion. “She got me this beautiful Star of David,” Haddish told [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content