When you come across the “greatest female role [you’ve] ever read on a piece of paper,” it’s worth staying up all night to meet her.
That’s how Kate Winslet feels about Mare Sheehan, her character in HBO’s “Mare of Easttown,” which she also executive produced. At Variety’s Virtual TV Fest: The Nominees (Limited/Anthology Series), Winslet spoke about how the show first came into her life: “I was working on something else at the time that was quite demanding,” she said. “And I just thought, ‘You know what? Fuck it. I’ll just read it right now.’ Just sort of dropped everything else and sat up through the night and read Episodes 1 and 2.”
Winslet stayed up until 4 a.m. reading the murder mystery script, then accepted the role immediately.
“I May Destroy You” is another Emmy-nominated limited series centered around a violent crime, and Paapa Essiedu, who plays Kwame, joined the conversation to share how having an intimacy coordinator enabled the show’s graceful commentary on sexual assault.
“I feel like now, it’s gotta be the same as having a fight coordinator,” Essiedu said. “You’d never do ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ without a fight coordinator. You would never put a sharp sword in Antonio Banderas’ hand and just expect him not to kill someone or poke someone in the eye.”
The panelists were also asked to share a singular moment in their shows that they’d encourage audiences to visit or revisit. Barry Jenkins, director and creator of “The Underground Railroad,” chose a supplementary piece: “The Gaze,” an hour-long piece hosted at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York and on Jenkins’ Vimeo page that highlights tableau portraits of the show’s background actors.
“You could be No. 1 on the call sheet, or No. 500 on the call sheet, and eventually the lens would find you and you would have your time to show yourself in this endeavor of bringing my ancestors to life,” Jenkins said.
Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Wanda in “WandaVision,” meanwhile, said, “Anything with Kathryn Hahn” in regards to her favorite moment.
“She has a song, and there’s a montage where she’s sharing with the audience that she’s been hiding in this world all along. Just watch Kathryn Hahn,” she said of her fellow Emmy nominee.
Anya Taylor-Joy, who stars as Beth Harmon in “The Queen’s Gambit,” revealed that the sixth episode was her favorite to shoot. “There’s a conversation with the wonderful Harry Melling [who plays Harry Beltik],” she said. “I loved that conversation because I think alcoholism or addiction tends to be quite glamorized [in the media]. And there’s a wonderful line that his character says where he’s describing his father’s alcoholism, and he just says, ‘He was never mean, but he would get quiet and fall asleep in his clothes.’ And that line broke me.”
Watch the full conversation above.