Kate Winslet took the world by storm with her leading performance as police investigator Mare Sheehan on the HBO limited series “Mare of Easttown,” which follows her character hustling to solve the murder of a young girl in a small Pennsylvania town.
As part of Variety Artisans presented by HBO, Ivana Primorac discussed her experience working as the personal hair and make-up artist for Winslet on the series. She said the descriptions of Mare in the script were more focused on her emotional turmoil rather than the way she looks.
“Sometimes you get descriptions of characters like ‘long, blonde hair,'” Primorac said. “There were descriptions of her state of mind, her being tired. There were descriptions of her through emotion rather than through the way she looks.”
What was difficult about that, according to Primorac, was that there were “no limitations” to how Mare could look.
“I completely had to rely on Kate’s instincts, and I think that was quite interesting because everything was generated by her, I have to say,” Primorac said. “She didn’t want to look glamorous in any way, she wanted to look completely real. She wanted to look like any busy mother, and now we know her history from seeing the show. A person who has been through something like what she’s been through, but also she’s a detective, she’s a working woman.”
Primorac said what grabbed her was the fact that Mare couldn’t keep up with the tragedy of her son’s suicide.
“What happens seven or eight months after your child is not here anymore? I was like, ‘she doesn’t do her hair anymore,'” Primorac said. “She can barely function in the world, and the last thing she is going to do is do her hair.”
Primorac discusses her idea of “unplucked eyebrows.” It wasn’t just her hair that wasn’t being kept, so she would stick unplucked brows over Winslet’s own and give Mare that look. In total, it would take close to an hour with the actress in the makeup and hair chair to turn her into Mare.
Watch the full conversation above.