“Mare of Easttown” hit the zeitgeist during its seven-episode run on HBO earlier this year, on its way to 16 nominations at the 2021 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Limited Series and four acting nominations (for Kate Winslet, Evan Peters, Jean Smart, and Julianne Nicholson). HBO programming chief Casey Bloys said in June there were “no conversations” taking place for a second season at the moment, but Winslet recently told Entertainment Weekly that series creator Brad Ingelsby already has “some very cool ideas” about where Mare could go next.
“At the end of shooting we were like, ‘Holy hell we can never do that again. If HBO brings up the idea of a Season 2, we all just have to say absolutely not. There’s just no way we could possibly do it,'” Winslet said. “And then there was talk, like, could there be? Especially when the show was getting such good responses… Creatively, Brad has shared some very cool ideas. We will see what happens. I also have to figure out if I can do it. Can I go through it again? It did cost me a lot emotionally to be her, and I have to figure out if I can summon it all up again and do it again.”
Winslet said immediately after the “Mare of Easttown” finale aired that she “would love to return” as the character. “I miss her. I really do. It’s the strangest thing. I feel like I’m in mourning. It was an absolutely wonderful role,” the Oscar winner told TV Line. “There’s something very addictive about Mare, because she’s so outrageous and lovable and brilliant and real, you know? I loved playing her.”
As for what surprised her most about the reception to “Mare,” Winslet told Entertainment Weekly she never could have predicted such a strong reaction to Mare’s unkempt appearance. Winslet and the “Mare” team purposefully dressed down the character, with lead hairstylist Lawrence Davis saying there was strict orders to give Mare “bed hair.”
“People have been enraptured about how shitty we made Mare look,” Winslet said. “That was very important to us creatively. We wanted to keep it real, and we were strict about it… Find the t-shirt that has a line that hits at the hip at the widest part. Don’t wear a bra, she just got up out of bed. Why would she have a bra on? Perhaps because of COVID and how much of a struggle that has been for people globally, there was something about how Mare looks that seemed to make people validated in a way. That was very, very surprising. I did not think people would be so responsive and I’m grateful in a way that we would able to do that.”
Winslet spoke to IndieWire’s Ben Travers while “Mare” was airing about how important it was to make Mare “kind of disgusting,” adding, “She’s a hot mess most of the time, she doesn’t give a shit what she looks like, she’s kind of stopped caring what people even think about her… We made decisions creatively that this was a woman who looked at herself in the mirror when she brushed her teeth in the morning and would not look in the mirror again [all day]. That’s just who she is. That’s like most busy mothers I know — that’s like me. It really is.”
All episodes of “Mare of Easttown” are now streaming on HBO Max.