Q&A

AC­TOR

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - In­ter­view by ADRI­ENNE TAM

Mary Eliz­a­beth Win­stead on pro­tect­ing her pri­vate life and why Die Hard is def­i­nitely a Christmas film.

Twenty years ago, you were on the su­per­nat­u­ral soap opera Pas­sions. De­spite end­ing in 2008, the show still has a huge cult

fol­low­ing. I re­mem­ber hav­ing no idea what I was get­ting into. They didn’t give us the script when we signed on to it. I was 14 years old and it was my first time out in LA. I got the part, and started get­ting all th­ese scripts and all of a sud­den, there was a doll that came to life and my base­ment was hell and there were witches. I was like, “Wait a sec­ond, what is this?” Ul­ti­mately, I was so grate­ful for the ex­pe­ri­ence, but I was like, “OK, this isn’t re­ally what I had in mind.” In part three of the hor­ror fran­chise

Fi­nal Des­ti­na­tion, you play a stu­dent who has a bru­tal vision of dy­ing on a roller­coaster. Have peo­ple told you that you’ve ru­ined roller­coast­ers for them? [Laughs.] I’ve been told that by a few peo­ple. I tell them not to worry as the odds of any­thing hap­pen­ing are su­per slim. Your new film, Gem­ini Man, is di­rected by Ang Lee and also stars Will Smith. I loved the process of get­ting to know Ang. It’s like hav­ing a father that puts pres­sure on you, but at the same time you know it’s all for the best. I re­ally wanted to make him proud. And Will is such a force of pos­i­tiv­ity. I know that’s what ev­ery­body says about him, but when you work with him you find that it’s com­pletely true. The movie is about an as­sas­sin who is be­ing hunted down by some­one who looks like them, but 20 years younger. If your younger self came af­ter you [Win­stead is 34], do you think you’d win? Ab­so­lutely. My younger self just didn’t know any­thing about any­thing. I’d like to think I know a thing or two now. I might not be the strong­est per­son or the smartest per­son in the world, but I’m stronger and smarter than I was when I was 22.

Try­ing to main­tain re­la­tion­ships when you are in the pub­lic eye can be very dif­fi­cult [Win­stead is dat­ing ac­tor Ewan Mcgre­gor]. How do you nav­i­gate

this? I just try to keep a low pro­file and stay re­ally pri­vate. I have no in­ter­est in shar­ing my per­sonal life with any­one. I don’t think I should have to in or­der to do what I do. If by not shar­ing my per­sonal life with peo­ple, if that af­fects my ca­reer neg­a­tively, then I’m to­tally fine with that. It’s not some­thing I’m will­ing to give up for the sake of more film and TV projects. I’m just keep­ing my head down and try­ing to do good work.

Along with its pre­dom­i­nantly fe­male cast, your up­com­ing film Birds Of Prey is di­rected, writ­ten and pro­duced by women. Is this why you wanted the

role? That was def­i­nitely one of the things that drew me to it the most. It’s a fe­maleled movie in al­most all de­part­ments and, for the genre, is pretty un­prece­dented. Ob­vi­ously we’ve got the amaz­ing Patty Jenk­ins [who di­rected Won­der Woman], but I think this kicks it up an­other level in terms of fe­male en­ergy in­volved.

You played John Mcclane’s daugh­ter in the Die Hard se­quels in 2007 and 2013. So, set­tle the de­bate once and for all: is Die Hard a Christmas film? I do think it’s a Christmas film! It’s nice to have a movie that’s not su­per Christmas-themed, but still gives you that Christ­massy feel­ing.

Gem­ini Man is in cin­e­mas from Oc­to­ber 10.

“My pri­vacy is not some­thing I’m will­ing to give up for more film projects”

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