Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Interview with Mary Elizabeth Winstead - July 29th, 2008

Promoting: Make It Happen
Venue: The Soho Hotel
Interview type: One-on-one

Interview with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, star of Make It Happen (+ Die Hard 4.0, Death Proof and Final Destination 3)

Venue: Soho Hotel

View.co.uk (V): The dance moves are pretty impressive in Make It Happen. Did you do all the dancing yourself?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead (MEW): I did. I trained for about a month, about eight hours a day. I definitely learned everything, including all the tricks and all that stuff. And there were a few things that, by the time we shot it, once there were producers around and everything, they were like, “That's too dangerous, she's not doing that. Put in the double”. So there are a few things that probably aren't me, but I learned everything and I would have done it if they'd have let me!

V: So which bits weren't you? Can you give me an example of a dangerous bit that wasn't you?

MEW: Well, of course, there's a big back-flip off the piano that wasn't me. That would have been cool if I could have done that.

V: So did you learn the back-flip and they said no?

MEW: Ah, no, I couldn't have done the back-flip – I made a mistake in saying I could have done ALL the moves. I couldn't have done that.

V: Had you trained as a dancer beforehand?

MEW: Yes, I had. I'd trained most of my life as a dancer. I was a ballet dancer growing up and spent summers at Jofford Ballet School in New York and all of that. A different style of dancing, so it was still very difficult for me to learn hip-hop and burlesque and all of that, because it doesn't come naturally for me to move that way, it comes naturally for me to move in a different style. So it was many, many hours and lots of injuries and bruises and things that were pretty tough to go through, but it's all for the dancing.

V: Had you seen Step Up and Save The Last Dance For Me and the other dance movies?

MEW: Yes. They're all entertaining in their own ways. For me, coming from a dance background, I love seeing choreography and paying attention to that and looking at the nuances of what people do, so it's always really entertaining for me to watch those films. My favourite is still Flashdance, from the 80s – I could watch that over and over again, I love that film. But I really loved Save The Last Dance when that came out, I thought it was a really good story and a sweet film.

V: Is there a name for the kind of dance that's in Make It Happen? In the movie they say that it's rooted in burlesque but it goes beyond that.

MEW: You know, I think they coined some term while we were shooting it, like Caburlesque or something like that. Because it's not really traditional burlesque, it's like a theatrical performance, you know, it's costumes and it's much more elaborate than traditional burlesque.

V: What else have you got coming up?

MEW: I'm in Scott Pilgrim Versus The World, which is a comedy that's being directed by Edgar Wright, starring Michael Cera. It's based on the Scott Pilgrim comic books and I'm playing this really cool comic book character called Ramona Flowers. It's going to be amazing.

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