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Kate Winslet’s back on TV. The award-winning actor hasn’t been on the small screen since her 2011 turn on Mildred Pierce. Now she’s starring on Mare of Easttown. The seven-part limited series premiered on April 18, 2021. Winslet’s character attempts to solve a crime but the 45-year-old doesn’t like calling it a thriller. 

Kate Winslet’s a small-town detective investigating a murder on ‘Mare of Easttown’

Kate Winslet sits on a couch wearing a hooded sweatshirt during a scene from 'Mare of Easttown'
Kate Winslet on Mare of Easttown | Michele K. Short/HBO

Winslet plays Mare Sheehan, a police detective in a small, eastern Pennsylvania town. Everyone in Easttown knows her. They call her “Miss Lady Hawk,” a nickname that dates back to her days of playing high school basketball. 

When a young, local mother is found dead, the sleepy town gets thrust into the spotlight. A detective from out of town named Colin Zabel (Evan Peters) shows up to help Sheehan with the investigation. Meanwhile, Sheehan’s trying to hold her family together. 

The Mare of Easttown cast also includes Jean Smart (Helen), The Office’s David Denman (Frank Sheehan), Angourie Rice (Siobhan Sheehan), and Guy Pearce (Richard Ryan) among others.  

The Oscar winner thinks ‘Mare of Easttown’ is ‘so much more’ than a thriller

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“So often, crime stories and small-town murders are described as a ‘thriller,’” Winslet told TVLine in an April 2021 interview. “I don’t think you could really describe this as a thriller, in that sense. It has those elements to it, but it’s just so much more than that as well.”

She continued, calling the murder investigation that begins to consume her character’s life “only one part of the narrative.” 

There are layers to the story which is why Winslet sees Mare of Easttown as more than simply a crime drama or a thriller. 

“For me, it’s a story about community, and family, and mercy, and hope as well,” she said.  

Expanding on the family aspect, Winslet explained her character carries around guilt from having a bad relationship with her son, Kevin. 

Her guilt “manifests itself in these enormous ways and just infiltrates her world to a really destructive extent. And it makes her make some bad choices, too,” Winslet said. “This is a woman who is on the absolute outer fringes of real desperation.” In the middle of it all, Mare’s “just trying to do the right thing by everybody, and not knowing how to deal with her own anguish.” 

How to watch ‘Mare of Easttown’

Unlike many streaming shows, all seven episodes won’t be available at once. Instead, it’s a slow drip. Is Mare of Easttown on Netflix? No. It’s an HBO series.

A new episode airs every Sunday night on HBO at 10 p.m. ET. Don’t have HBO? The show is also available to watch on the network’s streamer, HBO Max. Watch episodes as they air on HBO, catch them on HBO Max, or wait to binge-watch all of them in one weekend.