Kate Winslet Explains Why She ‘Didn’t Get Into Producing’ Before ‘Mare of Easttown’: ‘I’m Not 1 to Follow a Trend’

Kate Winslet has a new job title: executive producer. The Oscar-winning actor is an executive producer on HBO’s Mare of Easttown. She’s been in Hollywood for years so why did Winslet become a producer now? It felt right. 

Kate Winslet’s the star of ‘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

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Winslet isn’t just an executive producer of the limited series, she’s also its star. The 45-year-old plays the title character, Mare Sheehan. A small-town detective living in Easttown, Pennsylvania, Sheehan investigates the murder of a local young mother. There to help close the case is Detective Colin Zabel (Evan Peters).

Sheehan questions her friends, family, and neighbors. Even though the story centers around a murder, Winslet doesn’t consider Mare of Easttown a thriller in the traditional sense. Yes, there’s a crime to solve but there are also other layers to the story. Sheehan’s a mother and a grandmother dealing with life after divorce and the death of her son.  

Kate Winslet wanted to ‘earn’ her ‘stripes’ before trying her hand at producing 

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Winslet explained why she didn’t become a producer earlier during an IndieWire interview published in May 2021. The actor said she had to “earn my stripes” during the last 10 -15 years of her career. 

“I’m not one to follow a trend,” she said over Zoom. “I just like to do my own thing. So there’s a reason that I didn’t get into producing earlier in my career. I’m an actor, and I love my job. I was always fine doing exactly that. It’s enough for me, anyway, to just be doing that.” 

Along the way Winslet’s given memorable performances in Ammonite (2020), Mildred Pierce (2010), Revolutionary Road (2008), The Reader (2008), and Steve Jobs (2016) just to name a few. Over time she became more involved with projects “from a very early stage” until executive producing seemed like the natural next step. So she did work in front of the camera and behind on Mare of Easttown, which premiered on HBO in April 2021. 

‘Mare of Easttown’ ‘felt like the right time’ for Kate Winslet to become an executive producer

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This HBO limited series came at a time in Winslet’s career where she felt ready to take it to the next level. So she became the star of Mare of Easttown as well as an executive producer. Why this TV show in particular and not one of Winslet’s other projects currently in the works? 

“With Mare, it just felt like the right time,” she told IndieWire. “Plus, I had learned so much about producing, and I thought, ‘Well, if ever I’m going to produce, I want to know what I’m doing.’ I don’t want to have the title in name only. I don’t want to do that. I think people maybe do that a bit, and that’s not my bag.”

In her job as executive producer, Winslet spoke with writer Brad Ingelsby nearly every other day in March 2021 leading up to Mare of Easttown’s premiere. The two were “still tweaking things” to perfect the story. 

Winslet also showed up on set every day. In one instance, she also hid in the trunk of a car during the filming of a sex scene involving one of her Mare of Easttown cast member to offer support. 

Mare of Easttown airs every Sunday night on HBO and HBO Max.