Kate Winslet Had Never Held a Gun Before Her ‘Mare of Easttown’ Role: ‘It Was Her Least Favorite Part of the Job’

Kate Winslet is great in just about every role she plays, so it should come as no surprise she turns in an amazing performance in HBO’s Mare of Easttown.

In that show, Winslet convincingly plays a detective, slipping into the role with chameleon-like ease. But despite the relative simplicity with which Winslet seems to play the role, there’s one element of the part that didn’t come natural for her at all. Here’s the story of how Winslet never held a gun prior to taking her role in Mare of Easttown.  

‘Mare of Easttown’ is a wonderful showcase for Kate Winslet

HBO is known for its prestigious TV shows. Shows like Game of Thrones and Curb Your Enthusiasm are among the best in their genres. That’s why it’s so easy for the network to attract A-list talent to its projects. Winslet has an impressive resume as a movie actor, so having her as the star of an HBO drama seems like a perfect fit. 

Mare of Easttown stars Winslet as Mare Sheehan, a depressed, alcoholic detective in a small Pennsylvania town. She lives with her mother, her daughter, and her grandson from her departed son. Her ex-husband is on the verge of remarrying, a fact everyone in town seems to be celebrating except her. Her biggest claim to fame is that she was the hero of the town’s high school basketball team 25 years prior. When a young resident of the town is found dead, it’s up to Mare to solve the crime while dealing with an earlier unsolved missing person case and her challenging personal life. 

How Kate Winslet prepared for ‘Mare of Easttown’

Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

To get ready for this role, Winslet had help. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Christine Bleiler acted as a consultant on the show. Bleiler is a real-life detective in Pennsylvania’s Chester County. Bleiler said that Winslet was great to work with, a consummate professional: 

“She was incredibly engaging, kind, very much a perfectionist, she wanted to get everything right. She would ask a question, whatever my answer was, she took to heart and she actually listened. She very much wanted to understand policing, detective work, and the whole area.”

Winslet’s interest in Bleiler’s work clearly bled through to the finished product: her depiction of Mare feels authentic and believable. Viewers of the show totally bought Winslet as a cop. But while she threw herself into the role, there was one aspect of it she did not care for at all. 

Kate Winslet’s least favorite part of ‘Mare of Easttown’

Winslet’s Mare is unlike many TV and movie detectives that came before her. She’s not slick and she seemed like her life was falling apart when we first met her. Despite this, the audience can’t help but root for her thanks to Winslet’s performance. And while Winslet very much enjoyed the role she played, she didn’t like every single part of it. 

According to Entertainment Weekly, Winslet said her least favorite part of the job was having to hold a gun. Not only that, but apparently, it was the first time in her career she had ever done so. Said Winslet: 

“You know what was even more shocking than the fact that I’d never held a gun was how shocked everyone was that I’d never held a gun.” 

It makes sense – Winslet has had such a long, illustrious career, it seems like a foregone conclusion that she would have played a gun-wielding detective at some point. But the fact that Winslet was able to do so convincingly only speaks to her prodigious talent as an actor. 

RELATED: ‘Mare of Easttown’ Season 2: Does Kate Winslet Want Another Season?