Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce

Body positivity, at any age, is outstanding. But it’s not something we hear about all of the time in Hollywood, an industry town that’s heavily influenced by physicality, public image, and potentially staying as young-looking as possible, despite one’s actual age. So it’s incredibly uplifting when Kate Winslet tells a story about her HBO smash hit Mare of Easttown where a sex scene was going to be altered to remove what has been described as a “bulgy bit of belly,” the 45-year-old superstar demanded that director Craig Zobel leave it in because it is character-appropriate.

Good for her. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Kate Winslet’s Mare of Easttown character, the titular Mare, having a muffin top that’s visible during a sex scene with a mildly popular author (played by Guy Pearce). Sure, Mare is a police detective who sees her share of physical altercations over the course of the season -- especially when she needs to run down opioid addict Freddie Hanlon (Dominique Johnson) before he succumbs to another drug blast. But Mare’s also a chronic beer drinker (the Rolling Rock budget on Mare had to be substantial), and is living in a rust-belt Pennsylvania town in the dead of winter. Who among us hasn’t put on extra pounds in the winter months in order to provide some natural body heat? Just me?

Speaking with The New York Times right after Mare of Easttown held its season finale, Kate Winslet addressed her director’s request to airbrush the sex scene with Guy Pearce. But according to Winslet, Mare needed to be portrayed this way so that so many women in her potential audience would see themselves in her portrayal. Winslet said:

Listen, I hope that in playing Mare as a middle-aged woman — I will be 46 in October — I guess that's why people have connected with this character in the way that they have done because there are clearly no filters. She's a fully functioning, flawed woman with a body and a face that moves in a way that is synonymous with her age and her life and where she comes from. I think we're starved of that a bit.

Apparently Kate Winslet also fought a battle with Mare of Easttown producers when they wanted to airbrush her face for marketing materials. The way that Winslet tells it, she made it very clear that she knows exactly how many wrinkle lines she has on the sides of her eyes, and she wants to see them on Mare. They help build the character, from the outside in.

Will Kate Winslet get to continue playing Mare? The actress told TVLine that she’d “love to play Mare again,” though the show’s creator, Brad Ingelsby, confirmed that Mare of Easttown was conceived as one season. He’s open to more seasons, but he needs the right idea to propel a follow up, and he says he doesn’t have that idea as of now. While we wait to see what develops, stream Mare of Easttown on HBO and HBO Max.

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