posted by • April 19th, 2014 • (0) Comments

Yesterday was the world premiere for Mary’s new film Alex of Venice which was held at the Tribeca International Film Festival. Head to the gallery to check out over 60+ photos.

Alex of Venice

Also, if you missed Mary’s interview with Huffington Post, you can view it below:

Finally, The Wrap caught the premiere of Alex of Venice and had lots of praise for Mary’s work in the film. Click on the link to read it in full.

But this is Winstead’s movie – and while her performance is understated, it reinforces what “Smashed” suggested two years ago: She is a terrific, underappreciated actress adept at bringing life, heart and humor to stories of women trying to cope in difficult circumstances sometimes of their own making, sometimes not.

Messina claims he can’t take credit for Winstead’s performance – “that’s what she did, and we were smart enough to roll the cameras and capture it” – but he also said that he was determined to create the kind of acting enviroment that he finds most satisfying – one that’s not exactly what he’s asked to do on Mindy Kaling’s sitcom “The Mindy Project” and Aaron Sorkin’s drama “The Newsroom.”

posted by • April 18th, 2014 • (0) Comments

Mary is officially in New York and is underway promoting her new dramatic film Alex of Venice. Her first stop was taking part in the Tribeca International Film Festival portraits which you can now view in the gallery!


Be sure to come back later today to check out her HuffPo Live interview where she’ll talk about the film!

posted by • March 26th, 2014 • (0) Comments

The 57th annual San Francisco International Film Festival has chosen its opening and closing night films.

The fest will open with a presentation of Hossein Amini’s Patricia Highsmith adaptation “The Two Faces of January,” which stars Oscar Isaac, Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst.

The two-week festival will close with Chris Messina’s “Alex of Venice.” The drama features Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Don Johnson and Messina.

The film is scheduled for May 8 at 7 p.m. at the Castro Theatre. More information at

The San Francisco International Film Festival takes place April 24-May 8. You can buy tickets for the screening of Mary’s film at the link posted above.

posted by • March 17th, 2014 • (0) Comments

New photos of Mary being interviewed during the South by Southwest Festival in Austin last week have hit the web via the Paste Magazine site. At the event, Mary, Riley and Leland Orser talked about their new film Faults. Stay tuned for the interview, but in the meantime, head to the gallery to check out the new pics!

posted by • March 14th, 2014 • (0) Comments

Even more interviews with Mary have been posted online discussing her new film Faults. With Shockya, Mary, Riley & co-star Leland Orser talked about the run through process of pulling the project together, the real-life cult deprogramming practices that inspired the film, “Faults” star Jon Gries’ experience in participating in an actual deprogramming effort, the three stages of Winstead’s character, the challenge of shooting a good portion of the movie in a single location, and more. You can view the interview below:


Secondly, Daily Actor caught up with Mary & Leland and you can read some of their interview. Click the link to read it in full.

Can you guys tell me about the movie and your characters real quick?

Leland Orser: Well, I think it’s a black comedy is what I’m saying it is, although at first I thought it was a thriller. I play a down on his luck cult deprogrammer psychologist. I think. And I am… essentially when you meet my character, Ansel Roth, I’m so down on my luck I’ve lost everything. I’ve lost my family, I’ve lost my house, I’ve lost my career, and I’m essentially living out of my car. And that’s when you come into the picture.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yes. Well, I play a character named Claire who’s in a cult and my parents come to Leland’s character because he is, as I think he’s already said, a sort of… an expert on cults and mind control and deprogramming. And even though he hasn’t done deprogramming in quite some time, they convince him because they’re gonna pay him to kidnap me and deprogram me. She’s sort of mysterious and I don’t really wanna give too much about it away. So I’m gonna keep that part simple.

Did you sort of research anything cult like people or people who have been in cults?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yeah, I think Leland and I both read Ted Patrick’s book, or one of Ted Patrick’s books, which was Let Our Children Go. Is that what it was called?

Leland Orser: Yeah, yeah.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Which was great. And he is sort of one of the people in this time period of the 70s kind of cult boom that loosely inspired Leland’s character. So that was a great book to read. And I tried to watch a lot of videos on YouTube, whatever I could find, specifically from that era of people in cults or people who had just gotten out of cults because there was something I think about that time period that was so specific the way people were just sort of falling like flies into these, you know, cults and sort of the youth particularly why they were so attracted to that idea was interesting to me.

filed in Faults, Interviews
posted by • March 13th, 2014 • (0) Comments

We Live Film was recently at SXSW 2014 where they got to check out Mary’s new film Faults. That said, below is there review, along with press pics they took when they were being interviewed. You can see them in the gallery.

Faults is a mysterious little gem from first-time feature film director Riley Stearns. Stearns also wrote the screenplay, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, stars in the film and helped produce it. This was obviously a passion project for them, as Winstead gives one of her best performances yet and Stearns announces himself as a true talent. Claire claims to be involved with a group called “Faults,” which supposedly allows people to see past the ridiculousness of human life and move on into other stages. Roth takes the matters into his hands by taking her for five days and speaking to her in a hotel room. The majority of the film takes place in the room and deals with the process of deprogramming, but it has some twists and turns along the way.

Faults wouldn’t have worked as well if not for the two lead performances. Winstead brings a deepness and darkness to the table that we haven’t really seen from her before. The performance at once invites both creepiness and sympathy, which is a hard thing to pull off. I hope the actress continues to take risks like this.

Score: 3 ½ out of 4 stars (Grade Equivalent for Me: A-)


posted by • March 12th, 2014 • (0) Comments

I’ve rounded up quite a few new interviews Mary has taken part in and reviews for her new film Faults. Hit each link to read them in their entirety and check out the rest after the jump. Also, check the gallery for new pics taken with some of the interviewers.

THR review:

But Faults is not what it seems. Though a black-comic atmosphere persists, the debut feature is serious about manipulation and brainwashing, and a quietly commanding performance by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (the director’s wife) helps establish that seriousness once the main plot — in which the failed expert is enlisted to deprogram a couple’s daughter — gets underway. Sure to turn heads at fests, the picture should find enough support to justify an arthouse run. Winstead has plenty of emotional ground to navigate in the ensuing action, pointing viewers down some false paths in our assessment of her state of mind and relationship to those around her.

The Film Stage:

Winstead provides great innocence and an equal curiosity; she quickly flips between being childlike and being strong-willed without it feeling obvious. But the real standout is the calm demeanor Orser has throughout and the way we slowly find kinks in his armor.

Final Grade–B

Interview with CineSnob:


Mary, in your performance, you get to show a lot of sides and a lot of different emotions. What was it like playing a character where you could change from scene to scene?

MEW: It was really great. It was simultaneously really exciting for me and really scary for me because I just didn’t know if I would get it right or not when we were working on it. It seemed really daunting to me to get all that right without going into some sort of culty territory. I was really afraid of it coming across as spacey or cliché. But as soon as everything came together and the cast came together and the costumes and the sets…as soon as I walked into that environment I was like, “Oh. This is just what it’s supposed to be.” And the rest of it was so stress free and fun. I enjoyed every moment of it and got to revel in this character. It was one of the best set experiences, acting experiences that I’ve ever had.

Read the full article »

posted by • March 10th, 2014 • (0) Comments

Bloody Disgusting got the chance to check out Faults at SXSW and here’s part of their review:

Faults is a modern cult thriller cut from a slightly different cloth than contemporaries like Martha Marcy May Marlene and Sound Of My Voice (though it more than earns its place alongside those films). It shares their menacing undercurrents but also manages to be laugh out loud funny in a manner that doesn’t even come close to undercutting its central objective. That’s all you should know going in (even though the movie is certainly strong enough to withstand all kinds of spoilers, there’s no reason not to blindly give yourself over to it at least once).

It also doesn’t hurt that Stearns has a stellar cast at his disposal. Leland Orser (Seven, The Guest) is at turns hilarious, despairing and achingly wounded as Ansel, something of a cult deprogrammer. Mary Elizabeth Winstead continues to reveal new layers of command over the craft she displayed in 2012’s Smashed. Though the film is largely centered around these two, it’s buoyed by unexpected turns from Beth Grant, Chris Ellis, Lance Reddick and John Gries. All of these people click together in completely unexpected ways as the film goes about its business with remarkable clarity and specificity.

The site gave the film 4.5/5 skull heads.

The Playlist also gave their take on the film:

Anyone familiar with writer/director Riley Stearns’ short films (his most recent, “The Cub,” being a personal favorite) will be happy to hear that his first feature, “Faults,” maintains his droll sense of humor and unnerving use of framing while telling a rather different tale of parents trying to retrieve their daughter from would-be custodians. The laughs are fewer and farther between once Ansel and Claire are confined to a non-descript hotel room, but for the sake of the first act, those countless humiliations are vital to empathizing with an otherwise petty, insecure has-been of a protagonist, one constantly assaulted in Coen-esque fashion when not pocketing just about anything free for the taking.

Winstead (“Smashed,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”), gives yet another fragile, commanding performance as a young woman caught between oppressive parents, a well-meaning captor and her own brainwashed persona. Claire (who doesn’t care for that name anymore) points out that Faults takes its own name from seismic and psychic pressures alike, and after being steeped in Ansel’s unyielding stress, it’s not hard to recognize the appeal of such a self-actualizing mentality. Their quicksilver dynamic together isn’t just the focus of the film; it’s reason enough to see it.

“Faults” is a strangely funny, often eerie accomplishment, and it’s a testament to why people like us tend to call first features like this “promising.” [B+]

filed in Faults, Film Reviews
posted by • March 10th, 2014 • (0) Comments

Yesterday in Texas, Mary premiered her new film Faults at the 2014 SXSW Festival alongside Riley Stearns and co-stars Leland Orser, Beth Grant and actor Jon Gries. Head to the gallery to check out the pics in HQ and also check out a new video interview Mary did with We Live Film discussing the movie.

posted by • March 9th, 2014 • (0) Comments

Tonight marked the premiere of Mary’s new film Faults which debuted at the SXSW Festival in Austin, TX. Lots of people took to their Twitter accounts and loved it! While I will post some of those reactions, first up is a review from Indiewire. Click on the link to read the full review:

Much of the odd comedic formula emerges from a pair of carefully orchestrated lead performances: Character actor Leland Orser delivers a fascinatingly offbeat turn as downtrodden author Ansel Roth, an expert in deprogramming brainwashed cult members, while Stearns’ wife Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays the young woman he’s hired to deprogram. Delivering an icy, cryptic performance that ranks among her best — and exists a world apart from her role as a messy alcoholic in “Smashed — Winstead’s frequently inscrutable expression epitomizes this unique movie’s enigmatic appeal.

Twitter reactions:

Scott Menzel

If you are at #SXSW, do yourself a favor and see #faults. The film is really something special and different. @RileyStearns@M_E_Winstead

Peter S. Hall
FAULTS is real good. Leland Orser and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are stellar. Riley Stearns has a real command of tone and dark human delights.


@M_E_Winstead@LelandOrser Great work in #faults. One of the best at #SXSW so far. @WeLiveFilm

This is just the beginning, so keep checking back for more reviews and updates!

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