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Quint chats Scott Pilgrim and The Thing prequel with Ramona Flowers herself, Ms. Mary Elizabeth Winstead!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with one of my three Scott Pilgrim interviews running this week. These interviews were done post-Comic-Con on the Universal backlot. I’m starting off with the prettiest of the bunch: Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Sorry Jason Schwartzman and Brandon Routh… you guys are pretty, too, just not as pretty as her). You’ll notice we touch on both Scott Pilgrim and her role in the upcoming prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing. I was given a set visit for The Thing prequel and while I had to redact some of the interview to not anger the embargo Gods we do discuss a few things that happened during my visit, including me witnessing Ms. Winstead attacking Joel Edgerton’s metal flamethrower pack with her face. Hope you guys enjoy the brief chat with Ms. Romana Flowers herself!

Quint: I saw you dive head first into that flame thrower. Everybody kinda sucked in their breaths.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: It was painful. Yeah, I was like what I would imagine it would feel like to get punched really hard, but yeah thank you. It turned out to be fine. The medic was all like “You are going to have a black eye” and they were all trying to figure out how to do the make-up and stuff, but then I iced it and the next day it was like healed. Yeah, it was good.

Quint: No scars? I don’t see your battle scars.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: No, I really thought I had put my eye out. It was not as nearly as bad as I thought it was.

Quint: Well now you have something for the blooper reel.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: For sure!

Quint: So yeah, I saw the movie at Comic Con. I was there on Thursday…

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Cool! That was the best time to see it, I think.

Quint: That was nuts. Now if I remember correctly, when you first pop up, you got a big cheer.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I think everyone did.

Quint: See that speaks well to the world that Bryan Lee O’Malley created.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Absolutely. They love the characters.

Quint: Everyone has a favorite character. It’s not like everybody just likes Han Solo or something.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yeah, absolutely. Every single character… Stacy and Wallace and Aubrey’s character… everybody has fans, you know? It’s really cool.

Quint: My favorite characters in the movie were you and Wallace.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Aw, thank you so much.

Quint: Wallace was more of a translation angle, like “Oh, I’m so glad that all of the humor from Wallace comes through and Kieran [Culkin] was perfect in the role,” but you, I think, had a little bit of a tougher job, because if you don’t buy Ramona that movie falls apart. Honestly the character is teetering on being somebody really despicable...

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yeah, absolutely. I definitely worried about that, to be honest. When I first took it on, it was sort of like “What do I do? I don’t want people to think she’s a bitch” and how do you play someone who doesn’t show their emotions? How do you play someone who is too guarded to ever let you know what they are thinking or feeling and still get across that they are human and they do have feelings? So, it was definitely the most challenging part I have ever had to play. I basically had to just constantly be feeling a lot of things and just bottle it up. Every scene I was in I was trying to bottle up whatever I was feeling.

Quint: In the books, that line didn’t seem as thin to me for whatever reason, but just watching the physical version of that happen and even Scott, to a degree, could be a complete dick.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Absolutely. They are the same in that way of kind of treating people in a kind of thoughtless way and you still have to like them, yeah.

Quint: The biggest compliment I can say is that I really did see the character’s love for Scott.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Oh, good. Thank you so much.

Quint: Even thought there’s not really a lot of chance for you to show it.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yeah, I was so happy watching the film feeling like everything worked and I know I had to trust Edgar [Wright], because I don’t think he would settle for anything less than perfect and so I had to kind of put any fears like that out of my mind and think “If Edgar thinks it works, it works. Don’t question it.”

Quint: And the shoot was long, right?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: There was some tedious stuff, but I think we all knew it was going to be worth it, so I don’t think we felt annoyed by that or anything. We knew that he was trying to get something perfect, because the whole film had to be at this level that was unparalleled you know and we all knew that it was going to be something really special.

Quint: I assume you had to look at Bryan’s book…

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yeah.

Quint: … to get a lot of the context of the humor because so much of that is like layer upon layer upon layer of visual gags that you can read in a script, but not fully understand until you see it played out.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yeah. The cool thing is that with all of the graphics and everything, it’s all kind of bonuses, because I never… People keep asking “What was it like shooting green screen?” and I don’t feel like we did much of that. I feel like it all felt really real and there were so many exciting things happening in camera, like so many fun things like sight gags and things that were actually happening around us to react to that it didn’t feel like there was a lot of pretending, like looking at a stick. There wasn’t as much of that as you would expect.

Quint: Yeah, well those stages were incredible. We were there at Gideon’s club.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I know, that was like sensory overload as it was just there and then to add to that is just mind-blowing.

Quint: So did you get to talk to a lot of fans at the Con about the movie and hear their reactions to it?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I did, yeah. The best thing was I did an autograph signing like the last day I was there, so a lot of people had had a chance to see it by then and they were all just like so excited about it and just glowing and just to know that they were the true fans, like they were like the real fans of the books and they are the ones who were going to be really upset if it it didn’t work, so you know if they are happy that you…

Quint: So that was the gauge of this film’s success? It wasn’t so much the screening or anything like that? You just seeing how long that autograph line was?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: (laughs) It was more about just the things they were saying, you know and how excited they were to be there and how they were all like “I saw the movie and loved it” and was like “It was perfect.” The screening… That was crazy; to hear the cheers and the laughter and like to hear how excited they were was just… We were all in tears afterwards because it just felt so good to know that it meant so much to so many people and that they felt like we got it right.

Quint: I have to say I knew Edgar cast well from that very first picture that he teased you with where it was just your eyes over the sheet of paper. I’m like “Yeah, that’s Ramona’s eyes. She’s got Ramona’s eyes, yeah.”

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Oh, really? (laughs) That’s so funny. I think that’s kind of the main reason I got cast to be honest.

Quint: (laughs) Because of your eyes?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: And I didn’t even know what anybody was talking about. Everybody was like “Oh, you have Ramona’s eyes!” I didn’t know until I did DEATH PROOF and I was doing a lot of things with my eyes and Quentin [Tarantino] kept commenting on it and I was like “What are you talking about? What?” So now I’m capitalizing on that.

Quint: You shot that in my hometown. I’m an Austin boy.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: You are? My fiancé is from Austin. We are getting married there in October.

Quint: You are getting married there?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: In Austin.

Quint: October, okay October is safe. I heard August for a second and I’m like “Oh you don’t want to do August in Austin.” Are you coming out to the big screening?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yeah, the screening. I’m really excited.

Quint: I don’t know if we can top the 13,000 people in one room, but the Austin audiences are crazy cool.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: They are going to be packed.

Quint: Have you ever been to one of the Alamos?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Oh yeah! We used to go all of the time.

Quint: Oh yeah, because you were there with Quentin of course. You must have seen a shit ton of his prints.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yeah. I used to go all of the time to Austin to visit and stuff, so yeah I used to go there all of the time.

Quint: Alright, so that wont be a new experience, but you know the Austin audiences.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: But it will be awesome to have a film of mine there, you know? That will be really cool.

Quint: Well especially a film that will play to a crowd. I think Ain’t It Cool is hosting this screening, so we are going to fill it with a lot of geeks.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yay!

Quint: Cool, so what are you working on next? Obviously you have THE THING coming out next year.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yeah, I mean I just wrapped that like three weeks ago or less. So now I’m kind of focusing on promoting SCOTT PILGRIM and we will see.

Quint: I’m a big fan of THE THING. I love that movie so much, so I told (producer) Eric Newman that when I went out to the set (visit currently embargoed, but forthcoming) “I’m not an easy sell on this. You are really going to have to prove that this is worthy to join that universe…”

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: The fans are hardcore about that film, definitely.

Quint: But what I saw was pretty great. I loved how much was being done in-camera.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I’m really excited about it. I think everyone involved was really genuinely wanting to make it as good as it could be. There was nobody who was just like “This will be an easy buck. We can take this movie and do a prequel of it and blah…” Everybody was a true fan and everybody was like “Okay, let’s make the performances great, let’s made the aliens amazing…” I’m really excited to see it.

Quint: It stands a good shot of being cool and I really like just how they were presenting your character in the movie… Here’s the thing, you are a beautiful woman, they put you in a movie like that and people are like “Oh now suddenly it’s not going to have the realism, she’s not going to fit in with this world, etc.” I don’t mean to say that they plained you up, but they kind of did.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Absolutely. It was kind of liberating. They wanted me in no make- up. Any time the makeup artists would come in to do anything, Matthijs [Van Heijningen Jr.] would be like “What are you doing? Go away. I don’t want any make-up!” It wasn’t like trying to make me look masculine or anything either, which I thought was cool. It’s just that I’m a girl who is really intellectual and can take care of herself.

Quint: You have to buy that your character… Was it archeology that you were into?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Paleontologist.

Quint: Yeah, you have to be able to buy that character’s knowledge of Paleontology.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Absolutely and I kind of based a lot of her personality on my sister, who is a neurologist. She is extremely intelligent and spent her entire life in school, never wore make-up and never cared about her clothes and all of that stuff, so I kind of just thought that that’s the kind of person that that character is.

Quint: To me, that’s even more beautiful, just somebody who is comfortable with who they are.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Right, absolutely. Hopefully… I’m excited about it. I know… I read stuff. I’m a total Internet geek, so I read all of “Oh, why’d they cast her? That’s so stupid!” But I’m like “No, just wait and see. You guys will be surprised.”

Quint: I think you are going to earn a whole lot of fans with this movie.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Thank you so much.

Quint: And I’m not just blowing smoke here. That really impressed me, that performance.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Thank you.

Quint: It could have been something that could have easily not worked.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: That means a lot. It’s really so good to hear that, so yeah that’s awesome.

Quint: All right, well good luck with they rest of the guys and the press. It was good seeing you again.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I’m glad I got to talk to you after I missed talking to you last time.

One down, two more to go! Watch for two of the evil exes to be interviewed on this very website over the next 48 hours. Plus I know Beaks got some interviews as well. So prepare to be assaulted with Pilgrim interviews! -Quint Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 9, 2010, 11:18 p.m. CST

    How come you..

    by Nocturama

    ..didn't fell in love with her? ;·)

  • Aug. 9, 2010, 11:21 p.m. CST


    by Quint

    Didn't you see how fumbling and foolish I came off in that chat? Of course I'm totally crushing on her! I am a male after all...

  • Aug. 9, 2010, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Give us some examples of the in-camera effects they...

    by JuanSanchez

    were using.

  • Aug. 9, 2010, 11:27 p.m. CST

    in camera Snow


    and in camera actors.

  • Aug. 9, 2010, 11:32 p.m. CST

    In-camera actors? Thought those were obsolete.

    by JuanSanchez

  • Aug. 9, 2010, 11:33 p.m. CST



    "Fiance!" I don't believe it! This is the end of civilization as we know it!!! FURCCKK!!!

  • Aug. 9, 2010, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Despite Die Hard 4...

    by tomandshell

    I can't help but like her.

  • Aug. 9, 2010, 11:56 p.m. CST

    I like her.

    by Norm Cascade

    I see good things for her. That is all.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:07 a.m. CST

    She has a neurologist sister?!

    by palimpsest

    Hubba hubba.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:07 a.m. CST


    by Quint

    Soon. It involved a creature on fire. More as soon as I'm able.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:08 a.m. CST

    Please play Mary Jane Watson

    by Nerd Rage

    erase our diseased memories of Kristen Dunst. You are worthy of the role. Dunst was not.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:08 a.m. CST

    She's a great Ramona.

    by DOGSOUP

    And damn, I remember that pic. It seems so long ago that first popped up.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:09 a.m. CST

    i love her

    by torpedoboy

    the NEW Phoebe Cates.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:11 a.m. CST


    by MaxTheSilent

    Please excuse my crudity, but I wish Ms. Winstead would feel the sudden urge to wrap her legs around my face till the end of time. Until then I guess I will go see SCOTT PILGRIM and marvel at Edgar Wright's genius one again.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:15 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Quint.

    by JuanSanchez

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:22 a.m. CST

    Quint a request:

    by ludmir88

    "Quint: You shot that in my hometown. I’m an Austin boy. Mary Elizabeth Winstead: You are? My fiancé is from Austin. We are getting married there in October. Quint: You are getting married there?" i want to hear that in sound-o-text !!!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:27 a.m. CST

    I love you, Mary Elizabeth Winstead!!

    by Tall_Boy66

    Hey baby, hope you read this and fall in love with me too.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:28 a.m. CST

    A lot can happen between now and October

    by Tall_Boy66

    Just sayin'.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:35 a.m. CST

    better not fuck up the thing, and she looks wack in scott fagrim

    by Waka_Flocka

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:56 a.m. CST

    So god damn hot!!!!

    by FilmGuy125

    I'd give my third nut to sleep with her.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 1:04 a.m. CST

    Film is incredibly well made. Wright is going places.


    But, it's also pretty annoying, especially the first 20 minutes. If you thought "Juno" was obnoxious, you're gonna HATE this. I'll have to see it a second time to decide what I think. It's a proudly bizarre blend of Hot Fuzz, Juno, and Speed Racer.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 1:18 a.m. CST

    I want to hear...

    by rost

    about that set visit to The Thing since you mentioned it on twitter. Hope you are not embargoed till the weekend the movie opens!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 2:09 a.m. CST

    Ah, Miss Winstead

    by lock67ca

    As I've said before, I'd go to see a movie of her reading the phone book for two hours. Hope that soon-to-be husband of hers realizes how lucky he is.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 2:42 a.m. CST

    i would be embarrassed for you

    by charlesbronsonLIVES

    the fumbling and all, but she is really incredibly pretty and she seems like a cool chick. also, its late and i just watched six hours of youporn so im too embarrassed of myself to be embarrassed of you.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 2:51 a.m. CST

    The Thing prequel

    by kwisatzhaderach

    will be a cinematic disaster.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 3:25 a.m. CST

    i think i speak for every hot blooded male on AICN when i say...

    by kidkombo

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 3:26 a.m. CST

    to the fiance.......

    by kidkombo

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 3:26 a.m. CST

    bastard. fucking bastard.

    by kidkombo

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 3:27 a.m. CST

    Quint...could you at least confirm if you got to see the ship in

    by JaaayDee

    I mean, we already know there is one in the original. Don't see why it would be spoiling much. I just want a one-word confirmation please :).

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 3:56 a.m. CST

    Ramona or Romana?

    by Suskis

    Can someone please tell me what's the correct name? Romana is the name of my gf...

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 4:35 a.m. CST


    by Quint

    Why do you want to hear the sound of my heart breaking? Cruel, cruel man.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 5:15 a.m. CST had a set visit on The Thing prequel?

    by MacReady452

    Please give a detailed list of the methods of sabotage you employed.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 6:51 a.m. CST

    The most beautiful woman in Hollywood...

    by ron2112


  • Aug. 10, 2010, 7:01 a.m. CST

    No woman should possess such

    by Dharma4

    grand beauty.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 7:04 a.m. CST


    by Dharma4

    To who. That is all I desire to know. TO WHO.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Awesome Movie

    by ComputerwizardPK

    I saw the movie yesterday, having not read the comic and I totally loved it. Awesome pace and from what I've read today (The 1st Book) it really seemed to capture the essence of the comic.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 7:41 a.m. CST

    The Austin marriage thing is a clever ruse..

    by The Dark Shite

    designed to put fanboys off the scent. We're actually getting married at Blackpool pleasure beach. <p> I've already booked the local working man's club. Fifty pence a pint, mobile disco & all the crab paste sandwiches we can eat.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 8 a.m. CST

    McClane residence, Lucy McClane speaking

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    MEW is genuinely adorable, and she's perfect casting for Ramona Flowers ("It's so Ramona Quimby, age eight, and!"). Good to hear that at least SOME of the effects in the Thing prequel will be practical.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 8:16 a.m. CST

    You could actually hear Quint's dorky heart break when...

    by Charles_Corkey_Thatcher

    She said her fiance was from Austin. Also I think she said that because he was crushing on her. Like, don't even think about it Ron Dorkman!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Death proof, great film but.....

    by Buffalo500

    My only problem with Death Proof is that Tarantino did not use Winstead enough!. She is not even pictured on the Grindhouse poster I have proudly framed on my wall (and almost every other girl from the film is). Shame on you Quentin!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 8:33 a.m. CST


    by alice133

    the prequel to carpenters the thing is basically carpenters the thing. -only with norwegians.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 9:56 a.m. CST

    The Thing Prequel Predictions....

    by marineboy

    Pile of cr@p 3D

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 10:01 a.m. CST

    This looks like a ton of fun.

    by Koyaanisqatsi

    My buddy from Austin that she's marrying is so damn lucky. And Mary's just adorable in person.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Did She Slip Up There Regarding The Thing Prequel?

    by Pawprint

    She referred to 'aliens' - as in more than one.<p> There was only one in the original...

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Story Time

    by Koyaanisqatsi

    I was at a Christmas party in Pflugerville once and she was there with my buddy (they weren't engaged at the time) and I was hangin' out in the kitchen and she came in to get a beverage and of all the people in the room she asked ME to open it for her. I just about died. Then I beat the hell out of everybody on Guitar Hero.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Yeah, top THAT!

    by Koyaanisqatsi


  • Aug. 10, 2010, 10:44 a.m. CST

    She Looked CRAZY HOT In The Cheerleader Uniform

    by LaserPants

    From the otherwise fairly crappy Death Proof. She looks aiight in this.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:01 p.m. CST

    I fucking hate this story idea

    by Rectal Blowout

    <P> 1. No English talking motherfuckers saw The Thing prior to Mac and crew. Only the "Crazy Swedes." </P> <P> And no VAG running around. That is part of the isolation and tension. </P> <P> Two fatal mistakes right there. Even if this movie was decent it doesn't go along with the back story. I hate these Hollywood fuckers that slap shit together like this. I hope this movie makes Battlefield Earth look like 2001 or Alien. <P>

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Does the Thing Prequel have a name?

    by dopepope

    or is it officially titled 'The Thing Prequel'?

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:21 p.m. CST

    The REAL prequel to THE THING

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    (at least philosophically) AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS.<BR><BR>Last known del Toro/Robbins script draft of ATMOM here:

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Study those photos, dudes...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...THAT is what a beautiful girl looks like!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:49 p.m. CST

    HarryKnowlesNonExistentInception Review

    by Le Vicious Fishus


  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:51 p.m. CST

    ATMOM Follow up

    by Le Vicious Fishus <BR><BR>"Cameron confirms he is producing Guillermo del Toro's At the Mountains of Madness. The movie will be shot in native 3D using next generation FUSION 3D cameras from Pace. The project came up only 2 or 3 weeks ago when Cameron asked about if del Toro was still interested in it. As del Toro was clearly excited to do it, Cameron said 'let's do it.' They took it to Universal with both of them attached to the fast tracked project and now it looks like it will be going in the 2nd quarter of 2011."<BR><BR>Fucking awesome.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 12:55 p.m. CST



    As I once said in a Predators talkback post (after it's been revealed they may make a Fishburne prequel), both prequels are pointless...we know the eventual outcome....the Norwegians 'get it'. And there's no reference to any US personnel at the Norwegian base, so is she gonna use a Norwegian accent? Probably not. No doubt it will be a disappointing film as well.

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 4:14 p.m. CST

    The Thing prequel was already fucked from the beginning!

    by HollywoodHellraiser

    However, there WAS a female, 2 in fact, in "The Thing From Another Planet"!<p>But I agree, why did they feel the need to add a token female?<p>Oh well its not like I was going to see it anyways!

  • Aug. 10, 2010, 6:28 p.m. CST

    How can you complain there's a hot chick in the movie?

    by Tall_Boy66

    Seriously, this is a complaint I don't understand. "NO WOMEN IN THIS MOVIE!!!" Uh, really? Chicks are fun to look at and Mary Elizabeth Winstead is really fun to look at. This is not hard to figure out.

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 7:46 a.m. CST


    by Sailor Rip

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 7:48 a.m. CST


    by Sailor Rip

    The Thing prequel. Just not a good idea. So the film is done? All we can do now is steal every known copy and shoot them into the sun.