Total Film caught up with Mary Elizabeth Winstead on the set of The Thing, to find out what she’d be bringing to the prequel to John Carpenter’s 1982 classic.
Director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr told us that he wanted to differentiate this model from the earlier movie by bringing in a strong female character in the vein of Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley.
When we asked Winstead, who up to this point is probably best known for playing the object of Scott Pilgrim’s affection, about the comparison, she responded: “I definitely expect people to be bringing up the Ripley thing!”
She was keen to point out that she wouldn’t be playing a carbon copy of that iconic character though: “I’m playing a scientist. I’m not playing some badass chick.
“I kind of have to become strong throughout the film, and I kind of have to learn how to take care of myself and how to survive. I have to find strength.
“She’s sort of androgynous in a way, because her focus, and her passion in life, is her job. Finding a fossil in the ice is the utmost thing she could do. It’s a dream world for her, at first. And then it turns terrifying…”
So how was it being stuck in such a claustrophobic, testosterone-heavy environment? “I like being the only girl around here! It’s nice. I feel respected and one of the guys, which I don’t often get to experience.
“I feel honoured to be the first female in this story. It’s cool.”
The Thing opens on 2 December 2011.
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