Mary Elizabeth Winstead talks The Thing

Exclusive: “I like being the only girl around here!”

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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Will you be tracking down The Thing? Or do you think it’ll be impossible to escape the shadow of Carpenter’s peerless forebear? Shout about it below.


    • Trickycustomer

      Oct 26th 2011, 17:11

      watched it recently, it respects carpenter's and leads into his version nicely

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    • Mings

      Oct 26th 2011, 18:24

      As a big fan of the 1982 movie and the Dark Horse comic book spin offs I am really looking forward to this. However, I did make something of a schoolboy error and read Harry Knowles' review on AICN and he was far from positive. I shall make up my own mind methinks.

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    • Siban1982

      Oct 28th 2011, 13:16

      I think IGN reviewed this already giving it 3/5. I'll save judgement but don't hold out much hope. I do like that there's a female lead though.

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    • Illustratedman

      Oct 28th 2011, 14:38

      Don't go by the American market for this film, 'The Thing' movies have always had an initial negative reaction. John Carpenter's version was trashed by critics and is now regarded as a sci-fi classic. The same thing is occurring once again. I saw the film and felt it was a proper prequel to the Carpenter film. It touches on many of the points of the first film, as it should, and then is accused of being a copy-cat movie. If you've always wondered what happened at the Norwegian camp and alien spaceship before the dog moves on to the American outpost then see this film.

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