Smashed in Theaters: Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul on Their Transformations

Photo: Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic; Sony Classics; Mark Davis/Getty

In Smashed, Mary Elizabeth Winstead puts herself on the map in a breakout role as Kate Hannah, an alcoholic whose relationship is put to the test when she decides to get sober. Aaron Paul, fresh off his Emmy win for Breaking Bad, is equally compelling as her husband, Charlie. “It’s so funny because her and I didn't know each other before the film and we hung out just a few times before shooting,” Paul told during the Toronto International Film Festival. “She always looks so beautiful and elegant—it’s quite opposite of Kate.” It’s true: Winstead had to transform for her on-screen appearance, with clothing as broken-down as her character. “The wardrobe stands out quite a bit,” said Winstead. “People tend to comment on it after they see the film. [My character] doesn’t really care about what she looks like because all she cares about is drinking and having fun and getting drunk. It was liberating to look that crazy.” Their chemistry helped, too. “It’s very funny at times but also, as a character, she reaches a lot of lows, so there was a lot of dark, gritty stuff to go through,” added Winstead. It was a great gift to have Aaron on set because he was such a light, happy, loving presence all the time amidst a really dark story.” Break out your tissues for this engrossing, compulsively watchable portrait of addiction that’s as sad as it is beautiful.

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