Mary Elizabeth Winstead Biography and Photos

Mary Elizabeth Winstead Biography and Photos 2012

Mary Elizabeth Winstead (born November 28, 1984) is an American actress. Winstead is best known for her scream queen roles in the horror films Final Destination 3, Death Proof, The Thing, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but has since then branched out to other genres, including as John McClane's daughter Lucy in Live Free or Die Hard, Ramona Flowers in the comic-to-film adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and recently as the alcoholic wife who struggles through sobriety in the Sundance-selected film Smashed.

Early life
Winstead, the youngest of five childrenof Betty Lou (née Knight) and James Ronald Winstead, was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Winstead has stated that her maternal grandfather was a cousin of actress Ava Gardner. When Winstead was only five years old, her family moved to Sandy, Utah, a Salt Lake City suburb.As a girl, Winstead attended Peruvian Park Elementary, where she excelled academically and attended advanced classes. A talented dancer and singer, Winstead studied dance in a Joffrey Ballet summer program in Chicago, Illinois and was also a member of the International Children's Choir. In her youth, Winstead initially hoped to pursue a career as a ballerina and appeared in local ballet productions. As she entered her teens, however, Winstead was forced to quit ballet due to her height. She later stated "I realized pretty early on that I was already too tall by the time I was 13... You know, your body has to stay that way for your entire life, and it's pretty hard on your muscles and your bones". Realizing that her career as a ballerina was unlikely, Winstead turned to acting instead.

Personal life
Winstead is married to Riley Stearns, a film director and television writer from Austin, Texas, whom she met at age 18, while on a cruise. The couple were wed in 2010.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Winstead had stated that at one point, Final Destination 3 co-star Amanda Crew "stayed with her for a while". She has also called Lacey Chabert her "confidant" and in the same interview, says she is good friends with Death Proof co-stars Rosario Dawson and Sydney Tamiia Poitier. "I'm not a really 'cliquish' type of person," she says of herself. "There's usually one person that I gravitate to, who I feel I relate to the most, and kind of stick to throughout the whole thing." While filming Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Winstead made good friends with co-star Anna Kendrick. “The two of us, we were just sitting up there watching the first fight [scene] in the balcony together for a week and a half, and we were always talking about gossip, film news and just gabbing about everything!”

Winstead has voiced her fondness for the music of Bat for Lashes, French pop songs (particularly France Gall), mewithoutYou, The Shangri-Las, The Shirelles, Roy Orbison, The xx and Ben E. King's "Stand By Me". Winstead has also said that she is "a big fan of horror films ... There’s always something to be excited about and get invested in. Some of the first horror films I saw were The Shining, Alien and Rosemary’s Baby, which have become three of my favourite films ever." In an interview with Public Radio in October 2012, she also lists Citizen Ruth, Fish Tank and Wendy and Lucy as some of her other favorite films that manage to entertain despite dealing with a tough subject.

Projects with Stearns
In 2008, they worked together in Stop/Eject — a short film he was making with Winstead's Final Destination 3 co-star Ryan Merriman, which is as of yet still in post-production. The project was shot on the weekends during the 2008 writers' strike. Winstead elaborates, "The whole short is 25 minutes long. We're currently working on post sound and music and we hope to show it at festivals." The status of the short film is unknown as of March 2012.

In 2011, the couple worked together again in another short film, Magnificat. The short was filmed in Los Angeles over the weekend of August 13, 2011. Winstead, playing the role of a "young woman tormented by malevolent visions" is joined by Stephen Tobolowsky, who plays her neighbor. The 12-minute short was written and directed by Stearns and produced by Jamie Kaye Wheeler. It was uploaded on Stearns' Vimeo account on September 14, 2011. In early 2012, Stearns uploaded another video of Winstead wearing headphones, staring blankly into the camera, and reading several random lines in French. The video was titled Casque, which translates to Headphones.

On March 2, 2012, Stearns posted about a short film project on Kickstarter, which has a tentative title of The Cub. To quote Stearns, "THE CUB is a comedy about a little used but highly effective parenting technique that guarantees a lifetime of happiness and success for your child most likely at the expense of others." He continues, "I can't really say too much about the actual plot of the film without giving anything away but I can tell you it's funny, weird, absurd, and scary... sort of a strange hybrid of my two shorts CASQUE and MAGNIFICAT." Winstead will not be appearing on screen, but will be acting as an executive producer. The purpose of the campaign is to help offset the cost of producing the film. Filming will begin in Los Angeles in late March or early April and will be submitted to festivals.

Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Winstead has expressed her interest in singing, but does not plan on pursuing it as a career. "I wasn't ever really going to be a singer, but it's just something I've always loved." For her part of the Grindhouse film, Tarantino had Winstead sing an a cappella cover of The Shirelles' hit recording "Baby It's You". She was asked impromptu to perform the song and the cast were reportedly "gob-smacked" by her singing.

In 2009, Winstead and music producer Thai Long Ly co-wrote a song, "Warmth of Him". Although first rumored to be a pre-release single, Winstead has since then confirmed that she was just exploring her interest and does not plan on releasing any music albums.

On 18 January 2012, Winstead tweeted about performing vocals for a "Deltron song", which is as of yet, unreleased.

On March 17, 2012, Winstead premiered a new song that she sang at the SXSW Festival during the Red Bull 3Style event with Dan the Automator.

In an interview with Complex for the June/July 2012 issue, Winstead revealed she was working with Dan the Automator and is indeed planning on releasing a music album. "The inspiration behind it is, like, French ’60s pop—Jane Birkin, and stuff like that. It’s kind of married with Dan’s sensibility, which is his beats and a little bit of that low-key hip-hop vibe. So it makes for something that’s very unique; it’s very lounge-y and light. It's got a little bit of a French quality," Winstead discloses.

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