With titles like Final Destination 3, the Ring Two and Black Christmas in her filmography, actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead is no stranger to on-screen horror.

So a prequel to the Thing was right up her alley. Plus, the Antarctic setting didn’t allow for much in the way of revealing costumes, which is something Winstead says she appreciated, considering how female characters tend to be portrayed in the horror and science fiction worlds.

She shared her rather frank opinions on the topic with Metro, as well as her unique connection to the star of the original 1982 the Thing.

So, you’ve tangled with Kurt Russell in Sky High, sang with him in Death Proof and now you’re in the prequel to one of his films.

I know! I’m always following Kurt Russell, for some reason.


Has he seen this yet?

I have no idea. I mean, he’s so not a show business type guy that I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t know that this exists. He probably in passing has heard about it, but I doubt he’s worrying about it too much.

How did you feel about this being a prequel?

Knowing that it was from Strike Entertainment, it was a clue that these were the kind of people — from their past work like Dawn of the Dead — they have a grasp on how to take material and make something new out of it that’s still respectful and interesting and not just a retread that’s more modern and more schlocky than the first one that came around.

Comparisons to Sigourney Weaver’s character in Alien is almost inevitable here.

I love them. I have a particular fondness for strong women on screen who are also realistic. It’s really fun to see women kicking ass and being super-powerful, but at the same time I feel like there’s this niche that we don’t see of women who are just realistically strong and smart and take care of themselves but aren’t beating up guys twice their size and knocking them out — things that just wouldn’t happen in the real world.

It’s interesting that filmmakers seem to think female characters have to be at one end of the spectrum.

Right. It’s so shocking to me that there aren’t more realistic female characters out there, because we make up half the population. Why is everything so dominated by what guys want to see? Every female character in a movie is over-sexualized or she’s played as shrill and neurotic or something that’s a very male perspective on different types of women that are out there. I feel like a lot of actresses, when they play a super-sexual character, they’re like, “No, this is empowering and women owning our sexuality,” and stuff. I get that, but I don’t feel like that’s what we’re really seeing.

A few facts

  • Vital stats: Raised in Salt Lake City, Winstead, 26, was trained as a singer and ballet dancer before turning to acting, garnering attention for her role in superhero spoof Sky High.

  • Cult status: Winstead is beloved by geeks the world over for playing hair dye-loving object of affection Ramona Flowers in 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

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