Video/Q&A: 'Smashed' star Mary Elizabeth Winstead

How much do you feel people ignore warning signs? In the film your character pees in bed and on the floor of a convenience store. At a distance you might say this person has some issues; from the inside you might justify, “I had to go and I was in a convenience store, what do you want me to do?”
I think exactly, still being in her 20s, even though she’s in her late 20s, it’s still like, “I’m young enough to get away with this. I’m still cute, right? I’m still funny!”

“It’s charming!”
Yeah. And I think you see that point in the movie where she starts to realize how not funny it is anymore and, “Oh, that’s actually scary and sad and what am I doing with my life? I’m a teacher, I’m an adult, and I’m spending my nights doing stuff like this. This isn’t the picture I had in my mind of the type of person I was going to be.”

I couldn’t help but have Ke$ha’s voice in my head either during the movie or preparing for the interview. Kids hear about brushing their teeth with Jack and think, “That sounds awesome.”
[Laughs.] I know! I think my 7-year-old niece was singing that lyric a little while ago. I was like, “Whoa, what?!” [Laughs.] It’s a little scary.

That’s how people get it in their head …
Yeah, that it’s a glamorous thing to do. And our movie, it’s not glamorous, it’s not anything. It’s just what these people do with their lives and they realize that it’s a problem for them. But it’s certainly not a message like “This is cool” or “This is totally uncool.” It’s just a personal thing. Some people can drink and have fun and it’s a great thing that they do to relax and have a good time with their friends and for other people it’s scary and hugely negative.

What did you mean when you said you get somewhat childlike when you’re drunk?
I definitely do. I just get very giggly and dancey. I dance everywhere. When Aaron Paul and I--

Like ballet [Winstead trained with the Joffrey in New York]?
[Laughs.] No, like goofy, ridiculous. Go into jokey interpretive dance type thing. Whatever song is on I’ll act it out. [Laughs.] It’s ridiculous.

Do you have an example?
I’m trying to remember what Aaron and I were dancing to. At the bar when we were drunk we were like so obnoxious. We took over the whole bar as though we were only—we were almost the only people in there. I think there were only like three other people probably just staring at us like we were really strange. But we were doing like the “Dirty Dancing” thing. I was like running up to him—

Did you jump into him?
[Laughs.] It didn’t actually work. But we were going for that kind of thing. Just a childlike, obnoxious, we-are-the-only-people-that-exist-in-this-world type of attitude I think is the drunken state.

I’m sure it was a blast to be around Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally together. Tell me a conversation you overheard between them or something about their dynamic that amused you.
They’re the best couple in the world. I really think they should win some sort of trophy for it.

“Best Couple.”
“Best Couple Ever in the Universe of All Time.” They’re just amazing. They’re so adorable and funny together. She has the dirtiest jokes. [Laughs.] She has the best, most raunchy awesome sense of humor. Them together, it’s just incredible. They’re so cute. Whenever Nick was working and Megan wasn’t, she would still come to set and hang out and vice-versa. They just love being around each other. They are just head over heels, and it’s kind of adorable.

CHICAGO

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