Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Full Name: Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Date of Birth: Monday, 28th November, 1984
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
Place of Birth: Rocky Mount, North Carolina, USA
Nationality: American
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Current Residence: Los Angeles
Height: 5′ 8″ (1.73m)
Eye Colour: Golden Brown
Hair Colour: Dark Brown

Favourite Film: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind & The Sixth Sense
Favourite Music: Indie Rock, Alternative
Favourite Show: My So Called Life, Third Rock From the Sun, Just Shoot Me & Will and Grace
Favourite Book: The Outsiders
Favourite Pasttimes: Sewing, cooking, singing and dancing
Favourite Website: IMDb, YouTube
Favourite Gadget: iPod

Represented by: Paradigm Talent Agency

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: The Biopic
Click on the appropriate chapters to read more about Miss Winstead’s life

Chapter 01: Birth and Thereafter

Mary’s humble beginnings and initial ambitions
Chapter 02: Acting Debuts

Mary debuts in Touched By An Angel
Chapter 03: Mary’s Passions

A regular in a popular soap opera
Chapter 04: A Star on the Rise

Mary begins to shine
Chapter 05: 2006

Final Destination 3, Mary’s breakout film
Chapter 06: Talented, Gifted, Pragmatic

Working with Bruce Willis and Quentin Tarantino
Chapter 07: More Projects

Introducing Ramona V. Flowers!
The Complete Memoirs

Read Mary’s complete biography

Chapter 01: Birth and Thereafter

Mary’s humble beginnings and initial ambitions

Enjoying a normal childhood. Mary Elizabeth Winstead was born on Wednesday, the 28th of November, 1984 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina to James Ronald Winstead and Betty Lou Knight. Mary is the youngest of five. She has three older sisters, one named Erin, and an older brother. One of her sisters is a professional dancer. In 1989, Mary and her family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah when she was just five years old. “It was somewhat difficult moving to Salt Lake City,” Mary says, “because we weren’t Mormon and that was quite predominantly a Mormon area. So it was really hard to sort of fit in and adjust to that new environment.” She further quips, “Every now and then, I would get comments. People would say things like, “I wish you would convert, so you could be one of us, and we could all go to heaven.””

Mary attended Peruvian Park Elementary, where she was academically outstanding. She eventually reached the upper echelon of the schoolÕs advanced classes. At the same time, her performance skills also began to emerge with interests in ballet and acting. During her childhood, Mary joined the International Children’s Choir. She polished and showed off her singing skills at the local church. Mary first opted to become a ballerina. “As a child, I acted and I loved acting but ballet was my heart’s career choice,” Miss Winstead says. During fourth grade, Mary starred as the lead female in a school production of the famed “Romeo and Juliet”. She later improved her ballerina skills when she appeared in the Mountain West Ballet’s version of “The Nutcracker”. She took part in the production every year, and played a different character each time. “I was Clara when I was 12, I was the mechanical doll, I was Chinese, Russian, I was the Snow Queen, I was everything,” Mary states. Her parents further encouraged and nurtured her skills.

At the age of eleven, Mary studied dance in a summer program of the prestigous Jeffrey Ballet School in New York City. There, she took dancing classes, studying the art of ballet and jazz. Nevertheless, she realizes later that she was not physically suitable to become a ballerina. “I just realized that it probably wasn’t going to go as far as I wanted to just because I was really tall for my age and it’s such a precise career as far as physicality… you have to fit into this mold. I didn’t want to put myself through that. I realized that the thing I loved most about it was the performance and being able to act and play characters on stage so I figured, “Why not just stick with that.”” Following the epiphany, Mary took up acting lessons in Jeffrey Ballet School.

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Chapter 02: Acting Debuts
Ably playing a gymnast. In the early 1990s, Mary gets her first inkling on acting. She received the opportunity to appear on Broadway in Danny Osmund’s run of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, alongside Danny Osmond himself, for over 2,000 performances. She found success in musical theater, starring as one of the principal characters. She started to sharpen her talents afterwards, and therefore began her career as an actress. During this time in show business, Mary found herself unable to attend normal schools, so she was instead home-schooled. “I acted in theater and I took film classes when I was 12. I loved it and spent hours and hours in the film studio learning and watching. I always knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. That is why I was home schooled. I was always busy, so normal school didn’t work out for me.”

In addition, some time in her childhood, Mary played the renowned role of Juliet in a production of “Romeo and Juliet”. She mentions it briefly in an interview later on in her life, “Olivia Hussey was one of the reasons I wanted to be an actress as a child because I did a school production of Romeo and Juliet and I watched her version of it everyday for almost a year and I just wanted to be her so she’s always been on my list of idols”.


In her first film set.

Mary’s acting career wholly kicked off when she debuts in the prime time television show, “Touched By An Angel”. She appears in the role of Kristy Cordice, a competing gymnast, in the third season finale, “A Delicate Balance”, which was received well by fans. Although her character was a minor one, appearing less than five minutes, she had fun on the set. In an interview, Mary says, “I was so shocked that they were even paying me. I was like, “Why are you paying me to do this? It’s so much fun.”” A year after, she appeared in two episodes of the series’ spinoff, “Promised Land” as Chloe.

When she was fifteen years old, Mary walked into her first film set when she snagged her first feature-length film role in 1999. She was casted as Annie Jacobs in the 1999 Craig Clyde drama, “The Long Road Home” about a boy’s estranged relationship with his grandpa. Mary’s role is the love interest of the lead character. The film went straight-to-DVD. And just like that, Mary became a fully-fledged actress.

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Chapter 03: Mary’s Passions
Passions with Jesse Metcalfe. In March 1999, Mary auditioned for a role in the successful NBC soap opera, “Passions”, and was asked to return and read some lines again in April and finally landed the role at the end of the month. When inquired on how she and her family reacted to the news, she divulged, “We were all jumping up and down screaming! I was lucky my dad was here when they called. We were jumping up and down and we went to dinner to celebrate”. She got chosen for the part of Jessica Bennett, a troubled and problematic adolescent who has a very strained relationship with sister Kay. She says of her role, “Jessica’s relationship with Kay is totally different than what I have with my sisters. We never really fought that much, and if we did, it lasted for like five minutes. I’m kind of the little sister they all coddle. Jessica’s really different from me. That’s why it’s so much fun playing her. I never say the things she would say.”

The famous role earned her two nominations (“Best Young Actress in a Daytime TV Series” by Young Star Award and “Best Performance in a Daytime TV Series” by Young Artist Award). Mary lasted in the series for a while, before snagging a more leading role in the FOX series, “Father Can’t Cope”. She was set to play the daughter, with Scott Bakula as the titular role. However, the series was never picked up, and Mary found her acting career in a temporary halt. Jessica Bennett was later portrayed by Jade Harlow until 2003, and currently taken by Michelle Holgate.


Rebelling in Wolf Lake.

Neverthless, two years later, Miss Winstead re-emerged in the small screen by appearing in a sci-fi thriller, “Wolf Lake” about a seemingly ordinary American town inhabited by a group of dangerous wolves. She plays the leading role of Sophia Donner, the small town’s sheriff’s rebellious daughter. The short-lived show lasted into 2002, and is now identified as a cult favorite. CBS aired the first five episodes before cancelling the show, and broadcasted the last four episodes a year later.

Mary took another short break in 2003, and returned in 2003. She appeared in the unaired pilot of the planned TV show, “Then Came Jones” as Rina, but the show was not picked up.

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Chapter 04: A Star on the Rise
A rising star. At the age of 20, Mary guest starred in a season one episode of the hit televison series “Tru Calling”, about a woman who could relive days to save future potential homicide victims. She plays the na”ve role of Bridget Elkins in the episode “Closure”. Later that year, Mary appeared in a low-budget, made-for-TV, MTV production movie, “Monster Island” alongside Carmen Electra and Nick Carter. She plays the role of Maddison, one of the unlucky students of a summer vacation who finds herself trapped in an island inhabited by giant monsters. The film was not received well by critics and fans alike, but it had at least improved Mary’s resume.

Mary further concentrated on roles in movies. When 2005 arrived, Mary started the rise to spotlight. She appeared in the horror sequel to the American remake of “The Ring”. She plays an almost non-existent role of 16-Year-Old Evelyn (having only appeard in the unrated edition and had an approximate screentime of seventeen seconds), in Hideo Nakata’s 2005 horror, “The Ring Two”. “I had to cry and be very emotional, but it had to be creepy at the same time,” Mary says about the role. The movie, again, received negative reviews, and Mary’s career goes on.

Instead, Winstead tried her hand in comedy and nabbed a role in the independent film, “Checking Out”. In the movie, she plays Lisa Apple, a member of a dysfunctional Jewish family. Although the film did not succeed financially, the film won several nominations and at least, Mary had found her silver screen debut.


Among heavyweights in Sky High.

Nevertheless, the star received her big break in the superhero comedy “Sky High”, which was released later the same year. She was given the role of Gwen Grayson, both a loved and hated high school persona. Gwen was a technopath and was able to control technology. Undoubtedly, Gwen Grayson was Mary’s most convoluted and complex role to date. She says, “She is the quintessential girl next door and evolves throughout the movie into something else. There are a lot of complexities in her character which made it so much fun”. Mary starred alongside distinguished stars, Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston. “I had a scene with both of them the first day that I was on the set and I was struck by how funny and down to earth they both were,” Mary recalls. “It was funny seeing Kurt in his super hero costume, then chatting normally, asking everybody if they want a tuna sandwich.” The film was a success, both critically and financially, and from the on, Mary’s career went uphill.

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Chapter 05: 2006
Cheating Death in FD3. 2006 marked Mary’s first leading role, her breakout and her busiest year to date. In late 2005, Mary had auditioned for the role of Wednesday Christensen in the third instalment of the “Final Destination” saga. Initially, Mary thought that she had failed to snagged the role, but received a wonderful surprise when she was finally casted as a lead. “I was in LA and this was something my agent sent me out on. I tried really hard to do my best and then just moved on. I really didn’t think about it at all. Then someone called and said I got the part and wanted to fly me to Canada right away. So it was all kind of whirlwind. It took a while to set in. I was in shock for the first two weeks, because it all happened so fast.”

She started working on “Final Destination 3”, a film about a high-schooler who experiences a vivid premonition of an ill-fated rollercoaster ride which causes the death of herself and her friends. In February 2006, the film premiered in theatres and became a huge box-office hit, although it did not strike well with critics. This turned out to be Mary’s big break out role, and she is associated most with this film. Nevertheless, Mary was complimented for her role in the film, and was praised by many acclaimed critics, including phenomenal director Quentin Tarantino.


During a photoshoot session.

After filming reshoots for her latest horror, Mary was approached by Glen Morgan for a leading role in his 2006 horror remake, “Black Christmas”. At first, Mary rejected the role, claiming she did not want to be type-casted as a “scream queen”, although she agreed to take on the supporting role of Heather Fitzgerald (because she was a fan of the original), a college-girl who finds herself, among others, stalked by a psychopathic maniac on Christmas Eve. Winstead says about the character, “[Heather] was something new for me, nothing I’ve ever played before, sort of a debutant socialite snob. I’ve always played like the Nice Girl or the Girl Everyone Likes so I thought it was different.” At the same time, Mary had snagged a guest starring role in an episode of “Commander In Chief”, but she had to let it go due to scheduling conflits with “Black Christmas”. The film didn’t go well with critics or audiences, but it did create a small online fanbase.


At “The Fountain” premiere.

Somewhere along her road to success, Mary met and fell for Texan Riley Stearns. They have been together for quite a while, and are evidently living together. Some time in 2006, Jay Leno, host of “The Tonight Show”, unknowingly came knocking upon Mary’s door. Winstead says of the encounter, “It was very random. I’d known that he does what he calls “Jaywalking” around my apartment complex every now and then. But I definitely didn’t expect him to knock on my door. So it was fun, but it caught me off-guard definitely”. Both her and Riley were asked to spoof “Saw” in a comedy segment. Later in that year, Miss Winstead was approached by Harvey Weinstein and offered the minor role of Ingrid Superstar (a real life persona in the Warhol factory) in the film “Factory Girl”. The film was excessively panned by critics. Nonetheless, Mary had unforgettably appeared in an approximated two minutes in the film.


As a waitress in the 1960s.

In the same year, Mary auditioned and was casted in Emilio Estevez’s historical drama “Bobby”, alongside heavyweight names such as Anthony Hopkins, Demi Moore, Lindsay Lohan and Shia LaBeouf. Apparently, Mandy Moore was casted earlier in the role, so she asked Estevez for any other roles in the film. “[I] told [Emilio] that whatever role came available or any way that I could be a part of it, I would take any part that I could have. And so eventually all the roles became filled, mostly by big names, and I didn’t get in there. And, at the very last second, I got lucky and I was able to swoop in there and take her place, and I was very happy I did it.”

In the film, she plays Ohioan waitress Susan Taylor. Mary’s performance was further praised by critcs and fans alike, thus creating a bigger online fanbase. Mary initially had a lot of scenes in the film, even appearing alongside Christian Slater, Sharon Stone and Emilio Estevez in some. However, the film was heavily edited, and most of her scenes did not make it into the final cut. Regardless, the cast was awarded for the “Best Cast in a Motion Picture” by the Screen Actors Guild. The fim also did well with DVD performances and Mary went on to 2007 with high hopes for her career’s future.

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Chapter 06: Talented, Gifted, Pragmatic
Mary sings in “Death Proof”. Similarly, Mary had quite a year in 2007, too, appearing in two very high-profile films. Yet again, Miss Winstead emerged in the silver screen in the second half of the horror double-feature, “Grindhouse”, captained by acclaimed directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. The two phenomenal helmers attempt to recreate the Grindhouse era back in those days, when theatres played back-to-back exploitational films. Mary plays a na”ve actress working beneath the Hollywood line, Lee Montgomery. She stars in Quentin’s half, and enjoyed filming every scene with fellow co-stars Rosario Dawson, Zo‘ Bell and Tracie Thoms. Her scenes included her singing “Baby, It’s You” in a very sweet and enthralling manner, which won her even more fans.

She had a lot of fun at the set of the film. She hints on the mirth and enjoyable experience in a number of interviews. She says of Quentin, “He is brilliant and so much fun to be around and such a sweetheart. I loved every minute of working with him”. In another interview, she states, “Most of my scenes are just filled with dialogue with Rosario Dawson and Tracie Thoms, just hanging out and being girls, just having fun. And then it gets sort of twisted at a certain point but it’s still in this campy, fun way. So, every day we just laughing after every take. We were just howling. So, it wasn’t as dark as the other horror films I’ve done”. Apparently, Mary enjoys the dialogue-heavy film. “It’s a horror movie, but luckily, it’s a lot more dialogue and character-driven. So it is kind of the best of both worlds”.


With Willis.

Mary’s performance was immensely praiced by critcs and her presentation had wowed many famous directors, and attracted the attention of helmer Len Wiseman, who later casted her in his highly anticipated film, “Live Free or Die Hard”, the third sequel to the action hit “Die Hard”. She snags the role of McClane’s daughter, Lucy McClane. She had won over many other actresses for the role. The film was critically succesful, and was named one of the summer’s biggest blockbusters. She had much to say about starring alongside Willis, “He was great, he was really sweet to me and really kind he gave me lots of good advice but of course I couldn’t shake the intimidation even though he was very sweet”. She was apparently so star-struck, that she did not say a word the entire time while filming.

Mary further quips, “I don’t think I realised how big a deal it was until after because I got thrown into it at the last second, they kind of weren’t sure if they were going to have a daughter in the film or not and right at the last minute they decided to go with the character, so they threw me in there and I was like ‘cool I love the Die Hard franchise, I’ll do it'”. She also states that filming “Live Free or Die Hard” was a very different experience. “It was different because they take so long to shoot and because I had a supporting role, I would come in for a day and do a scene and then I would be gone for a month and then I would come back for a day”.


Appearing in magazines.

Mary’s fanbase was getting bigger and bigger, and she soon began appearing in many famous magazines, namely Flaunt, GQ and FHM. And, although she has evolved into a hot shot actress, Mary is still keeping a level-head in life. She is praised and complimented over and over because of her down-to-earth profile, something so rare to find in young actresses nowadays. Despite her busy schedule, she is still finding time for higher education and taking college courses online.

Interviewer Christopher Stipp had this to say about Mary, “I had a roster of questions ready to go and she just shredded through them without even giving a moment’s hesitation. She sliced through the customary vagaries that many of her contemporaries toss out like speed bumps, usually asking me, “What was the question again?” Mary had an answer waiting for every one of my thoughts. [She] deserves credit for just getting right into things, I admit that I wasn’t asking anything too personal that would cause a natural wall to go up, but I think it was her exuberance that I hope shines through”.


Mary in a dancing sensation.

Almost immediately after appearing in “Grindhouse”, Mary had been set to star in a romance drama called, “Love At First Song”. However, soon after, the project was shelved, and officially cancelled. But don’t fret! Having been dreaming to become a ballerina, Mary had always been searching for an opportunity to show off her dancing talents in a film, and in 2008, she got her chance. Mary was casted in Darren Grant’s latest dance drama, a very “Save the Last Dance”-esque film entitled “Make It Happen”.

To prepare for her role, she did a lot of practice. “I had to do a month of training of about eight hours a day or more and it was pretty intense they wanted me to do everything so I was doing the tricks and all the crazy stuff that my body hadn’t done in years. It was rough after the first few days, I wasn’t sure if my body was going to make it through it was so beaten and busied and twisted I could barely walk. But I somehow pushed through and by the end things were coming a lot easier to me and I was ready to film it, amazingly enough”. She said this about director Darren Grant, “He was great he had a really great eye the film really looks great because he knows how to film those sequences, the dance sequences and the editing and to keep the viewers on their seat and their eyes pleased”. The film was released in the UK on the 8th of August, 2008. It did not go well with critics, but Mary’s performance was exceptionally raved.

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Chapter 07: More Projects
Ramona V. Flowers. Before “Make It Happen” was released, Mary’s career went quiet temporarily. After a few months of silence, however, Mary spoke up and addressed a letter to her fans stating that big things are on the way. Sure enough, soon after, Mary was announced to be playing the role of Ramona Victoria Flowers in Edgar Wright’s comic-to-film adaptation of the famous graphic novel series, “Scott Pilgrim”. The film is to be called “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World”, with Michael Cera playing the titular character, and Mary as his love interest.

During the weekends of the The Writers Guild of America Stirke, Mary and “Final Destination 3” co-star Ryan Merriman, films a short-movie written and helmed by Mary’s boyfriend, Riley Stearns. Mary plays the role of Elizabeth in “Stop/Eject”, a memory archivist who faces troubles when a significant video tape goes missing. The short film is set to be shown in festivals later this year. In July 2008, IMDb reveals that Mary is set to appear in a documentary called “Showing Up”. In a nutshell, the film is a whole bunch of interviews with dozens of rising stars talking about the audition processes of some of their films. The documentary has a tentative release date of 2010.

In mid-November 2008, Mary was seen in a recording studio with music producer Thai Long Ly, where she was reportedly recording a song for her first tentative studio album. Fans responded well with this announcement, especially after watching her sing in “Death Proof”. It seems Mary is going to be starting a singing career, which is to lead nowhere but success!

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