Stories featuring assassins being thrust into unexpected situations is a tried-and-true formula for action films, but realistically conveying such narratives is often easier said than done, requiring both filmmakers and performers to embrace entirely new skills to deliver authentic experiences. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is no stranger to action films, having starred as Huntress in last year's Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), yet going from one member of a supporting ensemble to taking center stage as an infinitely deadly figure brought with it some unexpected challenges. Kate starts streaming on Netflix on Friday, September 10th.
"I think it was just such a leap forward for me in terms of progression of skill level of what was required of me to do this role," Winstead shared with ComicBook.com of how this project compared to previous efforts. "And, thankfully I have been slowly building that up, so I didn't have to train as much as you would think, because I had been training for a few years, bit by bit, for different roles. And, also, with the same choreographer on the film that I had done before. I was able to jump straight into learning the choreography, figuring out who Kate is without so much basic training leading up to it beforehand, which was a lot of fun for me just to get right into figuring her out."
She added, "But I've never done anything so raw. The intensity of it was new for me, but it was also the way I prefer to do it. It wasn't slick. It didn't need to be perfect because she's dying, she has nothing to lose. So I got to just go in there and it was like, 'Whatever happens, happens,' which was a great feeling."
In the film, meticulous and preternaturally skilled, Kate is the perfect specimen of a finely tuned assassin at the height of her game. But when she uncharacteristically blows an assignment targeting a member of the yakuza in Tokyo, she quickly discovers she's been poisoned, a brutally slow execution that gives her less than 24 hours to exact revenge on her killers. As her body swiftly deteriorates, Kate forms an unlikely bond with the teenage daughter of one of her past victims.
The film also stars Miku Martineau, who spends a lot of time with Winstead's Kate but doesn't have to get as involved in the more intense sequences. Witnessing the experience from the stunt sidelines, Martineau had mixed reactions as to whether she wished for more action for her character or relief that she didn't need to spend as much time training.
"A little bit of both. It made me ... I was just blown away about how Mary absolutely killed each scene in the heat of Thailand," the actor shared of feeling both relief and envy. "It was so hot and we were filming at night, so it must have been so exhausting. And I was like, 'Wow, she's like a badass in real life, too.' But it definitely made me want to do some action in the future. I would love to do it."
As far as whether Winstead might reprise her Huntress role in the future, she's not ruling things out, but isn't entirely counting on it.
"I'm down for anything, really. I think Huntress is such a fun character," Winstead admitted. "I don't know if there's any plans in the future to continue that version of Huntress, because there's a few different versions out there and, in the comic books, there's different versions. So I don't know if that's in store, but I'm happy I got a chance to do at least one iteration of her. And if that iteration continues, then I'd love to be a part of it, but we'll see what happens."0comments
Kate starts streaming on Netflix on Friday, September 10th.
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