Mary Elizabeth Winstead is one of a select few actors and actresses that can be picked out of any film, good or bad, and praised for giving it their all. Just look at any of her projects and say she tried to phone a performance in. It can’t be done! So what’s the actress up to now?
Winstead, born in 1984 and the youngest of five children, originally set out to be a dancer at a young age but had those hopes taken as she grew, becoming too tall for the average ballet dancer. Instead, she set her sights on acting, making her debut as a teenager in 1997, starring in small guest parts for primetime TV on shows like Touched By An Angel. The 90s were weird.
A Super Start
She would bounce around from there, taking a small role in one season of the soap opera Passions before getting a main role in Wolf Creek in 2001. The show was then canceled after ten episodes. It got more than most shows at least.
Winstead in the meantime focused on finishing high school, even turning down a role for a post-graduation vacation with friends. She would come back to her big break in 2005 for the original My Hero Academia movie, Sky High.
Sky High in turn would launch her career, well, sky high. The film was a massive success and Mary Elizabeth Winstead playing a love interest turned villain was just the icing on top of a fantastic cast and story. Special shoutout to Ron Wilson: Bus Driver.
Final Destination to Final Girl
This was the pivotal point, where Mary Elizabeth Winstead switched from recurring guest roles to ascend her throne of Scream Queen like so many before and after her. The release of Final Destination 3 in 2005 was her proverbial rollercoaster into horror stardom. The actress both cemented her status as final girl and gave one of the best Final Destination films all in one. Plus one of the coolest DVD extras ever made.
She would star in the remake of the cult classic Black Christmas the following year before subsequently appearing in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof in 2007, firmly dyeing her in the blood of Scream Queen royalty.
While there is a significant amount of horror film in her portfolio, she’s proven to be able to branch out into drama and comedy acting as well, appearing as dream girl Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Winstead was praised for her performance in the role, emphasizing her characters often deadpan comedy and apathy towards situations.
Scott Pilgrim would elevate her star even further, with roles in the 2011 reboot/prequel The Thing (it’s a good movie, dammit!) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in 2012 being most notable in the mainstream. Though she did also have some great indie performances in films like A.C.O.D alongside heartthrob Adam Scott and Smashed with Aaron Paul.
In 2010 Winstead wed longtime boyfriend director Riley Stearns, with the couple having been together for almost six years at that point. She would end up starring in a couple of Stearns films throughout the years, with acclaim for her performances.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead gave one of her greatest performances though in 2015, with the surprise sleeper sequel 10 Cloverfield Lane. She would play a car crash victim who was running from her ex when the supposed end of the world happens. While locked in a bunker by the man who saved her from the crash, she begins to doubt if there’s any apocalypse to begin with.
Winstead absolutely slayed the role, bringing the paranoia and determination of her character to life while ending up a badass final girl on the level of Ellen Ripley from Alien or Laurie Strode from Halloween.
Personal and Lately
She would keep the momentum going despite some personal bumps, divorcing Stearn in 2017 while also meeting future husband Ewan McGregor on the set of Fargo. The two would go on to welcome their first child together in 2021 before officially tying the knot in 2022.
While her output in film and television slowed ever so slightly in the past few years (didn’t the whole world though?) she’s still delivering heavy hits and standout performances in everything. From being the best part of Gemini Man to just one of the fantastic actresses in Birds of Prey, she gave massively dedicated performances no matter what, with her Huntress being a standout as she got to play a badass.
What is Mary Elizabeth Winstead Doing Now?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead isn’t going anywhere either, with a massive role in the upcoming Ahsoka series playing Hera, legendary pilot of the Rebel ship Ghost. The series promises to finally give closure to the story begun in Star Wars: Rebels, solving the mystery of Ezra Bridger and Admiral Thrawn’s whereabouts.
Moreover, Winstead’s role in the film “Birds of Prey” was highly appreciated, and she was part of the cast reunion for a virtual table read of “Scott Pilgrim vs the World.” Edgar Wright, the director of “Scott Pilgrim,” has announced a new anime adaptation of the film, which could potentially involve Winstead.
Winstead has no signs of slowing down in her personal or professional life, with her marriage to Ewan McGregor going well, the fun of motherhood, and continuing roles in some of the biggest franchises on earth. She’s won the proverbial game of life.