Details: You flaunt some butt-kicking moves in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World—did you have any martial-arts training before the film?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: No, I started training on my own several months before we started shooting because I was bored and had nothing else to do. And then for about two months before we started shooting, we had actual mandatory eight-hour-day training sessions. So it was intense.
Details: Can you take someone down?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: We weren't learning how to really kick someone's ass, but how to make it look good on film. I'm not sure if I could actually hold my own in a dark alley.
Details: In Scott Pilgrim, your character, Ramona, appears to Scott [played by Michael Cera] in a dream. Then when he sees her in the flesh for the first time, he leads with "Am I dreaming?!" It's not a very smooth pick-up line.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: It definitely doesn't work on Ramona. But it's cute nonetheless.
Details: Have you heard your share of bad lines?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I don't know. If I ever get hit on, I'm not aware of it.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I mean, occasionally somebody who seems like they hit on everything that walks might come up to me and tell me I'm beautiful, but that's the extent of it.
Details: You previewed Scott Pilgrim at Comic-Con. Did you get that kind of attention there?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: There was a lot of love at Comic-Con. There was a really sweet guy who stood near me with a sign that said something like I'M NEVER ONE TO ASK FOR FREE HUGS, BUT I WOULD LOVE ONE FROM MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD. So I gave him a hug.
Details: That's gold-star-worthy. I heard there were a good number of women there dressed like Ramona, too. Do people ever confuse you with your characters?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I think since I'm not particularly well-known as myself, it's funny all the different perceptions people have of me. Like, if someone's only seen me in Death Proof, they think I'm sort of a ditzy girl who says stupid things and wears revealing outfits all the time. Or if someone has seen some of my other parts, they might think that I'm a tomboy or that I'm feisty and tough. I'm kind of all of those things and none of those things at the same time.
Details: We all Google ourselves, right? Have you read anything terrible about yourself online?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I said in an interview that I could relate to Ramona because I've had one or two guys that I maybe walked away from in a way that wasn't so nice. So now there are all these headlines that say, MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD IS HEARTLESS!
Details: Has anything blatantly untrue been written about you?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: So far, I don't think I'm worthy of somebody taking the time to make up too much about me.
Details: Well, there are quite a few fan sites devoted to you.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Yeah, it's pretty cool. I have some awesome fans.
Details: Have you had your own Hollywood crushes?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I think when I was 12, when, like, Titanic and Romeo + Juliet came out, my friends and I made our own Leonardo DiCaprio fan club. I definitely had a thing for him.
Details: So where will we see you next?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I'm in a prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing, and I'm really excited about it. I play a paleontologist. She's very focused, intellectual, and strong. The director kind of has a thing for Ripley in Aliens.
Details: Not bad company to be in. You were in Final Destination 3 and The Ring Two. You could be the next legendary scream queen, like Sigourney Weaver or Jamie Lee Curtis.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: What's fun for me is they've all been different characters even though they're similar genres. I feel this one is definitely more in the action-heroine realm than in the scream-queen realm. But I'll take either.
Details: And it probably wouldn't be so bad to have a legacy like Jamie Lee Curtis'.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: It wouldn't be bad at all.
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