There are certain regional American dialects that some actors have no business even trying. Boston, Maryland, and Philadelphia accents have all been attempted and in most cases, have been cringe-worthy.
But Kate Winslet, star of HBO’s new crime seriesMare of Easttown(the first episode just hit streaming on Binge) has nailed the nuances of the Eastern Pennsylvania accent, and we praise her for her efforts.
She isn’t an Oscar-winner for nothin’!
Winslet stars as Mare Sheehan, a cop in a small town that she wishes she has escaped but unfortunately never did.
Instead, she’s a local celebrity, thanks to a glorious high school basketball career, and her job as the local police detective. Everyone seems to know her, and she knows everyone, for better or worse.
When two teenage girls go missing and one is found dead, her turbulent life is thrown into further chaos.
She’s already dealing with an ex-husband (David Denman) she’s trying not to feel bitter toward, she’s cautiously getting involved with a new man in town (Guy Pearce) and she’s got a young, new detective (Evan Peters) helping her with her case.
Like most of us a year into the pandemic, she’s exhausted and bitter and just trying to pull through, but unlike many of us, she has a duty to solve a murder and a town looking to her for answers.
Take a look at who else joins Winslet as a part of the terrific ensemble cast of Mare of Easttown.
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Kate Winslet as Mare Sheehan
As a police detective in the Pennsylvania town of Easttown, Mare Sheehan shoulders a lot. Tasked with reviving a year-old missing person case (the missing person happens to be the daughter of an old friend), she also must investigate the death of another young woman in town, while grappling with her own family drama and relationships.
Kate Winslet puts on a stellar eastern PA accent to play Mare, no surprise that she pulls it off, as she’s been nominated for seven Oscars (she won in 2009 for The Reader). Her other nominated roles are for her work in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Steve Jobs, Little Children, Iris, Titanic, and Sense and Sensibility.
Guy Pearce as Richard Ryan
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Richard Ryan is an outsider. He’s just moved to Easttown from Syracuse, and his lack of connection to the grim, dreary town is what makes him attractive to Mare. He’s an author and a professor and seems to be everything that men from Easttown are not.
Guy Pearce was born in England to and English mother and a New Zealand father, and as a child his family relocated to Australia. He is known for his roles in films like Memento, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, L.A. Confidential, and The King’s Speech.
Jean Smart as Helen
Mare’s mother Helen lives with her in part to help with childcare, now that Mare’s four-year-old grandson Drew lives with her.
Jean Smart became a household fixture (in my house anyway) when she portrayed Charlene Stillfield on Designing Women from 1986-1991. She later appeared on shows such as Frasier and 24, Fargo and Legion. On the big screen, she has starred in Sweet Home Alabama, Garden State, and I Heart Huckabees.
Julianne Nicholson as Lori Ross
Lori Ross is Mare’s closest friend and one of her former “Lady Hawk” basketball teammates. She’s Mare’s confidante and ally, but she is also responsible for wrangling Mare’s brash personality when she has to.
One of Julianne Nicholson’s earliest roles was on Ally McBeal playing Jenny Shaw in 2001. After that, she was cast as Megan Wheeler on Law and Order: Criminal Intent, a role she held for three seasons. She has also starred in Boardwalk Empire, Masters of Sex, and in the films Black Mass and August: Osage County.
John Douglas Thompson as Chief Carter
Chief Carter is Mare’s boss. When she declares the ongoing missing person search for Katie Bailey a dead end, he persuades her to revive it.
The New York Times called John Douglas Thompson “one of the most compelling classical stage actors of his generation.” Thompson was born in England, raised in Quebec, and got his start as a stage actor at Trinity Rep in Providence, RI. He has spent 15 years on and off Broadway in shows like Julius Caesar, The Iceman Cometh and Satchmo at the Waldorf. On screen, you’ve seen him in The Bourne Legacy, Michael Clayton, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Evan Peters as Det. Colin Zabel
After the death of another young woman in Easttown, Detective Zabel is brought in to help Mare with the investigation. Evan Peters, who is never not working and just wrapped up his surprise cameo on WandaVision as Pietro-but-actually-Ralph, plays Zabel. Peters has starred in several seasons of FX’s American Horror Story as well as playing the actual Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver role in the X-Men films. Peters will star as Jeffrey Dahmer in the upcoming Netflix miniseries Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, helmed by Ryan Murphy.
Angourie Rice as Siobhan Sheehan
Siobhan is Mare’s teenage daughter. Though she and her mother have a tense relationship, Mare wants the best for her daughter, which means a good education so she can get the hell out of Easttown.
Australian actress Angourie Rice plays Betty Brant in Marvel’s Spider-Man films, and has also appeared in Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, Black Mirror, and The Nice Guys with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling.
Cailee Spaeny as Erin McMenamin
Erin is a single, teenage mother. She is also at the heart of Mare’s latest investigation when her dead body is found in a wooded ravine.
Cailee Spaeny has previously appeared in Hulu’s Devs, in Pacific Rim: Uprising, and on HBO’s On The Basis of Sex. She has also been cast in the Disney+ series Willow.
Neal Huff as Father Dan Hastings
Neal Huff, who plays Mare’s cousin Father Dan Hastings, is your classic New York actor. A Broadway veteran, he has appeared onstage in The Iceman Cometh, To Kill A Mockingbird, and Take Me Out. As is every East Coast actor’s rite of passage, he has also appeared on Law & Order, The Wire, Blue Bloods, and Girls.
David Denman as Frank
David Denman, who plays Mare’s ex-husband Frank, is Roy from the US version of The Office! You might not recognise him with less head hair and more beard hair, but he’s totally Roy. Denman, who will always be Roy to me, has actually also been in other things. Things like Angel, Parenthood, Drop Dead Diva, and Mad Men! Roy! Has been in all those things! Roy – I mean David – is a graduate of Juilliard.
This story originally appeared on Decider and has been reproduced here with permission