Why That Mare of Easttown Twist Was So Devastating
This article includes frank discussion of the latest episode of Mare of Easttown: “Illusions.” If you’re not caught up with episode five, now is the time to leave.
Please be very, very sure you’ve caught up with the latest installment of Kate Winslet’s journey though dreary Pennsylvania before you read this article.
Okay, here we go. That was tough to watch. Poor Detective Colin Zabel, a character we had grown so fond of, took an abrupt bullet to the head in the final confrontation of episode five, with two more episodes of the series to go. Feeling gutted by his death? That’s just what actor Evan Peters and series director Craig Zobel were going for.
Even up to his final day of shooting, Peters was finding new ways for Colin to worm his way into our hearts. In the latest episode of our podcast Still Watching: Mare of Easttown, Peters digs into his connection to Colin, and why a certain scene left him “hysterically sobbing” in his director’s arms.
You can listen to the entire Evan Peters interview here, and read highlights of our conversation below.
When series creator Brad Ingelsby first conceived of Colin Zabel, he thought of the character as a brash, hotshot detective-type who, despite the secret he’s holding about the case in Upper Darby, would walk into Mare’s office like he owned the joint. You can see traces of that take in costume designer Meghan Kasperlik’s wardrobe for the character. “He’s trying to dress to look good,” Zobel said. “Dark suits and stuff.” Zobel liked the contrast: “I thought it was a brilliant, you know, he was dressed like the guy who could do the hotshot detective, but he just wasn’t.”
Peters even took pool lessons, to give that version of the character something to show off. In the end, perhaps it was a relief Zabel got an overhaul: “Pool! I never used it, never got good at it!”
What Peters, Zobel, and Ingelsby landed on, instead, was a new vision for Zabel: an earnest young man caught in a state of arrested development and suffering from a crippling case of imposter syndrome. Zabel taking credit for a case he didn’t actually solve, Peters said, “was just the worst possible thing that he could do. Now he feels like a total imposter. You could play it where he’s overly confident trying to make up for that. Or you could play it like he’s totally insecure and has severe imposter syndrome, and has no idea what he’s doing. I can relate more to that than the other one.”
Peters’s own imposter syndrome reared its head when he and Zobel were trying to make sure they landed Zabel’s drunken moment of extreme vulnerability with Mare in episode three. That scene won Peters raves, but on the day he shot it, he was convinced he had bungled the performance. “The reason Craig and I were emotional and hugging,” Peters explained, “was because I was hysterically sobbing. I thought we didn’t get the scene. I was like, ‘We didn’t get, we didn’t get it. I can’t do this. I’m terrible. I’m going to shadow you, Craig, and be a director, because I can’t do it anymore.’ And he was like, ‘It’s okay. It’s cool, man. I think we got it.’… What’s going on with my internal judgment? Where I don’t even know if it’s good.”
Published at Mon, 17 May 2021 03:00:00 +0000