Evan Rachel Wood, who played Veda in the richly filmed HBO miniseries “Mildred Pierce,” graced her performance with a stunning nude scene. But it took some coaching from castmate Kate Winslet.
“She was very nervous actually,” Winslet told the LA Times. “I remember doing my first full-on nude scene when I was 19, and I was absolutely terrified, so I knew how she felt.”
Winslet won a best actress Oscar for “The Reader,” a movie in which she had multiple nude scenes.
Among other things Wood sparked a wave of publicity about movie merkins. That’s a small wig used to simulate female pubic hair.
Wood wore one because ladies of the day, the film is set in the 1930s, had never heard of bikini waxes.
Anway, back to the movie. It’s about a long-suffering mother and her ungrateful daughter, and was first filmed in 1945. Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott and Eve Arden starred.
Crawford won the Oscar for Best Actress for the film noir.
The HBO mini series, based on James M. Cain’s 1941 novel, is the second adaptation.
Wood’s nude scene is crucial to the five-part series. Veda takes up with the scheming Monte Beragon (Guy Pearce), a cad whom her mother married to improve her social standing, something Veda had always scorned.
Winslet encouraged Wood, who stars in HBO’s “True Blood,” to think of getting naked as an acting challenge.
The idea is to see if she could get the viewer to focus on what was happening with her character internally, rather than externally, according to The Times.
“By shying away from the scene, she was depriving herself of this great opportunity to be empowered by that moment,” Winslet said.
“So I said to Evan, ‘You know what, here’s the thing. People are going to be talking about this scene for years, and you’re gonna’ be in it. And you’re gonna’ look back in years to come and feel so happy that you did it.”