Director Craig Zobel loves thrillers, detective stories, and murder mysteries. By the end of episode five, you’ll encounter a scene so eerily reminiscent of the great 1991 Oscar-winner The Silence of the Lambs that you know you’re in great hands. Mare of Easttown emerges as that perfect marriage of director to material.
Starring Kate Winslet and written by Brad Ingelsby, Mare of Easttown also boasts Zobel’s skills at blending an intimate character study with the aspects of a compelling whodunnit. Winslet’s Mare investigates the mysterious murder of a young mother while navigating the minefield of small town relationships. She’s also fighting to keep her life from falling completely apart. Zobel, himself, considers Mare unlike any other character we’ve seen on television. I completely agree.
But Mare Sheehan isn’t just a detective investigating a murder. She’s a mother and a grandmother dealing with loss and trauma. It’s the human drama at the center of the story that engages Zobel as much as the thriller aspects of the series.
“I feel that what’s special about Mare of Easttown is that it’s also a drama. You can see it as a family drama,” Zobel explained, “and to see it as a more nuanced character study than you would normally have or wouldn’t always see in those sorts of stories.”
Here, Zobel talks to Awards Daily about finding those characters and ensuring they lived in an accurately represented Pennsylvania small town. He also talks about working with the great Kate Winslet, and what she brought to the project. And he reveals Mare of Easttown‘s visual connection to The Silence of the Lambs and what that adds to the thriller.
So, sit back, relax, and enjoy my conversation with Craig Zobel, the director of HBO’s Mare of Easttown which premieres Sunday night, April 18, on HBO.