“My hope is it satisfies,” says director Craig Zobel (The Leftovers, Westworld), whose vision helped create the dark atmosphere that shrouds the close-knit Pennsylvania town where Mare Sheehan (Winslet) is a detective.
Mare, a former high school basketball superstar who the town still recognizes, is an “interesting woman that I haven’t seen on television before, at least not recently,” Zobel says.
Indeed, whether it’s her tense home life, where tragedy lingers, or the fame that gets in the way of solving crimes, she’s anything but conventional. At work, she’s torn between a murder and a long-unsolved disappearance case. At home, she has to deal with her mother Helen (Watchmen‘s Jean Smart), daughter Siobhan (Angourie Rice), and grandson Drew (Izzy King). Her ex-husband Frank (David Denman) isn’t far from the mix either, and whether that’s something Mare wants or not remains to be seen.
“She’s a police detective who’s capable and very self-assured, but also a 45-year-old woman who doesn’t have time for anyone’s nonsense anymore,” Zobel explains. And she’s also someone who still has “to go home and make dinner for her family.”
She’s also under a lot of pressure. Hard-pressed to solve the crimes on her plate, it doesn’t help that Mare’s been a public fixture since she was a teen. “It was fun to think about a person that was a hero in high school,” Zobel explains. “She had a really big moment being an athlete, it was interesting to get to see what it would be like 25 years after that.”
Mare of Easttown, Series Premiere, Sunday, April 18, 10/9c, HBO