The Oscar winner says she was determined to make the detective look as real and hardened as possible.

The woman behind HBO's limited series Mare of Easttown was willing to bare it all for the critically lauded murder-mystery show.

In a New York Times interview published hours after Sunday's shocking series finale, Kate Winslet revealed that director Craig Zobel had initially assured her he'd remove "a bulgy bit of belly" that appeared in a sex scene her character — the titular, small-town Pennsylvania detective investigating a 17-year-old girl's brutal murder — shares with a local author played by Guy Pearce, but she refused to let it happen.

Mare of Easttown
Kate Winslet in HBO's 'Mare of Easttown'
| Credit: Michele K. Short/HBO

"'Don't you dare!'" Winslet told the filmmaker, recalling that she also sent the show's promotional poster back to the show's team twice because she felt her face was too retouched.

"They were like 'Kate, really, you can't,' and I'm like 'Guys, I know how many lines I have by the side of my eye, please put them all back,'" she said.

She also worked with the costume department to find unflattering clothes for Mare, and trusted the crew to "light [my face] to make it look not nice," all to achieve the look of a hardened, no-nonsense, middle-aged woman grappling with past trauma and present danger.

"Listen, I hope that in playing Mare as a middle-aged woman — I will be 46 in October — I guess that's why people have connected with this character in the way that they have done because there are clearly no filters," she explained. "She's a fully functioning, flawed woman with a body and a face that moves in a way that is synonymous with her age and her life and where she comes from. I think we're starved of that a bit."

Mare of Easttown is now streaming on HBO Max, which crashed after heavy user activity during the finale's premiere.

Hear the five shows we're excited for this summer in EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall.

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