Sky High Girl
“You have to believe that it is what you want to do with your life and you have to be dedicated to it.” Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
First noticed while playing Michael Angarano's crush, the seductive Gwen Grayson in the Disney superhero comedy Sky High (2005), Mary Elizabeth Winstead subsequently had distinguished roles in the recent films, Final Destination 3 and Emilio Estevez's star-studded Bobby. The 5' 8" tall, brown-haired and golden brown-eyed up-and-comer will star in a remake of the 1974 horror, Black Christmas, and Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's sleaze-filled saga, Grindhouse. She will also portray Bruce Willis’ daughter, Lucy McClane, in Live Free or Die Hard, the fourth installment of the popular Die Hard series starring the veteran actor.
Childhood and Family:
“Definitely the first choice that comes to mind is my mother, just for being there for me my whole life and also for being there for my four older brother and sisters, and pushing us along and making us the best that we can possibly be as people and in our careers as well. I think I just owe everything to her. It's pretty amazing, when I look back and see all that she's done.” Mary Elizabeth Winstead (on her real life hero).
Born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on November 28, 1984, Mary Elizabeth Winstead later grew up in Salt Lake City and North Carolina. The youngest of five children, Mary has three older sisters and an older brother. She is a distant cousin of one of the great Hollywood film stars, Ava Gardner (December 24, 1922 – January 25, 1990). Mary once said: "I really didn't find out until I was older. And then my family were like, 'Oh, by the way, she's your cousin.'"
As a girl, Mary dreamed of becoming a ballerina and was trained for a while at the Geoffrey Ballet School in New York. She began taking acting classes shortly after. So far, she has been taking online college courses for two years and her majors are Psychology and Art History.
“For me I think, making standards for myself as a person and sticking to it. I think when I came out here I made a lot of just certain things that I was never ever going to do in my career and in my life, just because I thought it would help me stay true to who I am. And I think that has really helped me, and just not changing at all in my personality or in my actions towards others." Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Originally dreaming of becoming a ballerina, Mary Elizabeth Winstead became interested in acting after playing Juliet in a fourth-grade production of “Romeo and Juliet.” She then persuaded her mother to get her an agent and by her teen years, she could be seen on TV shows like CBS drama “Touched by an Angel” and its spin-off, “Promised Land” (both in 1997).
Mary then relocated to Los Angeles to further her acting career and was home schooled through most of high school. During this time, she was credited in the indie film The Long Road Home (1999) and onstage in the Broadway production of the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” starring Donny Osmond.
From 1999 to 2000, she played Jessica Bennett on NBC soap opera "Passions" and received nominations at the Young Artist Awards and YoungStar Awards for Best Young Actress/Performance in a Daytime TV Series. She then became a regular as Sophia Donner in the short-lived werewolves series "Wolf Lake" (2001-2002). She also had roles in the TV movies Then Came Jones (2003; with Melissa Gilbert and Sean Patrick Flanery) and Monster Island (2004; alongside Carmen Electra), and had a guest role in a January 2004 episode of Fox’s drama starring Eliza Dushku, “Tru Calling.”
2005 saw Mary played the young Evelyn in a sequel to 2002's horror The Ring, The Ring Two (starring Naomi Watts), a remake of the 1998 Japanese film Ringu helmed by its original director Hideo Nakata, and was cast as Lisa Apple in Jeff Hare's adaptation of Allen Swift's play, the comedy Checking Out (starring Peter Falk and Laura San Giacomo). She also picked up her most prominent role to date, as Michael Angarano's crush, the seductive Gwen Grayson, in the Disney superhero comedy Sky High (also starring Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston).
After Sky High, Mary went to star in a 2006 horror film helmed by James Wong, Final Destination 3. In the third installment of the Final Destination series, she played the lead role of Wendy Christensen, a clairvoyant high school senior who has a gruesome vision of a derailing on a roller coaster and manages to escape from the ride just before her vision comes true. She also joined such stars as Anthony Hopkins, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Lindsay Lohan and Elijah Wood in writer-director Emilio Estevez's re-telling of the assassination of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in 1968. The film received a seven-minute standing ovation during its premiere at the Venice Film Festival and will have its wide release on November 23.
"It was pretty intimidating, especially in the beginning. It was kind of scary." Mary Elizabeth Winstead (on working with Anthony Hopkins in Bobby (2006)).
On Christmas this year (2006), filmgoers will watch Mary costarring with Katie Cassidy and Michelle Trachtenberg in Glen Morgan's remake of the 1974 horror, Black Christmas, playing Heather Lee, one of the sorority sisters. She is currently filming Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's sleaze-filled saga, Grindhouse. It will contain two segments, Planet Terror, a zombie film by Robert Rodriguez, and Death Proof, a slasher film by Quentin Tarantino. She will also portray Bruce Willis’ daughter, Lucy McClane, in Len Wiseman-directed Live Free or Die Hard, the fourth installment of the popular Die Hard series starring the veteran actor.