PartyLines- photographs by Patrick McMullan

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New York Premiere of ‘Mildred Pierce’

Ziegfeld Theatre and Plaza Hotel. March 21, 2011. By Bennett Marcus

Your character smokes in the movie. Did you inhale? “Oh yeah, those were unfiltered cigarettes that we had to smoke. It gives me a good excuse.” —EVAN RACHEL WOOD


Where are you keeping your Oscar? “Right now he’s in Manhattan with my longtime accountant. I’m still traveling a lot; I didn’t think it was safe for him down in New Orleans just because of the dampness in the air.” —MELISSA LEO


Did you have to learn how to chop chickens for this part? “Actually, I was taught by Tom Colicchio. I just happen to know him through a friend, and he very kindly offered to help. It was fantastic.” —KATE WINSLET


We hear you taught Kate how to chop a chicken. “She called me up and said, ‘I need help.’ And so her and Todd [Haynes] came to the house, and we cut up chickens for the afternoon.” —TOM COLICCHIO


Your character has a gut in the movie. Was it a pillow or something? “No. I put on a lot of weight and then—more importantly—took it off.” —JAMES LEGROS


When you got this role did you know that Evan Rachel Wood would play the older version of your character? “I did. I was excited because I am a big Beatles fan, and I saw her in Across the Universe, and was, like, [gasp].” —MORGAN TURNER

Did you train to be a waitress for your role? “We had a technical advisor; she was one tough cookie. She taught us how to hold six plates at once.” —MARE WINNINGHAM

What were the sex scenes with Kate Winslet like? “Amazing. Fabulous.” —GUY PEARCE

You got to drive vintage cars in this movie. Was that incredible? “Most of the time it was wonderful, but we had a couple of major disasters where the car just wouldn’t start—really emotional scenes where the car was supposed to speed up, and you get to the end of a take and the thing doesn’t move.” —BRIAN O’BYRNE

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