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For a guy with a hook nose and body weight that can’t be more than a hundred pounds soaking wet, Michael Cera certainly has a way with the ladies. In “Youth in Revolt,” he romanced Rooney Mara, and he won over Martha MacIsaac in the 2007 hit “Superbad.” Enter Mary Elizabeth Winstead, the latest of Cera’s conquests, appearing in the much-hyped “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” in theaters August 13. Winstead plays Ramona, a self-reliant cynic with Manic-Panic pink hair whose seven evil ex-boyfriends unite to challenge her current beau, Scott Pilgrim (Cera), to a battle of superhero proportions. (Think light sabers, slo-mo backflips and “Batman and Robin”-esque “kapows!”) “Most guys wouldn’t stick around, but Scott does, and that’s really sweet,” says Winstead.
Surprisingly, the fanciful premise, based on an adult comic-book series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, wasn’t so far-fetched for the actress. “I can relate to that feeling of people making a big fuss over you for what seems like no reason at all,” Winstead says. “But I mean, I certainly haven’t had seven ex-boyfriends come after my boyfriend or anything like that.”
Here, WWD provides the vital stats on the girl over whom everyone’s fighting.
PROVENANCE: Born in Rocky Mount, N.C., and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. (No, she’s not Mormon, her family moved for her father’s job.)
CURRENT HOME: Los Angeles
PAST CREDITS: Winstead, who says she’s been “singing and dancing since I was a toddler,” broke into the biz in junior high by landing bit parts on local productions of TV shows like “Touched by an Angel” and “Everwood.” Since then, Winstead worked her way up to leading-lady status via a solid list of B-films, including a long string of campy horror flicks such as “Black Christmas,” “Final Destination 3” and “The Ring Two.” “I’m a bit of a veteran screamer at this point,” she says.
ON “PILGRIM”: With her doe eyes and delicate bone structure, Winstead says her “anime” appearance helped her land the role in “Pilgrim.” “Even though we’re bringing this cartoon to life, [director Edgar Wright] thought it would be kind of fun getting people who have somewhat cartoonish faces involved to kind of look like the characters as they’re drawn. I never really realized I look like a cartoon character, but I suppose I do,” says the actress. “I take it as an absolute compliment.”
UP NEXT: Winstead will return to the occult in next year’s “The Thing,” a prequel to the cult Eighties flick of the same name starring Kurt Russell about an extraterrestrial parasite that comes to terrorize the people of earth. In the mostly unknown cast, Winstead plays the female lead determined to save mankind. “My part is very Sigourney Weaver in ‘Alien,’” she says.