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15 years later, Winstead recalls filming ‘Scott Pilgrim’: ‘Toronto was our playground’

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Just like the evil ex-movies who can’t get over her “Scott Pilgrim” alter ego, Ramona Flowers, Mary Elizabeth Winstead can’t get over Toronto.

It’s been 15 years since the North Carolina-born actress filmed the cult classic “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” in the city, and she still holds it close to her heart.

“Hanging out with this whole cast and having this group in Toronto for all those months that we were here filming, it was just awesome,” Winstead said during a recent stop in the city to promote her Paramount Plus series. A Gentleman in Moscow. »

“Being here and looking out the window while we’re driving, I’m like, ‘Oh my God.’ Being on Bloor (street) and being in all these places, like the Paradise Theater, all these little memories come back from just spending time here. We were all very young and free, and Toronto was our little playground for a while.

Winstead was at Paradise earlier this week for a screening of her new series, wearing a head-to-toe hot pink outfit and mingling with the locals afterwards. The actor says two of her closest friends, whom she met while filming “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” live in the city.

“I definitely have a strong Canadian leaning in my life.”

Filmed in 2009 and released a year later, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” follows a Toronto-based slacker played by Michael Cera as he attempts to woo the town’s enigmatic new girl, Winstead’s Ramona Flowers. To win her heart, Scott must defeat his seven evil exes in a series of epic duels exploding with video game-style effects.

Directed by Edgar Wright and based on the comic book series by Toronto author Bryan Lee O’Malley, the film starred early-career actors who would go on to play big roles, including Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Aubrey Plaza , Jason Schwartzman and Kieran Culkin. It underperformed at the box office but developed a cult following following its release.

The franchise was revived last year with “Scott Pilgrim Takes Off,” a Netflix animated series voiced by the film’s cast that radically reimagines the original story.

Even Winstead’s husband, Ewan McGregor, is a fan.

“I knew “Scott Pilgrim” once I met Mary. I watched it and I really loved it, and I loved her in it,” McGregor said in another video call to promote his starring role in “A Gentleman in Moscow.”

“The new animation is so cool and Ramona Flowers is the lead, so she has another life now, which is also very cool. But she was amazing in this movie.

Winstead says the animated series helped her realize that she still carries some flowers with her to this day.

“It was great to go back and find her and find out she’s still there somewhere,” she says.

“I think you grow a little bit through each character you play.”

Winstead says McGregor occasionally dons “Scott Pilgrim”-inspired clothing for fun.

“He has a shirt with a picture of me from the movie, and I think it says, ‘I’m a lesbian with her.’ It’s very, very cute. He likes to surprise me with that sometimes.

In the 2010 film, Pilgrim is advised to say the “L-word” for Flowers, but he mistakenly thinks they are “lesbians”. Later in the film, he tells her, “I’m a lesbian with you.” »

At the time, the film was a rare American production to shoot in Toronto and not disguise it as another city. As in O’Malley’s books, the characters wore CBC shirts, worked at Second Cup, ate at Pizza Pizza, and attended shows at the iconic Lee’s Palace concert hall.

Winstead spent a lot of time in Toronto – after “Scott Pilgrim vs. Scott” ended. The World,” she stayed in the city to film the 2011 horror film “The Thing.”

“I just remembered my favorite places when I was staying here, which was Fresh for salad and juice, and I would go to this little bistro called Jules Bistro, which was around the corner from my apartment,” she says.

She adds that shopping for vintage clothing was her “main weekend hobby” and that she wishes she could spend more time here.

“For a little while, Toronto was my place. Unfortunately, I just haven’t found another project here since. But I hope so. That would be great.”


This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2024.

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