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Meet the Chester County detective who taught Kate Winslet to be 'Mare of Easttown'

Ellen Gray, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Entertainment News

PHILADELPHIA — Christine Bleiler's name flashes by so fast in the credits of HBO's "Mare of Easttown," you'd need a quick finger on the pause button to catch it. But thanks to Kate Winslet, the Oscar winner who plays small-town police detective Mare Sheehan, Bleiler's name is getting out there.

Winslet's been talking up the Chester County detective to reporters for months, calling Bleiler her "go-to person" to help her nail police jargon and procedure for the seven-episode murder mystery, which was largely filmed in Delaware and Chester counties.

Bleiler is credited as one of the show's police technical advisers, along with Marple Township Police Sgt. Pete Baylor and Easttown Police Chief David Obzud. She drew on more than five years as a Chester County detective as well as her earlier experience as a police officer for nearly a dozen years in the Chester County borough of Oxford to help Winslet and "Mare" creator Brad Ingelsby with the law enforcement aspects of the story.

We spoke with Bleiler about the time Winslet visited her at work, finally hearing her own accent on TV and why you won't be seeing Mare Sheehan wearing yoga pants on the job.

This interview has been edited and condensed, and may contain mild spoilers for previous episodes of "Mare of Easttown," which will premiere the fifth of its seven episodes at 10 p.m. ET Sunday.

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Q: So did you see "Saturday Night Live's" "Mare of Easttown" parody "Murdur Durdur"?

A: I did. Ultimate compliment, right, when "SNL" spoofs you? I had about 10 people text it to me [Sunday] morning. ... It's funny. It's actually pretty well done for "SNL."

Q: Kate Winslet told me she used to call you up with questions at 5 a.m. True?

A: It was probably about 6 [but] yes, that's true. I would probably be just getting out of the shower, getting ready for work. I remember one day I was drying my hair, I think, when the phone rang and it was Kate. But, yeah, she would call me in the morning, she would call me at night [about] scenes that she was going to shoot, lines that she wanted to reword, just general questions, like how would you act when you go into this type of situation? What would your demeanor be like? She would want me to say lines so she could, I guess, hear the voice, the inflection.

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