NEW YORK - On the surface, it seems that Mary Elizabeth Winstead has the best job of the entire cast in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Not only did the 27-year-old US actress get to don several gorgeous frilly, 19th-century style frocks in the upcoming action-horror film, she hardly needed to flex her muscles - a stark contrast to the strenuous physical demands piled onto her co-stars Ben Walker, Erin Wasson, Rufus Sewell and Dominic Cooper.
But Winstead, who is best known for her performances in Quentin Tarantino's cult hit, Death Proof (2007), graphic novel-adaptation Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010) and last year's sci-fi flick The Thing, is far from pleased about the "relative ease" she enjoyed in her role as Abraham Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.
"I'm actually very jealous," said the North Carolina native with a laugh, during a round table interview with reporters at The Ritz-Carlton Central Park.
"When I first signed on to do this movie, I was happy to take a break from action, as I had just finished Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, for which I did three months of martial arts training.
"Then, one day, I saw people doing stunts on set and I was like, 'Oh man, I wish I could be one of them!'
"I remember I had a particular scene with Erin (Wasson) where she did a flip backwards...Right then, I was trying to stand up in my seat, because I wanted to do that too."
In Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which opens here next Thursday, Winstead's sole action moment comes towards the end, where Mary Todd Lincoln bravely picks up a gun to aid hubby Lincoln (Walker) in the raging civil war battle.
Don't be fooled by her demure demeanour, however.
Till today, Winstead looks back at her Scott Pilgrim boot camp with fondness.
"I loved it so much that I thought I'd be good at (fighting) even after the movie wrapped," said Winstead, a trained ballerina.
"But you know, life went on and I got busy."
Nevertheless, the tips she picked up - on how to punch and land blows on others - have stayed with her since.