INTERVISTA AL THE SUN
‘I’m curvy and don’t have perfect boobs … but when I go naked in films it empowers women’ Actress Kate Winslet on ageing, children and acting like a diva.
The 36-year-old star most famously went topless as Rose DeWitt Bukater in the 1997 box office sensation Titanic. And even though she believes she has imperfections, Kate has no qualms about signing up for sexy romantic scenes.
She has appeared partially naked in films such as Little Children, The Reader, Holy Smoke! and the recent Emmy-winning US television drama Mildred Pierce.
Down-to-earth Kate is pleased if her relaxed approach to nudity makes other women and actresses feel comfortable about it too.
She is also clearly not shy about swearing, littering our interview with bad language to get across her typically forthright views.
Kate says: “I look like the people that walk down the street. I don’t have perfect boobs, I don’t have zero cellulite — of course I don’t — and I’m curvy. If that is something that makes women feel empowered in any way, that’s great.”
She adds: “On a deeper, subconscious level, it’s one of the reasons why I’ve allowed my stupid self to be so naked on screen.
“It’s partly because I do believe that it’s right for the character and it’s right for the story but it’s also knowing that not many people do that, actually — and not just that, but I’m a normal person.”
Even so, “normal” isn’t the word that most people would use to describe Kate’s career.
She won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in 2008’s The Reader and has received five other Academy Award nominations. And she was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s recent Birthday Honours for her services to drama.
Earlier this year the 3D re-release of Titanic showed she could still pull in the crowds when it returned to No 1 at the box office.
Reading-born Kate was only 21 when she made the romantic drama with Leonardo DiCaprio but she has no concerns about having aged 15 years since then.
With typical frankness, she says: “Oh my God, I couldn’t give a s***. I mean, I’m so much less self-conscious and I think that’s something to do with getting older and acceptance of one’s self, feeling stronger, feeling more confident.
“I think confidence does come with time and I’ve been really surprised by that actually.
“I mean, I remember being 21 and imagining that at 36 my t**s would be around my knees and I would have bad hair and terrible teeth.
“When you are younger, somehow being in your later thirties just seems really old.
“But I feel stronger, fitter and more comfortable in my own skin now than I have ever done.”
However, Kate recognises that her confidence and happiness have taken knocks over the years since Titanic.
During that time she has been divorced from two film directors — first Jim Threapleton in 2001, then Sam Mendes in 2010.
She has one child from each marriage — Mia, 11, with Jim and Joe, eight, with Sam. She continues: “Of course, it’s easy for me to say those things. I have this lovely career and I have these two beautiful children and I get all that. But there is something about hanging on to your sense of self as a woman in spite of having children and in spite of going through a lot of fairly big-deal things in my own personal life.
“I’m just like anyone else when it comes to those things. It doesn’t matter if you are a successful individual or not, you are still a human being and it’s tough.
“That’s the stuff of life — it’s tough — and lots of us have been there. I think I have emerged from some of those times feeling genuinely good and well and strong and together and with my children.”
Kate is now dating Richard Branson’s madly monikered nephew Ned RockNRoll — he changed his name by deed poll from plain Ned Abel Smith — but she remains a hands-on mum to her two children.
She is currently juggling parenthood with her career, filming Labor Day, in which she plays a depressed single mum.
One of her recent movies was Carnage, which is about two couples trying to resolve a row between their children.
But Kate believes it is generally better for kids to deal with any fall-outs with classmates.
She says: “As the mother of two kids, sometimes I might have to pick up the phone to so-and-so’s mum.
“For example, if Mia or Joe come home and so-and-so has hurt their feelings and they really don’t think they have done anything wrong, I’m not the kind of parent who jumps down the next parent’s neck and says, ‘My kids are perfect and yours is an ****hole’. One does try to be diplomatic but for the most part I believe in kids working these things out for themselves.
“It’s part of childhood, isn’t it? It’s part of growing up.”
Kate was bullied when she was at school because she was what she describes as “chubby” and says: “These things are what shape and mould us, “I guess, even if in the moments that it’s happening it hurts like hell.
“I was bullied for quite a large part of my early education and it was terrible at the time, but it definitely has made me stronger.”
Today Kate, whose parents Roger and Sally were both stage actors, is not afraid to say what she thinks.
And Kate reveals that she is keen to stand up to any film stars who want special treatment on set. For her, it is important that all the cast are equal.
She says: “I had great examples set to me at a very young age and to this day I am still grateful for that because whenever I am working with a younger actor who I think might be slightly out of line, or getting a little bit too pleased with themselves, I know I really have to set my good example and really set it well.
“I really have to make sure they know that that kind of s*** is not going to go down.
“I might be playing the lead but no one’s trailer is going to be bigger than anyone else’s, no one is going to have all these stars flopping around, no one is going to have a great big entourage.
“As for the perks package that a lot of famous people do tend to have, I will either completely avoid it, or do something like roll that person’s job into one. Sometimes I watch the credits at the end of movies and I count people’s assistants and I just think, ‘You ****ing ****er’.”
Kate says she is grateful to fellow British star Emma Thompson for guiding her away from any diva-like behaviour when she was young.
And she thinks her parents would not have accepted her getting too big for her size-nine boots.
Describing Emma as her acting mentor, she says: “Still now I thank her. I just say, ‘God, you can’t imagine how grateful I am to have had that so young.’
“I mean, I very much doubt this would have happened because my family is so solid and would never have allowed it, but I could have turned into a right little s*** if I hadn’t been shown how to behave.”
Kate Winslet: «Più forte con l’età»
L’attrice ha raggiunto una maggiore consapevolezza di sé dopo aver combattuto dure battaglie personali.
La vita sentimentale di Kate Winslet è stata piuttosto movimentata.
L’attrice, madre di due figli, ha infatti divorziato due volte, senza però perdere l’ottimismo.
«Ho una bella carriera e due figli meravigliosi. Ma non si raggiunge automaticamente il senso della propria identità solo attraverso i bambini e il successo», ha spiegato al Sun.
«Su questi punti sono come chiunque altro. Non importa se nella vita hai avuto successo, sei comunque un essere umano ed è dura per te come per tutti».
«Dopo aver superato certi difficili momenti mi sono sentita bene, più forte».
La Winslet ha raggiunto la fama a 21 anni grazie al film «Titanic», girato con Leonardo DiCaprio e da allora la sua carriera si è consolidata sempre di più.
«Non potrebbe importarmene di meno (del tempo che passa, ndr)», ha affermato.
«Se vuoi invecchiare bene, devi imparare ad accettare te stesso».
«Quando a 21 immaginavo di averne 36 pensavo che sarei stata decisamente fuori forma, con orribili capelli e brutti denti. Quando sei giovane e ti pensi a 30 anni di vedi davvero vecchia».
«In realtà mi sento più forte, più in forma e più a mio agio con me stessa ora di quanto non lo sia mai stata».