“I really wanted to mix it up a bit and feel that I was going full pelt towards 40 having done as much as I could: pushed myself, challenged myself, exhausted myself, had as much fun as possible.”
The Oscar-winning actress married her third husband, Ned Rocknroll, in 2012 and gave birth to their son Bear the following year. She said: “The last two years of my life have put a different sort of rocket fuel up my backside.”
Winslet, who has been making films since she was 16, said: “I’m baffled that anyone might not think women get more beautiful as they get older.
“Confidence comes with age, and looking beautiful comes from the confidence someone has in themselves.”
She said she worries about young actresses feeling pressured to be slim, saying: “They all seem to be doing OK [but] some are a little bit thin.”
Her 14-year-old daughter Mia, from her first marriage to director Jim Threapleton, wants to be an actress but Winslet said she wanted to make sure she “is learning things in the right order”.
“I’ve always had boundaries; I’ve never felt exploited, [but I got] very, very lucky,” she said.
“The first job I did [Heavenly Creatures, directed by Peter Jackson and released in 1994] was very prestigious, which helped me professionally but also in terms of how other people perceived my personal integrity. It made a huge difference; I walked right into luvvie central and was welcomed with open arms…”
“But if you let a child of 14, which Mia is, just go into that world with no support or explanation of what that world is — who these people are, what they do — they’re just wandering blindly.
“So my only real concern is that I would want to make sure she is learning things in the right order and being respectful of people around her.”
Winslet, who was born in Reading and went to Redroofs Theatre School in Maidenhead, also spoke about the advice she would give her younger self.
“The night before my 30th birthday, I had an extraordinary dream,” she said.
“In the dream, I walked into my old classroom at school. And in the classroom were all of my classmates and me. I got to have a conversation with myself and it was so real, so clear. I said to myself then, ‘Just be yourself and make the most of every day.’ I really remember saying it and I’d say the same thing now to that younger version of myself.”