Kate Winslet is opening up about her shifting approach to fame. Being that she’s been in the spotlight for over three decades, she’s knows what it’s all about — and how it changes. In a new interview with PORTER, the actress said that after she broke out in the beloved film Titanic, she felt a lot of pressure to act and look a certain way. And since she was just 22 years old at the time, she didn’t know that she had any say in how she could present herself.
She addressed how the monumental amount of fame led her to make smaller films, which surprised critics that thought she’d parlay her newfound celebrity into more blockbuster projects.
“I felt like I had to look a certain way, or be a certain thing, and because media intrusion was so significant at that time, my life was quite unpleasant,” she said. “Journalists would always say, ‘After Titanic, you could have done anything and yet you chose to do these small things’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, you bet your life I did! Because, guess what, being famous was horrible.’”
However, Winslet doesn’t have any hard feelings about Titanic and the loyal fandom that the film has earned. She mentioned that being famous because of the movie is never a “burden” — except for one very specific (and appropriate) situation.
“It’s not a burden, any of it. [Titanic] continues to bring people huge amounts of joy,” Winslet explained. “The only time I am like, ‘Oh God, hide,’ is if we are on a boat somewhere.”
Winslet’s last project, Lee, saw her swapping the glam and glitz of surviving the chill of the North Atlantic with Leonardo DiCaprio for the role of American photojournaist Lee Miller. Winslet mentioned that taking on a physical role was new and exciting for her. Miller, who was a model before she became a photographer, documented major events like the London Blitz, WWII concentration camps, and the liberation of Paris after Nazi occupation.
“What I took from her is that absolute freedom she has from her body and her delight in her own physical self. I think that’s very unusual of historical female figures that we know of — and it’s very unusual of women today,” she said. “There was just no giving up. What [Miller] stands for in representing truth and justice … [someone] who was powerful emotionally and charismatic and sexy and brilliantly skilled at her job and had a way of connecting with people — I am inspired by that.”