Kate Elizabeth Winslet (/ˈwɪnzlət/; born 5 October 1975) is an English actress. Known for her work in independent films, particularly period dramas, as well as for her portrayals of headstrong, complicated women, she has received numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, three British Academy Film Awards, and five Golden Globe Awards.
Winslet studied drama at the Redroofs Theatre School. Her first screen appearance, at age 15, was in the British television series Dark Season (1991). She made her film debut playing a teenage murderess in Heavenly Creatures (1994), and went on to win a BAFTA Award for playing Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995). Global stardom followed soon after with her leading role in the epic romance Titanic (1997), which earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Titanic was the highest-grossing film at the time, after which she eschewed parts in blockbusters in favour of critically acclaimed period pieces, including Quills (2000) and Iris (2001).
The science fiction romance Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), in which Winslet was cast against type in a contemporary setting, proved to be a turning point in her career, and she gained further recognition for her performances in Finding Neverland (2004), Little Children (2006), Revolutionary Road (2008), and The Reader (2008). For playing a former Nazi camp guard in the latter, she won the BAFTA Award and the Academy Award for Best Actress. Winslet's portrayal of Joanna Hoffman in the biopic Steve Jobs (2015) won her another BAFTA Award, and she won two Primetime Emmy Awards for her performances in the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce (2011) and Mare of Easttown (2021).
For her narration of a short story in the audiobook Listen to the Storyteller (1999), Winslet won a Grammy Award. She performed the song "What If" for the soundtrack of her film Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001). A co-founder of the charity Golden Hat Foundation, which aims to create autism awareness, she has written a book on the topic, The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism (2010). Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009 and 2021. In 2012, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Divorced from film directors Jim Threapleton and Sam Mendes, Winslet has been married to businessman Edward Abel Smith since 2012. She has a child from each marriage.
JealousyMy husband is not a jealous person in any way.
Actors about themselvesI am incredibly passionate about my life, I am absolutely unable to hide any emotion. If I wrote a book, I'd have to call it 'P is for Passion'. I don't go in for anything halfway. My feelings about things are instant, on the spot. And my heart is always, always on my sleeve.
Actors about themselvesPassionI'm often drawn to characters that are more obviously one thing. They're passionate, and there is always an element of strength because I think every person possesses that in some way, even if they've experienced hardship in their lives.
Los AngelesApart from The Holiday, I haven't really spent a huge amount of time in LA. Not that I avoid it, it's just that I don't often go there unless I'm doing press. The one thing I have discovered about LA with kids is that it's really great for children. They really like the sun and making sand castles.
FearYou know why I fear people's judgment? Because I know they're judging. I know they are.
FearI kept on going and I overcame my fears and got over my insecurities.
So I won an Oscar. It's amazing. I've got that for the rest of my life for a performance I am proud of. It nearly killed me. I am really proud of the film. That's it, moving on.
At some stage I'm going to have to say, 'Right, that's it. I'm stopping for a bit'.
I'd like to grow old with my face moving.
Having just had a baby, I'm not going to be thinking about my arse.
I'm not a period babe. Not at all.
I'm a bit famous now! It's a bit strange!
I don't go to the gym because I don't have time, but I do pilates workout DVDs for 20 minutes or more every day at home.
In films I might look glamorous, but I've been in hair and make-up for two hours.
There wasn't very much time between wrapping Revolutionary Road and starting The Reader. It was about five and a half months, which, for me, isn't that long. Some actors are very good at just going from one thing to another but I've always been a bit useless at that. The preparation time is important for me.
I've never worked with prosthetics before in that sort of capacity. I did a bit of prosthetic work when I had to give birth in Jude, which is quite a different set of prosthetics. But I had so much admiration for the hair and make-up department and the prosthetics team, who are actually based at Shepperton, and who put together that look for Hanna. I
Also for me, I don't make endless movies back to back all the time, I really sort of come to understand and love the characters that I play. And with April and Hanna you sort of go through a weird period of feeling sad about letting them go. Sometimes that takes me a week and sometimes it takes me a couple of months, just so that I can feel I can realign my own thoughts again. I do feel really, really blessed that I've had these opportunities.
Experiencing those moments of being alone... is a very, very weird flooring and exposing position to be in when you're just not used to it. But I've never been lonely. And with my kids Mia and Joe that remains the case.
Leo and I are kindred spirits - we're cut from the same cloth.
I had to grow the hair down there. But because of years of waxing, as all of us girls know, it doesn't come back quite the way it used to. They even made me a merkin - a wig - because they were so concerned that I might not be able to grow enough.
Having been here before and lost to be here and win, I've got to tell you, winning is really a lot better than losing. Really a lot better.
I just look better in simple black things.
If I had a child, I wouldn't let them go to drama school. At times, I was really unhappy there.
Playing Juliet in Heavenly Creatures changed my life, and the role of Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind opened many new doors creatively.
Everyone can commit to 20 minutes, especially if there's a glass of Chardonnay afterwards.
I finally moved out of my parent's house. It was only fair to let my sister have her own room.
There were days when I would say, 'God, I can't be without Leo'. He was my rock. We were such a team, nothing could break us, nothing could come near us.
I look very different from how people expect me to be... Clearly they think I'm a great big fat viking.
The whole concept of 'grounding' children is utterly stupid - they just go off and rebel and don't like you. When my kids eventually come along, I don't want them to not like me.
I'd much rather be known as some curvy Kate than as some skinny stick.
Since I was 13 or 14, I've always felt older than I actually am.
I find it very difficult to wear nice, pretty shoes. I'm much more comfortable in boots or Birkenstocks or loafers.
I do endless chopping and preparing things. I really find that relaxing. I do a lot of thinking as I am chopping and cooking.
He's probably the world's most beautiful looking man, yet he doesn't think he's that gorgeous. And to me, he's just smelly, farty Leo.
I'm no stranger to the occasional dodgy juice, but it doesn't taste very nice and it is bloody boring. It's not a way to live.
Obviously, for the majority of parents and certainly me you gain a million worlds when you have a child. Certainly, it's the thing that's changed my life and made me unbelievably happy.
I ordinarily do one film a year and the rest of the time I'm at home with the kids. Even when I am working I'm still basically at home and with the kids. I've never left them to go to work.
I love to cook. I could never give that up.
The highest compliment I could ever receive about my kids - and I can say that this does happen frequently - is when the in-flight crew say to me, 'Your children are wonderful. They are so well-behaved.' Every time I am told that, I could weep.
I feel like I'm playing more of a role walking down the red carpet than when I'm playing an ordinary woman covered in sweat.
The assistant asked, `What do you want on it?' and Leo said, `Oh, Kate will tell you.' And Leo just kind of fell asleep. And I did know exactly what he wanted - this kind of cheese and no tomato and no pickle. I absolutely knew. And I thought, `God, that's really weird that I know this person so well.' It was brilliant.
I think of myself as a mum who finds the time to go to work. I have to check myself for baby sick before I walk out of the house in the morning. I am really a mum I know I am a great mother.
After Titanic it would have been completely foolish for me to go and try and top that. I'm an English girl, I've always loved England, I've never felt the desire to leave it for any particular reason. And whilst I'm ambitious and care very much about what I do, I'm not competitive. I also don't want to act every day of my life. () So it was important to me after Titanic to just remind myself of why it was that I was acting in the first place, which is of course because I love it.
You know, I never felt like I was young at the time and obviosly having Mia was absolutely planned. It's only know when I meet people who are my age and single, [with] no kids, that I reflect and say, 'Bloody hell? I really have leaved at a fast pace.'
He's brilliant. At first, I thought, 'Oh, is he going to be Hollywood stud-like?' But he's a really kind, wonderful person. He said to me one day early in the making of the movie, 'You know, I was kind of worried about you'. He thought I was going to be a perfect skin, which I am certainly not. It didn't take long for Leo to crack and see who I really am, and we became very close. but, I must say, he is absolutely gorgeous.
Just coming to terms with the fact that I got to play April Wheeler [Revolutionary Road] and Hanna Schmitz [The Reader] in one year, let alone in my lifetime. I'm very, very aware of how rare that is as an opportunity for any one person. I can't tell you how much I've been able to take away from these experiences creatively. I really, really learned so much about acting, about myself... all of those things. It's difficult to talk about the actor's process without sounding like an arrogant asshole but they really were very challenging.
Plastic surgery and breast implants are fine for people who want that, if it makes them feel better about who they are. But, it makes these people, actors especially, fantasy figures for a fantasy world. Acting is about being real being honest.
For me, they definitely made it more challenging. The comfort zone factor really kicked in between Leo and I, and I just think that's because we know each other so well. We've known each other since we were 20-years-old.
Yeah, acting is very difficult. As much as I love it, and the challenge of it, I'm so often just terrified by it.
But I really can't and I actually don't like switching off because I worry that I might lose my thread, or something. I fall asleep and I hope to God that I'm going to dream about it, because then I don't have to put it down.
I love to cook; I cook every day. Chicken features a lot in our lives.
I'll go to Tracie Martyn about a week before and get the Resculpting Facial. It makes you look brighter, healthier... like you got some extra rest. I'm 33 now and need to treat my skin, otherwise it doesn't look fresh.
I danced a lot when I was younger, and I've always had decent, shapely legs and thought it's now or never. I mean, when you're pushing 40, are you really going to wander around in a dress that's midthigh length?
I'm not very technically minded. I mean, I don't know how to do e-mail on computers.
Ah, my dad's whistle. On holidays when I was a kid, we would all be off in the rock pools along the beach. When it came time to go, we'd hear the whistle and we'd all come running. Like dogs!
I will tell you that when I was heavy, people would say to me - and it was such a backhanded compliment - they would say, 'You've got such a beautiful face,' in the way of, like, 'Oh, isn't it a shame that from the neck down you're questionable.'
I've decided I am going to start loving my backside because I don't know anyone who does that. And for my daughter, I want to be able to say to her, 'I love this.'
I don't know how much I can be bothered to have to lose the baby weight. It's such a pain... I'm not one of those people for whom it magically drops off.
Every woman has a mother, and every woman will have an issue with that mother and things that mother did or didn't do. It just depends on how you choose to process the lessons that you learned from your own mother.
People say to me, 'You seem to have made this conscious decision to do independent films'. In reality, I haven't. After each movie, I always think, 'how different can I possibly be? Is this going to challenge me, is this going to inspire me, and is this going to make me love my job more than I already do?'
A good eye cream is really important when you are traveling, busy and stressed-that's when the dark puffy circles can get you.
Just because society, and government, and whatever was different 100 years ago, doesn't mean that people didn't have sex, pick their nose, or swear.
I love it when a character requires me to look less than my red-carpet best.
I'm always inspired by actresses who are older than me. Because I know that person has lived so much more life than I have. There's a whole other toolbox.
I have wrinkles here, which are very evident. And I will particularly say when I look at movie posters, 'You guys have airbrushed my forehead. Please can you change it back?' I'd rather be the woman they're saying 'She's looking older' about than 'She's looking stoned.'
She has a choice. She can either accept a life of misery or she can struggle against it. And she chooses to struggle...she fails in the end but there's something beautiful and even heroic in her rebellion.
I don't read reviews. Just because that is something that's directly connected to my job. I'm doing this because I love it, not because I'm necessarily looking for approval or anything like that. To me, it seems that reading reviews - whether they're good ones or bad ones - can only sort of force the person to divorce themselves from the reality of what it is they do for a living. So I don't read reviews.
I would never accept a role that wasn't going to stretch me or challenge me in some way. I'd say Holy Smoke! probably did that more than anything I'd ever done. It took me to places I didn't actually know I could go to, and that's what I want my career to be all about.
It's very tempting to have a nanny and live in a gated community and have a chef - I'd love to have a few dinners cooked for me. But I don't want that for my children. When they're older, if people say to them, 'Did you have a chef?' I want them to be shocked by the question.
It's my chance to challenge myself to the fullest, which is one of the great joys about my job... I love it when a character requires me to look less than my red-carpet best. It's more fun playing a character that requires you to look like dog s - t.
Of course I believe in marriage. Commitment to one other person in life is glorious.
Very thorough in the rehearsal process but more in terms of just understanding the characters, understanding where the actors are at with discovering those characters for themselves, and just setting an overall emotional tone for the piece as opposed to necessarily getting things up on their feet or staging scenes.
I think what you feel like as a teenager never really goes away. If you were teased for being fat or thin or having bad teeth, you're always insecure about that particular area of yourself. So I've never thought of myself as any kind of beauty, iconic or otherwise.