Kate Elizabeth Winslet CBE (born 5 October 1975) is an English actress. Known for her work in independent films, particularly period dramas, and for her portrayals of headstrong and complicated women, she has received numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, and five Golden Globe Awards.
Time magazine named Winslet one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009 and 2021. She made her film debut playing a teenage murderess in Heavenly Creatures, and went on to win a BAFTA Award for playing Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility.
She avoided parts in blockbuster films in favor of independent productions that were not widely seen, believing that she still had a lot to learn and was unprepared to be a star. Hideous Kinky, a low-budget drama shot before the release of Titanic, was Winslet’s sole film release of 1998.
Winslet was keen on playing Rose DeWitt Bukater, a socialite aboard the ill-fated RMS Titanic, in James Cameron’s epic romance Titanic . Titanic had a production budget of $200 million, and its arduous principal photography was held at Rosarito Beach where a replica of the ship was created. Against expectations, Titanic went on to become the highest-grossing film to that point, earning over $2 billion in box office receipts worldwide, and established Winslet as a global star.
She turned down offers to star in Shakespeare in Love and Anna and the King to do the film. Janet Maslin of The New York Times praised Winslet’s decision to follow-up Titanic with such an offbeat project, and took note of how well she had captured her character’s obliviousness and optimism.
To avoid typecasting in historical dramas, Winslet actively sought roles in contemporary-set films. Unlike her previous assignments, the role allowed her to display the quirky side to her personality. Gondry encouraged Winslet and Carrey to improvise on set, and to keep herself agile she practiced kickboxing. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone described it as a uniquely funny, unpredictably tender and unapologetically twisted romance and found Winslet to be electrifying and bruisingly vulnerable in it.
Winslet considers it to be a favorite among her roles, and she received Best Actress nominations at the Oscar and BAFTA award ceremonies. Winslet was paid £6 million to star in her next release of the year, the drama Finding Neverland. Despite her reluctance to star in another period piece, Winslet agreed to the project after empathizing with her character’s love for the children. She received a second Best Actress nomination at that year’s BAFTA Award ceremony.
Winslet had two critically acclaimed roles in 2008. After reading Justin Haythe’s script for Revolutionary Road, an adaptation of Richard Yates’s debut novel, Winslet recommended the project to her then-husband, director Sam Mendes, and her Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio. The film traces the tribulations of a young married couple in 1950s suburban America. Winslet was drawn to the idea of playing a woman whose aspirations had not been met, and she read The Feminine Mystique to understand the psychology of unhappy housewives from the era. Mendes encouraged DiCaprio and Winslet to spend time together, and she believed the small set they used helped them to develop their characters’ strained relationship. Hailing Winslet as “the best English-speaking film actress of her generation”, David Edelstein of New York magazine wrote that “there isn’t a banal moment in Winslet’s performance—not a gesture, not a word”.
A co-founder of the charity Golden Hat Foundation, which aims to create autism awareness, Winslet has written a book on the topic. Divorced from film directors Jim Threapleton and Sam Mendes, Winslet has been married to businessman Edward Abel Smith since 2012.
Kate Winslet – Artist of The Month October 2022