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Facts about Kate Winslet
Biography for Kate WinsletKate Elizabeth Winslet (born 5 Oct. 1975 (42 years ago)) is an English actress and occasional singer. She is noted for having played diverse characters over her career, but probably best-known for her critically acclaimed performances as Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility, Rose DeWitt Bukater in Titanic, Clementine Kruczynski in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sarah Pierce in Little Children, Apr. Wheeler in Revolutionary Road, and Hanna Schmitz in The Reader.
Winslet has been nominated for six Academy Awards and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in The Reader. She has won awards from the Screen Actors Guild, British Academy of movie and TV Arts, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, as well as being nominated for an Emmy. At the age of 22, she became the youngest actress to receive two Oscar nominations; at age 33, she is now the youngest actor of either sex to receive six nominations. David Edelstein of New York Magazine hails her as "the best English-speaking movie actress of her generation".
Early yearsWinslet was born in Reading, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom, the daughter of Sally Anne (née Bridges), a barmaid, and Roger John Winslet, a swimming-pool contractor. Her parents were "jobbing actors", with Winslet commenting that she "didn't have a privileged upbringing" and that their daily life was "very hand to mouth". Her maternal grandparents, Linda (née Plumb) and Archibald Oliver Bridges, founded and operated the Reading Repertory Theatre, and her uncle, Robert Bridges, appeared in the original West End production of Oliver!. Her sisters, Beth Winslet and Anna Winslet, are also actresses.
Winslet, raised as an Anglican, began studying drama at the age of eleven at the Redroofs Theatre School, a co-educational independent school in Maidenhead, Berkshire, where she was head girl and appeared in a TV commercial for Sugar Puffs cereal, directed by Tim Pope.
Winslet at the 2006 (11 years ago) Toronto International movie FestivalIn 1992 (25 years ago), Winslet attended a casting call for Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures in London. Auditioning for the part of Juliet Hulme, a vivacious and imaginative teen who assists in the murder of the mother of her best friend, Pauline Parker, played by Melanie Lynskey, she won the role over 175 other girls. The movie was released to favourable reviews in 1994 (23 years ago) and won Jackson and partner Fran Walsh a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Winslet was awarded an Empire Award and a London Critics' Circle movie Award for her performance; The Washington Post writer Desson Thomson commented: "As Juliet, Winslet is a bright-eyed ball of fire, lighting up every scene she’s in. She's offset perfectly by Lynskey, whose quietly smoldering Pauline completes the delicate, dangerous partnership." Speaking about her experience on a movie set as an absolute beginner, Winslet noted: "With Heavenly Creatures, all I knew I had to do was completely become that person. In a way it was quite nice doing [the film] and not knowing a bloody thing."
The following year, Winslet auditioned for the adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, featuring Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman, intending to get the small but pivotal role of Lucy Steele. She was instead cast in the second leading role of Marianne Dashwood. Director Ang Lee admitted he was initially worried about the way Winslet had attacked her role in Heavenly Creatures and thus required her to exercise tai chi, read Austen-era Gothic novels and poetry, and work with a piano teacher to fit the grace of the role. Budgeted at $16,500,000, the movie became a financial and critical success, resulting in a worldwide box office total of $135 million and various awards for Winslet, winning her both a BAFTA and a Screen Actors Guild Award, and nominations for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.
In 1996 (21 years ago), Winslet starred in Jude and Hamlet. In Michael Winterbottom's Jude, based on the Victorian novel Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy, she played Sue Bridehead, a young woman with suffragette leanings who falls in love with her cousin, played by Christopher Eccleston. Acclaimed among critics, it was not a success at the box office, barely grossing $2 million worldwide. Richard Corliss of Time magazine said "Winslet is worthy of...the camera's scrupulous adoration. She's perfect, a modernist ahead of her time...and Jude is a handsome showcase for her gifts." Winslet depicted Ophelia, Hamlet's drowned lover, in Kenneth Branagh's all star-cast movie version of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. The movie garnered largely positive reviews and earned Winslet her second Empire Award.
In mid-1996, Winslet began filming James Cameron's Titanic (1997, 20 years ago), alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. Cast as the sensitive seventeen-year-old Rose DeWitt Bukater, a fictional first-class socialite who survives the 1912 (105 years ago) sinking of the RMS Titanic, Winslet experienced physical and emotional exhaustion on set: "Titanic was totally different and nothing could have prepared me for it. We were really scared about the whole adventure. Jim [Cameron] is a perfectionist, a real genius at making movies. But there was all this bad press before it came out, and that was really upsetting." Against expectations, the movie went on to become the highest-grossing movie of all time, grossing more than $1.8 billion in box-office receipts worldwide, and transformed Winslet into a commercial movie star. Subsequently, she was nominated for most of all high-profile awards, winning a European movie Award.
Hideous Kinky, a low-budget hippie romance based on a novel and shot prior to the release of Titanic, was her first and only movie of 1998 (19 years ago). Winslet rejected offers to play the leading roles in Shakespeare in Love (1998, 19 years ago) and Anna and the King (1999, 18 years ago) in favor of the role of a young English mother named Julia who moves with her daughters from London to Morocco hoping to start a new life. The movie garnered generally mixed reviews and received limited release only, resulting in a worldwide gross of $5 million. Despite the success of Titanic, the next movie Winslet opted to star in was Holy Smoke! (1999, 18 years ago) featuring Harvey Keitel, another low-budget project — much to the misery of her agents, who felt "miserable" about her preference of arthouse movies. Feeling pressured, Winslet has said she "never saw Titanic as a springboard for bigger movies or bigger pay cheques," knowing that "it could have been that, but would have destroyed [her]." The same year, she voiced Brigid in the computer animated movie Faeries.
Winslet's first effort of the 2000 (17 years ago) was the period piece Quills with Geoffrey Rush and Joaquin Phoenix. Inspired by the life and work of the Marquis de Sade, the actress served as somewhat of a “patron saint” of the movie for being the first big name to back it, accepting the role of a chamber maid in the asylum and the carrier of the The Marquis' manuscripts to the underground publishers. Well-received by critics, the movie garnered numerous accolades for Winslet, including nominations for SAG and Satellite Awards. The movie was a modest art house success, averaging $27,709 per screen its debut weekend, and eventually grossing $18 million internationally.
In 2001's Enigma, she played a young woman who finds herself falling for a brilliant young World War II code breaker, played by Dougray Scott. Her first war film, Winslet regarded "making Enigma a brilliant experience" as she was five months pregnant at the time of the shoot, forcing some tricky camera work from the director Michael Apted. Generally well-received, Winslet was awarded a British Independent movie Award for her performance. A. O. Scott of The New York Times described Winslet as "more crush-worthy than ever." In the same year she appeared in Richard Eyre's critically acclaimed movie Iris, portraying Irish novelist Iris Murdoch. Winslet shared her role with Dame Judi Dench, with both actresses portraying Murdoch at different phases of her life. Subsequently, each of them was nominated for an Academy Award the following year, scoring Winslet her third nomination. Also in 2001 (16 years ago), she voiced the character Belle in the animated motion picture (wallpaper) Christmas Carol: The Movie, based on the Charles Dickens classic novel. For the film, Winslet recorded the song "What If," which was released in Nov. 2001 (16 years ago) as a single and whose proceeds went to children's cancer charities. A Europe-wide top ten hit, it reached number-one in Austria, Belgium, and Ireland.
Her next movie role was in the 2003 (14 years ago) drama The Life of David Gale, in which she played an ambitious journalist who interviews a death-sentenced professor (Kevin Spacey) in his final weeks before execution. The movie underperformed at international box offices, garnering the half of its $50,000,000 budget only, and generated mostly critical reviews, with Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times calling it a "silly movie."
Following David Gale, Winslet appeared alongside Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, 13 years ago), a neosurrealistic indie-drama by French director Michel Gondry. In the film, she played the role of Clementine Kruczynski, a chatty, spontaneous and somewhat neurotic woman, who decides to have all memories of her ex-boyfriend erased from her mind. A departure from her previous roles, Winslet revealed in an interview with Variety that she was initially upended about her casting in the film: "This was not the type of thing I was being offered...I was just thrilled that there was something he had seen in me, in spite of the corsets, that he thought was going to work for Clementine.” A critical and financial success, Winslet received rave reviews for her Oscar-nominated performance, which Peter Travers of Rolling Stone described as "electrifying and bruisingly vulnerable."
Winslet at the 61st British Academy movie Awards.Another movie of 2004 (13 years ago) was Finding Neverland. The story of the production focused on Scottish writer J. M. Barrie (Johnny Depp (9 walls)) and his platonic relationship with Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Winslet), whose sons inspired him to pen the classic play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. During promotion of the film, Winslet noted of her portrayal: "It was very important for me in playing Sylvia that I was already a mother myself, because I don’t think I could have played that part if I didn’t know what it felt like to be a parent and have those responsibilities and that amount of love that you give to a child...and I've always got a baby somewhere, or both of them, all over my face." The movie received favorable reviews and proved to be an international success, becoming Winslet's highest-grossing movie since Titanic with a total of $118 million worldwide.
In 2005 (12 years ago), Winslet appeared in an episode of BBC's comedy series Extras, as a satirical version of herself. While dressed as a nun, she was portrayed giving phone sex tips to the romantically challenged character of Maggie. Her performance in the episode led to her first nomination for an Emmy Award. In Romance & Cigarettes (2005, 12 years ago), a musical romantic comedy written and directed by John Turturro, she played the character Tula, whom Winslet described as "a slut, someone who’s essentially foulmouthed and has bad manners and really doesn’t know how to dress." Hand-picked by Turturro, who was impressed with her dancing abilities in Holy Smoke!, Winslet was praised for her performance. Derek Elley of Variety wrote: "Onscreen less, but blessed with the showiest role, filthiest one-liners, [and] a perfect Lancashire accent that's comical enough in the Gotham setting Winslet throws herself into the role with an infectious gusto."
After declining an invitation to appear in Woody Allen's movie Match Point (2005, 12 years ago), stating she wanted to be able to spend more time with her children, she began 2006 (11 years ago) with All the King's Men, featuring Sean Penn and Jude Law. Winslet played the small role of Anne Stanton, the childhood sweetheart of Jack Burden (Law). The movie was critically and financially unsuccessful. Todd McCarthy of Variety summed it up as "overstuffed and fatally miscast...Absent any point of engagement to become involved in the characters, the movie feels stillborn and is unlikely to stir public excitement, even in an election year."
Winslet's next appearance in a movie fared far better when she joined the cast of Todd Field's Little Children, playing Sarah Pierce, a bored homemaker who has a torrid affair with a married neighbour, played by Patrick Wilson. Both her performance and the movie received rave reviews; A.O. Scott of the New York Times wrote: "In too many recent movies intelligence is woefully undervalued, and it is this quality — even more than its considerable beauty — that distinguishes Little Children from its peers. The result is a movie that is challenging, accessible and hard to stop thinking about. Ms. Winslet, as fine an actress as any working in movies today, registers every flicker of Sarah’s pride, self-doubt and desire, inspiring a mixture of recognition, pity and concern that amounts, by the end of the movie, to something like love. That Ms. Winslet is so lovable makes the deficit of love in Sarah’s life all the more painful." For her work in the film, she was honored with a BAFTA Britannia Award and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and at 31, became the youngest actress to ever garner five Oscar nominations.
She followed this with a role in Nancy Meyers' romantic comedy The Holiday, also starring Cameron Diaz (31 walls), Jude Law (4 walls), and Jack Black. In it she played Iris, a British woman who temporarily exchanges homes with an American woman (Diaz). Released to a mixed reception by critics, the movie became Winslet's biggest commercial success in nine years, grossing more than $205 million worldwide. Also in 2006 (11 years ago), Winslet provided her voice for several smaller projects. In the CG-animated Flushed Away she voiced Rita, a scavenging sewer rat who helps Roddy (Hugh Jackman) escaping from the city of Ratropolis and return to his luxurious Kensington origins. A critical and commercial success, the movie collected $177,665,672 at international box offices.
Winslet at the 81st Academy Awards in Feb. 2009In 2007 (10 years ago), Winslet reunited with Leonardo DiCaprio (7 walls) to movie Revolutionary Road (2008, 9 years ago). Directed by husband Sam Mendes, it was Winslet who suggested both to work with her on a movie adaptation of the 1961 (56 years ago) novel of the same name by Richard Yates after reading the script by Justin Haythe, resulting in both "a blessing and an added pressure" on-set as it was her first opportunity to work with Mendes. Portraying a couple in a failing marriage in the 1950s, DiCaprio and Winslet watched period videos promoting life in the suburbs to prepare themselves for the film, which earned them favorable reviews. Her seventh nomination, Winslet was finally awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her performance.
Also released in fall 2008 (9 years ago), the movie competed much against Winslet's other project, a movie adaptation of Bernhard Schlink's 1995 (22 years ago) novel The Reader, directed by Stephen Daldry and featuring Ralph Fiennes and David Kross in supporting roles. Originally the first choice for her role, she was initially not able to take on the role due to a scheduling conflict with Revolutionary Road, and actress Nicole Kidman (24 walls) replaced her. A month after filming began, however, Kidman left the role due to her pregnancy, enabling Winslet to rejoin the film. Playing with a faked German accent, the actress portrayed a former Nazi concentration camp guard who has an affair with a young man (Kross) who later witnesses her war-crimes trial, a role she noted hard to act as she was naturally unable "to sympathise with a SS guard." While the movie garnered mixed critics in general, Winslet received rave reviews for her performance. The following year, she earned her sixth Academy Award nomination and went on to win the Best Actress award, the BAFTA Award for Best Actress, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.
Personal lifeWhile on the set of Dark Season, Winslet met actor-writer Stephen Tredre, with whom she had a five-year relationship. He died of bone cancer soon after Winslet completed filming Titanic, so she missed the premiere because she was attending his funeral in London. She and Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio (7 walls) have remained good friends since the filming.
Winslet was later in a relationship with Rufus Sewell, but on 22 Nov. 1998 (19 years ago) she married director Jim Threapleton. They have a daughter, Mia Honey, who was born on 12 Oct. 2000 (17 years ago) in London. After a divorce in 2001 (16 years ago), Winslet began a relationship with Sam Mendes, whom she married on 24 May 2003 (14 years ago) on the island of Anguilla in the Caribbean. Their son, Joe Alfie Winslet Mendes, was born on 22 dec. 2003 (14 years ago) in New York City.
Mendes and his production company, Neal Street Productions, purchased the movie rights to the long-delayed biography of circus tiger tamer Mabel Stark. The couple's spokesperson said, "It's a great story, they have had their eyes on it for a while. If they can get the script right, it would make a great film."
The media have documented her weight fluctuations over the years. Winslet has been outspoken about her refusal to allow Hollywood to dictate her weight. In Feb. 2003 (14 years ago), the British edition of Gentlemen's Quarterly magazine published photographs of Winslet which had been digitally enhanced to make her look dramatically thinner than she really was; Winslet issued a statement saying that the alterations were made without her consent. GQ issued an apology in the subsequent issue.
Winslet and Mendes currently reside in Greenwich Village in New York City. They also own a manor house in the tiny village of Church Westcote in Gloucestershire, England. They spent £3 million on the secluded Westcote Manor, a rambling Grade II-listed house with eight bedrooms, set in 22 acres. They have reportedly spent more than £1 million on interior renovations, as well as restoring the original water garden, mulberry garden, and orchard, all of which fell into disrepair when the former owner, equestrian artist Raoul Millais, died in 1999 (18 years ago).
As a result of both being involved in aircraft incidents, and fearing leaving their children parentless, Winslet and Mendes never fly together on the same aircraft. He was scheduled to fly on American Airlines Flight 77, which was hijacked on 11 sep. 2001 (16 years ago) and subsequently crashed into the Pentagon. In Oct. 2001 (16 years ago), Winslet was seven hours into a London-Dallas flight with daughter Mia when a passenger who claimed to be an Islamic terrorist, later charged with creating mischief, stood up and shouted "We are all going to die."
Awards and nominations
External links to Kate Winslet
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