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 knew it was going to be important that if I had an audience understand who she was, then all those things had to come from a place that was grounded, as opposed to being tics and manners and twitches. I didn't think it was going to be as rich, perhaps, as if I was going to make it more emotional.
More than ever now, I believe it's so important to look as real and true to life as possible, because nobody's perfect. I seem to be on a mission, but I don't want the next generation, your daughters and mine, growing up thinking that you have to be thin to look beautiful in certain clothes. It's terrifying right now. It's out of control. It's beyond out of control.
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.
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I believe it is important to go on insisting that normality is not what we are exposed to. Honestly, among my acquaintances there is no woman wearing XS. No, sorry, there is one: my daughter. The point is that Mia is 11 years old. It's true that you need much time to get rid of the fat girl you once were, but you know I am sincerely grateful for my buttocks.
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.
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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.
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I'm really happy in my own skin. There's a lot of judgment that can come from outside sometimes, and there's media scrutiny that is placed on a lot of women in the public eye, and I just couldn't care less. I really couldn't care less. 'I would sometimes say in my twenties, 'oh, I couldn't care less', but I think I probably did. Now I genuinely don't and that's a lovely, liberating thing to experience.
I like the diversity that my children are exposed to every day. I love the way their brains work. Joe [her son] turns to me the other day and says, 'One day, I will have a girlfriend. But I might have a boyfriend. If I'm gay.' He's 7! And I said, 'You might have a girlfriend or a boyfriend, darling.' And he said, 'Which would you prefer?' And I said, 'My love, that would be entirely up to you, and it doesn't make any difference to me.' But that he knows! It's a real privilege. Talk about the best education.
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I was on the tube just before Christmas. and this girl turned round to me and said, 'Are you Kate Winslet?'. And I said, 'Well, yes. I am actually'. And she said, 'And you're getting the tube?' And I said, 'Yes'. And she said, 'Don't you have a big car that drives you around?' And I said, 'No'. And she was absolutely stunned that I wasn't being driven round in some flash car all the time. It was ludicrous.
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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.