Kate Winslet may have starred in one of the top-grossing movies in history, but she admits the aftermath of Titanic led to an overwhelming amount of attention.
In a cover story for PORTER published Monday, the actress opened up about struggling with the fame she experienced after Titanic, which came out when she was 22.
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“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.
She went on to recall how she was questioned for her career choices after starring in the epic romance-tragedy film: “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 fuckin’ life I did! Because, guess what, being famous was horrible.”
Winslet reiterated that, though she was “grateful” for the film’s success, especially given she was “able to get a flat” in her early 20s, she still “didn’t want to be followed literally feeding the ducks.”
With an illustrious career over the years, Winslet explained that when thinking of the word fame she wears “it really lightly” but said, “It’s not a burden, any of it.” She noted how even years later Titanic “continues to bring people huge amounts of joy.”
“The only time I am like, ‘Oh god, hide’, is if we are on a boat somewhere,” she quipped.
Winslet starred in the 1997 James Cameron film alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. The two formed a strong friendship while filming and have continued to maintain a bond. When asked whether she’s seen the meme that states, “Find yourself someone who looks at you the way Leo looks at Kate,” Winslet laughed and joked, “[He’s looking at me like that because] he just knows I can see right through it all.”
“I think when you experience something so seismic, so young… we really went through that together,” she said of DiCaprio.
Winslet has been candid about her struggles after Titanic fame, in particular facing bullying about her weight at the time. Winslet spoke about the ridicule while on the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast and recalled how she was deemed “too fat,” when people commented at the time that her Titanic character’s weight was the reason DiCaprio’s Jack couldn’t get on the door.
“They were so mean. I wasn’t even fucking fat,” she said. “If I could turn back the clock, I would have used my voice in a completely different way. … I would have said to journalists, I would have responded, I would have said, ‘Don’t you dare treat me like this. I’m a young woman, my body is changing, I’m figuring it out, I’m deeply insecure, I’m terrified, don’t make this any harder than it already is.’ That’s bullying, you know, and actually borderline abusive, I would say.”
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