From the outside looking in, being part of a blockbuster film would be a joyful moment for any actor. But not everyone was built for that level of fame and success. One person who knows this too well is Titanic's Kate Winslet. The cultural phenomenon brought intense scrutiny and criticism the actor wasn’t preferred for. And she recently recalled feeling bullied over her body after the blockbuster’s unprecedented success.
Kate Winslet spoke with Marc Maron on his podcast WTF with Marc Maron. She talked about her latest film Ammonite, which deals with the sexual awakening of renowned paleontologist Mary Anning. The conversation eventually turned to the Oscar winner talking about the media’s obsession with weight and size after the success of Titanic. She spoke on getting push back for defending herself against media scrutiny in the 1990s and 2000s.
It was like night and day from one day to the next. I was subject to a lot of personal physical scrutiny. I was criticized a lot and the British press was quite unkind to me. I felt bullied if I’m being honest. I remember thinking, ‘This is horrible and I hope it passes.’ It did definitely pass but it made me realize that, if that’s what being famous was, I was not ready to be famous. Definitely not.
At the height of the Titanic phenomenon, Kate Winslet gained fame and success at a time where slender actresses were the norm. The press celebrated her talents as an actress while making her size an issue. This is especially disheartening as she revealed at the time she was about a size 6 at the time.
While Titanic brought Kate Winslet into the global conscience, the actor had already made a splash in the independent film and period dramas in the 1990s. She made her film debut at age 17 in the acclaimed film Heavenly Creatures before gaining recognition as Marianne Dashwood in 1995’s Sense and Sensibility. After Titanic, she decided to continue with smaller, critically acclaimed films such as Iris, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland, Revolutionary Road and The Reader. The latter two films scored her multiple acting awards, including Academy, BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards.
In recent years, Kate Winslet has embraced huge blockbusters by starring in the Divergent franchise and The Mountain Between Us. She also reunited with Titanic director James Cameron to participate in Avatar 2.
Hearing Kate Winslet speaks about that period lead her to reject fame while resolving to just be herself despite the chaos of Hollywood. In the end, she came out on top as one of the most celebrated actresses despite her critics. If you want more Kate Winslet, you can hear her voice in Black Beauty on Disney+ along with Ammonite currently in theaters.