WHO IS IT? Kate Winslet is the second Sense and Sensibility actress (alongside Emma Thompson) I’m going to profile for Celebrities in Classics. Kate is a super talented, multi-award winning actress whose performances I always enjoy. Some of my favourite Kate Winslet movies include Sense and Sensibility, Hamlet, Quills, Enigma, Finding Neverland and of course, Titanic. She is beautiful and spirited, but with the humbleness and grace of a true movie star.
WHY I LOVE THIS ACTRESS: I admire Kate Winslet because she mixes things up and chooses roles in both Hollywood blockbusters and edgy, unconventional movies. I didn’t mention seeing Jude, the adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s book, because I didn’t enjoy the movie and there were a few harrowing scenes that I can’t forget to this day. However, Kate’s acting was incredible and I don’t think many actresses could have pulled off the scenes in Jude like Kate. She can take on the tough roles and it’s why I admire her talent.
Kate seems to be a woman not afraid to live life on her terms, a belief that is reflected in her decision to ignore the media’s attention to her weight and relationships (Mrs. Rocknroll, anyone?). She has major bravado appearing naked in several movies and talking openly about how she is curvy girl and is comfortable with her body.
FIRST ENCOUNTER: The first Kate Winslet movie I saw her in was Heavenly Creatures (1994)by Peter Jackson (pre-LOTR), a very eerie but fascinating based-on-a-true-story about two young girls who get fatally lost in their fantasies. In her first scene, I couldn’t stop staring at Kate’s eyebrows because they were groomed unlike any girl’s eyebrows I had seen before. She sings in the movie and is angelic and unforgettable. Apparently a movie reviewer condemned Kate and said she would be typecast as her Heavenly Creatures character and would never make it as an actress.
FAVE MOVIE/SCENE: My favourite movie with Kate is Sense and Sensibility where she plays Marianne Dashwood. The movie is full of great scenes but my favourite Kate scene is when she falls down and Willoughby comes to her rescue. The scene is everything you would want in a romantic encounter: the hero comes charging in on a horse, he picks up the heroine and whisks her away to safety. Of course, it turns out they are a match made in heaven. At the same time, the scene is also slightly humourous because it’s too perfect. As if writer, Emma Thompson and director, Ang Lee wanted to subtly spoof all romantic scenes like this one.
CLASSIC BOOK FILMOGRAPHY – A smattering of Kate’s amazing work.
1995 Sense and Sensibility
1995 A Kid in King Arthur’s Court
2001 Christmas Carol: The Movie
2006 All the King’s Men
2008 Revolutionary Road
2011 Mildred Pierce
An ex-boyfriend and I used to go to breakfast every Sunday in London at a funny old café near Earl’s Court. Afterward we’d go into this enormous bookstore, and we’d have to buy the other person a book. It was a really nice thing to do. I think sometimes when you’re young, and even when you’re older, purchasing a book for yourself or anyone else can be terrifying. I left school when I was 16, and I always felt—actually still do in some ways—intellectually insecure. He was 11 years older, this boyfriend, and this was his way of letting me know that it was perfectly okay to have an opinion, of helping me overcome my own insecurities—which is pretty spectacular. One day he picked up a copy of Thérèse Raquin, and I thought, You’ve got to be kidding me. But he said, “This is one of the most extraordinary love stories ever written.” And that book, which is one of the five that changed my life, has never left me.