Five things you might not know about Kate Winslet

By Rosemary Collins, 6 August 2019 - 2:51pm

Discover more about the Hollywood A-lister, who traces her family history on Who Do You Think You Are? on 12 August

Kate Winslet Who Do You Think You Are?
Kate Winslet attends the Longines Masters of New York, April 2018 (Credit: KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images

Since starring in Titanic over 20 years ago, Kate Winslet has been one of our most talented and versatile A-list actors.

Now, she discovers her family origins on next week's episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, broadcast at 9pm on Monday 12 August on BBC One.

Here’s five things you might not know about the star…
 

1. Humble origins

Winslet was born in Reading. Her father, her maternal grandparents and her two sisters are also actors and her family often struggled financially. She attended Redroofs Theatre School as a teenager but was forced to drop out due to a lack of funds, and worked in a delicatessen to support herself.
 

2. Titanic success

Winslet was so determined to be cast as Rose, the heroine of 1997 film Titanic, that she phoned director James Cameron and told him: “I just have to do this, and you are really mad if you don't cast me.” After the audition, she sent him a bunch of roses with a note reading “From your Rose”. The film, starring Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, went on to smash box office records.
 

3. Oscar honours

In 2009 Winslet won a Best Actress Academy Award for her performance as a former concentration camp guard in The Reader. She also became the youngest person to acquire six Academy Award nominations.
 

4. Beauty battles

Winslet has spoken out against unrealistic beauty standards for women in Hollywood. In 2011, she formed the ‘British Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League’ with Emma Thompson and Rachel Weisz. When she worked as an ambassador for cosmetics company Lancôme, she said she told the brand not to Photoshop out her wrinkles. Explaining her choice, she said: "I'm baffled that anyone might not think women get more beautiful as they get older. Confidence comes with age, and looking beautiful comes from the confidence someone has in themselves."
 

5. Strong women

In a 2014 interview about the parts she’s played, Winslet said: “I do tend to find myself drawn to strong characters; women who are either finding their way out of a situation, looking for love, having some struggle within love, or questioning the big things in life. These are the things that fascinate me.”

 

 

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