2009 Jan 07

‘I don’t want my looks to be an issue’

Kate Winslet on why she’s finally happy with her figure – and how she’s done it

Kate Winslet wowed everyone with her stunning new figure when she squeezed in to a Herve Leger bandage dress at a recent premiere in New York.

But the star has revealed her fantastic new physique was honed by shunning the gym and giving up her regular swims to do a pilates DVD at home in front of the TV.

‘I just don’t have the time or the inclination to go out and work up a sweat,’ she says.  ‘I don’t have a trainer or anyone bossing me about.  I prefer to do my own thing, in private, with some hand weights.  I’ve stopped all diet and exercise fads.  There’s just no point’.

Kate, 33, who turned heads with her sensational appearance, shrugged off gossip about her losing weight to do frank nude scenes in her latest film.

‘My body and my weight has been consistent now for some time’, she says.  ‘It went up and down a lot in my twenties.  ‘And everyone knows by now that when I was 15 years old, I was 13 stone.  By the time I did my first film at 19, Heavenly Creatures, I had lost most of it.

‘I just changed my diet, cut out the chocolate and hamburgers, and worked at it.  That’s how it was for years, having to watch things carefully.  ‘But now I’m in my thirties, my figure seems to have settled.  I run around like a monkey after my children and have an active life’.  She has daughter Mia, eight, from her first marriage to Assistant Director Jim  Threapleton, and son, Joe Alfie, five, with second husband, director Sam Mendes.  ‘I eat and drink what I want’, she says of her diet.  ‘There are no hard and fast rules.  I would like to give up smoking, which is something I picked up in my teens.  ‘I do like to look good, of course I do.  I never really feel that I’m a great beauty, though.

‘Hollywood is full of beautiful women – and I am not one of them.  I’m just an English girl who does her best.  Faults?  I have so many of them, I’m not going to give a list!

‘I just try and make the best of what I’ve got, with a lto of help from hair and make-up experts.  I don’t want my looks to be an issue’.

The real issue now is whether Kate will finally win an Oscar for her performance in one of her two forthcoming films, The Reader and Revolutionary Road.  Kate was nominated for Golden Globes for her performances in both films, a good sign she will be nominated for an Oscar.

But as someone who’s been nominated an amazing five times for the prestigious prize but never won, she’s not counting on anything.  ‘I want to win, I’m not denying that.  I don’t want to be sitting there with a fixed grin on my face while someone else wins.  But we all do that, don’t we?’

Kate’s figure will be a subject of much debate once Kate’s other film The Reader is released.

She plays a woman in her mid-thirties who seduces a 15-year old boy in Berlin in 1958.  In a succession of frank sex scenes, her naked body is seen from every angle and her co-star, German actor David Kross, had just passed his 18th birthday before the scenes were filmed.

‘You have to keep a sense of humour.  David was scared, of course he was.  But he relaxed and gave a great performance’.  As a veteran of naked scenes in six previous films, one famously in Titanic in a period car with co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, does it get any easier?

‘I’ve learned that the unknown is worse than the reality of scenes like that’, she says.

‘It’s all about the work and the acting.  And about the story.’

Kate is now rich and famous, with homes in the Cotswolds and New York.  But she doesn’t hide the fact she was a working-class kid from Reading, Berkshire.  ‘There wasn’t much money around, but there was a lot of happiness’, she reveals.  ‘All I can remember is the laughter and fun’.  Kate and sisters Beth and Anna, plus younger brother Joshua, were brought up in a rented three-bedroom, terraced house by father, Roger, and mother, Sally.

‘Dad is an actor and never made the big time’, she says.  ‘You need a lot of good fortune, and I’ve had more than my share.

‘He’s always given me one piece of advice, which I’ve always heeded: “Watch your back”.  You never know what’s going on behind the scenes’.

SOURCE:  Reveal Magazine; Louise Dunphy

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