“I’m a hardened Brit — I cannot do without my nicotine and coffee.”

“I am incredibly passionate about my life, I am absolutely unable to hide any emotion. If I wrote a book, I’d have to call it ‘P is for Passion’. I don’t go in for anything halfway. My feelings about things are instant, on the spot. And my heart is always, always on my sleeve.”

“Since I was 13 or 14, I’ve always felt older than I actually am.”

“I was on the tube just before Christmas. and this girl turned round to me and said, ‘Are you Kate Winslet?’. And I said, ‘Well, yes. I am actually’. And she said, ‘And you’re getting the tube?’ And I said, ‘Yes’. And she said, ‘Don’t you have a big car that drives you around?’ And I said, ‘No’. And she was absolutely stunned that I wasn’t being driven round in some flash car all the time. It was ludicrous.”

“I don’t believe in sort of holding back, you know, life isn’t a dress rehearsal!”

“There is no way we are going to move out of England. Some might think that we want to live in Hollywood but that is not what we want at all. We will go and live in New York when it is necessary because of work but we prefer to be in England. I’m proud to be English — we both are. It’s very important to me to retain that. I am an English girl and I love England. I have never felt the desire to leave. I am still ambitious and I will have to travel and live elsewhere because of that but England is always home.”

“Mum and dad were very much friends, and up to life. There was no anxiety for anything when I was growing up, they just taught me to be me.”

“Life is short, and it is here to be lived.”

“I struggle for what I believe in. Life is short, it’s impossible to repeat something; you have to take advantage of things when you can reach them.”

“I love that people feel they can approach me.”

“Loving someone is setting them free, letting them go.”

“At 14, I watched Dirty Dancing and just wanted Patrick Swayze to take me away, so in terms of love, I am a hook, line and sinker girl.”

On her 11-size feet: “I’m glad I’ve got big, huge flappers. Leo and I used to swap shoes all the time because we have the same size feet. (…) I’ve got big, huge toes, too (…) They’re extraordinary. Absolutely massive.”

“Regret isn’t good. Every decision one makes in life is made for a reason or another. Whenever something bad happens, I go, ‘This is happening for a reason’, or, ‘This is going to teach me something’.”

“Personally, morally and emotionally, I sometimes feel I’m in complete turmoil. I really don’t know who I am. I still feel like I’ve got a hell of a lot to learn.”

“I don’t particularly like being on my own. I like people around, just talking and having a laugh.”

“I spent my life being told I have these fantastic child-bearing hips, so I breezed through this pregnancy, merrily eating and gaining 70 pounds, and came to the birth just very excited and really looking forward to it. I never thought about a Cesarean section. It just didn’t occur to me. After 37 hours, they came and said, ‘We’re going to have to induce you.’ And even that didn’t work! And then the C-section.”

“I reckon I must have really powerful hormones. Because I had this [menstrual] period that began on Thursday. And I went to the catering bus in the morning and asked for some toast, and I said, ‘Oh, my fucking period’s come a week early.’ And the woman said, ‘Oh, you poor thing — me too!’ And then my dresser — same thing. And the makeup artist got hers. They all for their periods early! And it’s me, because I have these powerful hormones. I’m sure! It is so, so strange.”

“I’m a normal person, so I end up having lovely chats with people at the fruit and vegetable stall and I love it.”

“When I was in India, one of my ankles was extremely swollen because it had been bitten by some bug. Well, I was standing in the water, watching this festival that celebrates the god Shiva. Five minutes later, my ankle wasn’t swollen anymore. I’m absolutely serious.”

“God knows, I have a wonderful life for which I’ve worked really hard. I didn’t grow up wealthy and I believe I’ve led a life like a lot of people, and my hard work has finally paid off.”

“I am insecure. If you ask me, everybody is.”

“I find it very difficult to wear nice, pretty shoes. I’m much more comfortable in boots or Birkenstocks or loafers.”

“I really wouldn’t [erase anything]. The good and bad things are what form us as people… Change makes us grow. To have one foot in the past, to hang on to the what-ifs, to say if I hadn’t done that or he hadn’t said this… all these things are pointless. I really believe in, move on, live and let live, forgive and forget.”

“Ultimately, you just have one life. You never know unless you try. And you never get anywhere unless you ask.”

“One embarrassing moment that I wouldn’t mind deleting was a time when I was in a tap-dancing class. I was 14 and just laughing my head off with one of the guys who was in my class. I don’t know what we were laughing about — we just got ourselves into that hysterical thing that you can’t get out of. And I actually peed myself in the class. It was terrible.”

“I’m not searching for things in my own soul anymore, whereas I definitely was in my early 20s.”

“[In life] you have to be able to stand by your convictions.”

“When I was younger I could indulge in my own self-pity. It takes me only an hour to snap out of a sulking mood now.”

“You have one life, and you have to make the most of it.”

“I lived my twenties at a pretty furious pace. Those years were pretty hardcore. I really think you’re trying to figure out who the hell you are through most of your twenties. The difficulty for me was I had to do that very much in the public eye.”

“I was the girl who never got the boys. I was the chubby one who never got asked to dance at the disco and would end up slow-dancing with a mate in my pink puffball skirt.”

“I have no regrets. If you regret things, then you’re sort of stepping backwards. I’m a believer in going forwards.”

“I’m not a period babe. Not at all.”

“It’s funny when someone says to you ‘You’re hot’ and all that, because I don’t think of it in that way.”

“I love my job and not for any other kind of commercial reasons.”

“I am still Kate from Reading, for God’s sake. It is ludicrous. I’m still wondering how the hell it all happened.”

“It’s a very new thing for me, this fame-luck!”

“What’s important to me is that, you know, the people that I know and that I love know who I am and know how I feel about things, and know what I would and wouldn’t say. And that’s all that really counts.”

“I’m not looking for fame, or success, really. I act because I love it, and I’m allowed to love it.”

“It’s extraordinary and bizarre and I’m as fascinated by fame as much as anyone. But it seems daft that I’m famous and I’ve not really got to grips with that.”

“People keep saying to me, ‘Don’t you know what this is? Don’t you realize who you are now?’ I sort of say, ‘I’m still me. ‘I’m still Kate’.”

“I have had to grow up quickly and haven’t found that to be a chore. It is not as if I have had to think, ‘What a shame that I’ve had to say goodbye to my youth’. I am actually looking forward to the prospect of getting older. I also know what life can bring and how cruel it can be. I’ve gone from being a girl to a woman remarkably fast and I feel ready, at the moment, for what might happen.”

“I don’t feel I missed out on my teens any more than I’ve missed out on going to nightclubs, taking drugs or getting drunk. As for men, one-night stands are not for me.”

“I finally moved out of my parent’s house. It was only fair to let my sister have her own room.”

“I now know that I will never get involved in a relationship if I don’t feel it is going somewhere profound… Instead, I will sit back and wait until that certain person walks into my life.”

“All my family act so I sort of always knew that I wanted to do it and, eh, I think it was probably when I was cast as Mary in my school nativity when I was five…”

“I have wrinkles here, which are very evident. And I will particularly say when I look at movie posters, ‘You guys have airbrushed my forehead. Please can you change it back?’ I’d rather be the woman they’re saying ‘She’s looking older’ about than ‘She’s looking stoned.'”

On being alone: “Experiencing those moments of being alone… is a very, very weird flooring and exposing position to be in when you’re just not used to it… But I’ve never been lonely. And with my kids Mia and Joe that remains the case.”

On refusing psychotherapy: “One of the reasons I’ve never done intensive psychotherapy or any of that stuff is that if there’s anything in me that needs fixing, I want to know that I can rely on my own intuition to fix it.”

On exercising post-split (with Sam Mendes): “That’s the main reason I took it up… But I do feel… I don’t know… part of, I suppose, my way out of everything, has been really taking care of myself. I think that comes from an awareness that my children really need me, and they need me to be the healthiest version of myself that I can possibly be.”

On her family

“The whole concept of ‘grounding’ children is utterly stupid — they just go off and rebel and don’t like you. When my kids eventually come along, I don’t want them to not like me.”

On meeting first husband Jim Threapleton: “Just before I met him, I said, ‘I’m not getting into any relationships. I’m going to Morocco to do this movie and have a really great time’. Then I saw him, and I thought, ‘Oh, no. Oh, God. That’s it then’. I knew there was no going back.”

“I used to be attached to possessions, but now the only things I’m attached to are my husband and my wedding rings.”

“When I’m at work during the day, I’ll call him five or six times or he calls me. I hate being away from Jim. It’s terrible. I’m counting the hours until I can go home. It’s sickening, really, isn’t it? But it’s fantastic. So fantastic.”

“I couldn’t be without Jim, I wouldn’t have a sane soul if he wasn’t around.”

On her marriage to Jim Threapleton: “I just love every single part of it. I love the certainty of it. I love caring about someone that much. It’s gorgeous.”

About her spur-of-the-moment marriage to Sam Mendes: “We hadn’t been planning to do it but we thought it was rather a good idea, so we just did it.”

“When I told Mia we were all flying to L.A., so I could promote my new film, she just looked at me and laughed, ‘You don’t work, Mummy; you take me to school!’ As far as she’s concerned, I don’t work, so I must be getting something right!”

“There’s this really unfair notion that when an actress go to work, she leaves her family behind while she shoots off around the world. Or her children hop on and off different planes, and are carted in and out of different hotel rooms. But that’s not the case. We stick together as a family.”

“I think of myself as a mum who finds the time to go to work. I have to check myself for baby sick before I walk out of the house in the morning. I am really a mum… I know I am a great mother.”

“I come from a family of hard-working actors who relish it when they do go to work and take part-time jobs in between.”

“It would be completely impractical, given the hours. There is no way we [Sam Mendes and her] could both work at the same time and we just don’t want to. These are precious times, you know, when your kids are small, and I feel so blessed that I haven’t had to work. I just have so much admiration for women who do have to do nine-to-five jobs 48 weeks of the year. I mean, that’s an impossible thought for me. I would rather be penniless.”

On engaging in a relationship with Sam Mendes: “It was quite soon after Mia’s dad and I had actually separated. And I really wasn’t looking. But you know what they say; it walks in the door when you’re really not looking for it at all. And that was certainly what happened. But it was fantastic and overwhelming. Just thank God, you know? Thank God.”

“To keep a sense of stability, lightness and calm in the house, it doesn’t pay to be a neurotic celebrity running around the place with Dolce & Gabbana dresses in the wardrobe for all to see, and Manolo Blahnik heels all over the place. Those things are very much swept out of the way.”

On how it helps the relationship that Mendes is in the same business as she is: “It means that I can come home and talk about my day, and he completely knows what I’m talking about. Or I can say, ‘Fucking hell, how can I say this bloody line?’ And he’ll say, ‘How about this?’ And I’ll try it. But we certainly don’t talk about work all the time. Still, every so often I remember I am with someone who understands me creatively, and who I understand creatively. And that’s great.”

“My kids are young and I don’t want to miss anything. So, I’m a loving and very present mother, and every now and then I go off to work for a while.”

“I am so blessed and lucky that I have a husband [Sam Mendes] who says, ‘It’s 6:15, you get in the shower, I’ll make the coffee’.”

“It [having time for myself] is difficult, but I would rather have that time with my kids, anyway. It’s more of a struggle to find time to go out with my husband [Mendes].”

“My family is the most important thing in the world to me.”

“Mia said to me the other day in the car, ‘Mum, I really love your cooking’. To me it was sort of an incredibly triumphant moment, the fact that she observed that I do cook their meals. It’s great when the mum can be the person who represents all of those nurturing things for her kids. My mum certainly was that for me.”

“I’m hoping to have more kids. I don’t know whether one of two. Oh, God, I would love to have more.”

“Meeting Sam has made an amazing different to my life in all the obvious ways, but in terms of work he has been really brilliant at saying, ‘Don’t feel so guilty about the kids; I’ll be at home’.”

“People think of Sam as this classically trained scholar, but he makes me laugh like no one else in the world.”

“It makes me sound like a domestic freak, but I care very much about my kids’ nutrition.”

“[At Christmastime] I have to phone people and say, ‘Please, books and pens only, or mittens and hats’. And I don’t like battery-operated things.”

“It’s really been an amazing last couple of years. Thankfully, I have a husband who literally takes my breath away every day, he’s just so fucking great.”

On being just like any other mum: “We all get cracked nipples, mastitis and frantically do pelvic floor exercises.”

“We never had a wealthy lifestyle and I am grateful for that. It makes me appreciate everything that much more.”

“…We were an active family, always among green.”

“They [her parents] were old hippies. We used to go to the Reading rock festival and run around with no shoes on.”
“It seems to me I look very different from how people expect me to be. Clearly they think I’m a great big fat Viking. My body is different through nothing other than my being older. My clothes fit me the same way they’ve fitted me for the last five, six years. And of course I was a lot more voluptuous then.”

“I felt I had to defend my body and took a very public stand, which I still absolutely believe in. But I’ve stopped talking about it now. And, at a certain point, it does become hypocritical.”

“I’m more aware of things like wrinkles on my face. They’re becoming much more pronounced, because that’s the muscle I use the most when acting. But it’s my face. So, whatever.”

On movie business

“Acting is about being real, being honest.”

“Don’t act, be!”

“Every time I got to work now, I go through this suicidal saga of, ‘I’m terrible, ‘I’m fat’, ‘I’m ugly’, ‘I can’t do it anymore’. I get paranoid. It’s so incredibly encouraging when people say they like me and my work, but it almost frightens me because I think, ‘Oh, shit! I have to live up to it, not disappoint them’. I don’t necessarily think of myself as particularly good or attractive, and I’m very aware of how you can burn out in this business. It’s like ‘too much, too young’. And there’s so much worry among some actors about how something is going to do at the box office.”

“Greed is a nasty thing. I’m sure it’s very easy for actors to become greedy once they’re handed everything on a plate and can pick and choose from any entrée, appetizer or dessert they want. Hugh Grant once said to me, ‘How well did Heavenly Creatures do at the box office?’ When I said, ‘I have no idea’, he was shocked, saying, ‘Well, don’t you read the figures?’ No, I don’t. To get all caught up in the business side of it frustrates me. That’s one major reason why I really don’t want to play only big leads in films or only strong female figures. I’m more than happy to play a part in a smaller project if I really love the script, the material.”

“Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever changed. I never wanted to be a film star. I love my job, that’s all I can say. And God knows there are people on film crews that work longer and harder than I do.”

“I was desperate to do it [The Crucible], phoning all the time, asking, ‘What’s going on?’ I was obsessively jealous that it was always going to be Winona [Ryder] as Abigail, but she did it wonderfully, even if that was my dream role. On Oscar night for Sense And Sensibility, this huge bouquet of roses arrived with a note saying, ‘Good luck tonight. I think you’re wonderful. Much love, Winona Ryder’. It was so sweet and lovely, I was like, ‘My God, Winona Ryder sent me flowers!'”

“I knew, right from the start, that it was not a matter of putting on red lipstick and tying your hair in bunches and saying ‘I want to be a star’.”

On receiving her 4th Oscar nomination: “I can’t believe it. I am ecstatic! This nomination means so much to me. To be remembered for a film that was released a while ago, I am unbelievably honoured and completely overwhelmed.”

“The female roles are just stronger in period films. I read as many contemporary scripts as I do period ones, but the period ones just get me every time.”

“I’ve never had a career agenda, as such. I just make the films I want to make. I wanted to make Titanic because I loved the script and I loved the character. If other people agree, that’s fine by me!”

“I’d rather do theater and British films than move to L.A. in hopes of getting small roles in American films.”

“It’s very important for me to make the statement that I am English and just because I’ve done one really big film, it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to keep a finger in the fantastic British film industry and do films like this.”

“After Titanic it would have been completely foolish for me to go and try and top that. I’m an English girl, I’ve always loved England, I’ve never felt the desire to leave it for any particular reason. And whilst I’m ambitious and care very much about what I do, I’m not competitive. I also don’t want to act every day of my life. (…) So it was important to me after Titanic to just remind myself of why it was that I was acting in the first place, which is of course because I love it.”

“My feeling about why I like making films is you can come away from a film feeling so changed and touched. I really love that, the thought that I could be giving people a lot.”

“People say to me, ‘You seem to have made this conscious decision to do independent films’. In reality, I haven’t. After each movie, I always think, ‘how different can I possibly be? Is this going to challenge me, is this going to inspire me, and is this going to make me love my job more than I already do?'”

On the film environment: “Everything’s done for you. Your life outside your work stops for that period of time. Then, the shoot is over. Suddenly, you have to wash your own knickers on the weekend. I always love to get back to that reality. Others don’t.”

“I care nothing about being a movie star. In many ways I feel I’m being arrogant and cynical when I say this. I’m baffled to be in the position I’m in. When I first thought about being an actress — which, I think, was when I was born — I didn’t plan or hope for this. I love acting and I just thought, ‘Well, I’ll just take each day as it comes and hope to always love it.'”

“There have been days when I’ve asked, ‘Why on earth am I doing this job? It’s too much mental torture. I’m too tired. I never see my family’. There are times where I thought, ‘Shit, I’m not having a life — I’m not having enough life experience upon which to draw’. It’s horrible to feel that about the life you’re making for yourself.”

“Thank God for British films they don’t care what shape you are.”

“Once your foot’s in that door, you don’t need to agonize so much over the struggle to find work.”

“I have the luxury of being able to choose what I think is the right thing for me (…) The ability to choose things, thrills and amazes me.”

“It wasn’t necessarily that I knew acting was what I wanted to do, it’s just that I knew it’s what I would end up doing.”

“Quite frankly that stuff doesn’t interest me. I’m not saying go away Hollywood because I happen to think Hollywood is an extraordinary place full of amazing creativity that creates history every year.”

“A lot of actors, when they have to do crying scenes, think of something sad. I just can’t do it that way — it’s not completely honest with the character. I have to think about the situation. Otherwise, I really think it’s cheating.”

On award ceremonies: “I’ve already had my talking to. Emma Thompson called me and said, ‘If you ever fucking win any of those bloody awards and you get up there and cry, I will shoot you. I will never speak to you again!’ Those ceremonies are such a riot. It’s like, ‘Who’s got the nose job? Who’s got the breast job?’ Very funny.”

“Emma Thompson said to me ‘Listen, it’s honestly just like going to see a fantastic show’, and actually it really is, because there are so many people to look at and all those fabulous frocks and it’s really fascinating. But mum and dad and I did kind of amble through it a bit, a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies, getting out the car, my mum stepping on my dress and I’m going ‘Mum, mum!'”

“The thing I don’t like is that it’s a very long ceremony and I always need to pee and I always feel like I’m gonna go at the wrong moment… so I just sit there kinda dying for a pee.”

“I get to the end of a movie and think, Oh my God, why do I do this job? I constantly think about giving it up. It’s madness. It’s such a headache. Why do I put myself through these terrible emotional traumas, beat myself about the head: ‘I’m crap. I look like a horse. I’ve got an ass the size of a barn’. Constantly doing all those things. But I absolutely love my job, and I’m very, very lucky to have a job that I adore doing.”

“Work is not as important as it was. From the outside peering in, it looks like I’ve been working non-stop, but I one film a year and always take at least nine months off between every film I make. I don’t really work that much.”

“It [receiving her first Academy Award nomination] was the changing point, really. It made me realize that people like what I do. It gave me confidence. I think any form of self-expression is half confidence, half sheer hard work and, maybe, a bit of talent thrown in. It is really hard work.”

“This is what you do as an actor. You struggle. So that’s the life I imagined I would lead.”

“In our house, there was always lots of singing and putting on plays and tap dancing in the kitchen. I have seen enough of the other side of acting — being out of work and waiting for the phone to ring — to appreciate everything. I learnt early on that luck has a bigger part to play than talent. Insecurity is what actors work with all the time. Coming from an acting family has meant they have been really brilliant about my career.”

On why she chose small film Hideous Kinky: “The point was I could choose. That was the luxury Titanic afforded me. There was the pressure on me to do something ‘big’, but I ducked it all. I had to. If I hadn’t, I would have burned out by the age of 25. So I ran a mileback to where I felt safe again.”

“I was thinking about this the other day, because, bizarrely, I’ve never actually made a film in Hollywood. It’s nice to remain different and ever so slightly aloof from the hoi polloi of the crazy industry that is film in Los Angeles. I like that — it’s cool. It’s my little trump card.”

“After Titanic I knew my life could change, and as a consequence I could have changed as a person. I knew I had to get back in touch with myself and I had to remind myself of why I had to do things that I genuinely wanted to do. That’s why I did Hideous Kinky — it mirrored that time in my life. If I hadn’t done it, I’d probably have gone backpacking anyway.”

“I don’t want to now have nothing to do with Hollywood, but I don’t want to be the kind of actor who just does lots of big films. I love acting and I always want to love it and it can be destructive to just do those sort of films.”

“I don’t do starry things. For me, acting is very much my job. I have a great family and most of them are actors. For me to have changed would have been impossible because they would never have let me.”

“People will come up to me in Tesco and say, ‘Excuse me, but you are her, aren’t you?’ And I have to take a minute and think, hang on, what are they asking? And then I say, ‘Ooh! Yes! I think so! I think I am who you think I am’.”

“That felt dangerous. That film [Titanic] was trying to make me more famous than I wanted to be. I was aware of a potential for burn-out. It was the closest I came to going off the rails. I remember thinking it would be so easy for me to stop liking my job, and if I didn’t like my job any more, I wouldn’t be happy and, yes, I probably would have started taking loads of drugs and going out a lot, and not taking care of myself. I didn’t want to dislike my job. I wanted to always love it.”

“I’ve got the corset to thank for a lot of good things. Ken [Branagh] had seen me in Sense And Sensibility and rang to ask me if I’d like to don a corset again to be Ophelia to his Hamlet. I nearly passed out with excitement.”

“I have always been quite adventurous and go-getting, pretty fearless. But I never set out thinking to myself, ‘I want to be a film star’.”

“I remember having this overwhelming feeling of, ‘Oh my God, if I’m ever going to have to hang on to the seat of my pants, it’s now’. Not in terms of losing my mind, but sticking to my guns and hanging on to what was most important to me in terms of work, regardless of the size of budgets and regardless of what a role could do for me in the long run.”

“So I love to sit back and see young actresses work their way up the ladder, and not only give great performances but also hang on to themselves.”

“I don’t have the right to criticize the way a woman is portrayed in film, purely because I’ve had the opportunity to play so many great parts.”

On how a mediocre script gets studio backing: “I cannot understand how on earth this got funding when you could make three decent British films with this money!”

“I work really, really hard, so I feel incredibly proud of my nominations. And I feel very proud of the fact that I’m the youngest who’s ever gotten that many. That’s amazing! I’ll be able to tell my grandkids that when I was that age, that happened to me. Wow! Yes, Kate, well done.”

On how stardom felt like a dream come true: “I’d stop and think, ‘How lucky am I?'”

“I have this love/hate relationship with Oscar buzz. I don’t read reviews. It’s just part of my little survival kit.”

On not reading reviews: “I don’t read them and I never have, even the good ones. When people say, ‘Come on, look, it’s great’, I just say, ‘No thanks, it’s fine’. So you just kind of hear about “Oscar buzz”. There’s part of me that just thinks, ‘Oh, how lovely’, and then there’s another part that just goes, ‘Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!’ Because there is that strange kind of pressure — you start thinking, ‘Well, what if people don’t like it?’ When it gets out into the masses it’s just anybody’s game. Everything’s a risk, you just have no idea what it’s going to do. Of course, it’s wonderful when things are critically acclaimed and people like them and say nice things. But then again, the proof’s never really in the pudding until people can go out and see it for themselves. But yes, I don’t know. Eeeee… we shall see.”

“Back when I first started I did. I did read them then and it was after that that I thought, ‘I really shouldn’t do this’. I don’t know why, it just sort of kicked in that I thought, ‘Hmmm, how healthy is this really?’ The fact that they were saying nice things can almost be worse because then you start getting a little bit pleased with yourself and it just takes you away from the job in hand. It genuinely does. In order to stay focused and as kind of cleansed as possible you have to focus on the work, and as soon as those other things come into play it can just become very distorting, even when the things people say are very complimentary. So from Heavenly Creatures on I really tried not to read them. But that film was the beginning of it all, really. That was the big, fat, life-changing moment.”

“Those strange anxieties that all actors have. I still feel it sometimes today: ‘I’m no good at this accent and I’m crap and everybody’s looking at me’. It doesn’t go away, and thank God it doesn’t because it’s the thing that sort of keeps you on your toes.”

“More people probably come up to me on the street because of Extras than did around the time of Titanic. (Puts on New York drawl) ‘Oh my God, Extras. I loved you in that’. And I just thought, ‘Christ, if I knew I was going to get this much recognition for flicking my knickers out of my bum and pretending to be myself, why have I been sweating so much these last ten years?'”

“When I choose a role, it’s to try something different. I look back over the last decade and, God, I’ve had these wild opportunities to try so many outrageous things.”

“Fortunately for me, I only have to dip my tow into that movie-star world when I step onto a red carpet.”

When she realized she wanted to be an actress: “Horrifyingly, I was five. I was sitting on the loo, with my feet dangling over the edge, waiting for a poo, basically. And I can hear my mum in the kitchen, just going about her normal business, pots clanking and taps running and ‘Rog! Your socks are in the sink!’ You know, life, basically. The penny dropped. Acting’s just being real.”

“When we went with Heavenly Creatures to the Venice Film Festival, that was my first taste of being photographed and interviewed. It was amazing, but just so weird and unreal. Fuck, it was so exciting! It still didn’t turn my head, though. It didn’t make me think I was going to be that person now.”

“[The Titanic experience] was genuinely overwhelming. People would say to me, ‘How are you going to cope? Your life’s going to change’. I would say, ‘My life’s not going to change’. I was very defensive about it. But the truth is my life did change. Completely. Who I was managed to pretty much stay the same deep down. But I definitely thought, ‘Fuck. I’m going to have to navigate my way through this. And I did that by myself’.”

“I realized that maybe in some profound way there’s loads of things that I haven’t actually dealt with. (…) The things that I don’t like to hang on to, or haven’t wanted to… That’s the great thing about acting. You kind of learn things about yourself that you perhaps wouldn’t otherwise know.”

“I’m not an emotional wreck and doing a very good job of covering it up. But when I’m allowed to indulge like I am now, then this stuff does come out. But then acting’s like that. Acting’s hard. If you’re trying to do it properly, it makes you vulnerable. When you’re an actor you have to confront your true feelings every single day. And that’s pretty exhausting. Then you have to go home and make dinner.”

“[When I was sitting in a rehearsal room with a group of well-known actors], the director asked us, ‘Who do we act for?’ Almost everybody said a family member of their mother. And I realized I was going to be last to answer, and I said, ‘Quite honestly, I act for myself’. Everybody said, ‘That’s so brave’. But I don’t do it to please somebody, or to make somebody love me more or respect me more. I’m not looking for approval. You can’t please people all the time. And the only person I have to blame if it all goes tits-up is me.”

“At some stage I’m going to have to say, ‘Right, that’s it. I’m stopping for a bit’.”

“I like exposing myself. There’s not an awful lot that embarrasses me. I’m the kind of actress who absolutely believes in exposing herself.”

“I wouldn’t dream of working on something that didn’t make my gut rumble and my heart want to explode.”

“There are moments to indulge and enjoy, but I always know when it’s time to go home and wash my knickers.”

“I feel like a cracked record, because I keep saying that in terms of my career I feel incredibly lucky, but I really mean it. I’m incredibly happy, truly, truly happy and feeling more centered than I have for a long time. I feel calmer, older and wiser.”

On taking the year (2007) off: “The truth is I’m going to be on the school run, doing packed lunches. I’m very much looking forward to having time to think about nothing else but my kids.”

“I wish I could tell you I was going to learn French or take singing lessons or do tap dancing — they’re all on my list.”

“I’m injured on every job I do!”

“My work isn’t more important than the camera man’s one.”

“Well, it, it is pretty unbelievable, and it’s sort of, um, it’s very exciting but it is a bit scary, ’cause, I mean, I’m English and y’know it’s hard for English actors to get work on a consistant level, and especially to do films, so y’know I sort of keep going *gasp* ‘When’s it all gonna go wrong?'”

“As an actor you never really think ahead. You never thing about academy award nominations for example. It’s always about there and then, and what’s happening each day, and doing the job as well as you possibly can.”

“I’m really proud of being English, because I learned my job in England, in English films with English actors. But I never dared dream of such a success… it’s more than a dream. I realise it’s extraordinary for a British actress. I feel good, but guilty at the same time, ’cause I wish I could share this emotion with all my British actors’ friends… I play the main character in the most expensive and probably successful film, but that’s not a good reason to leave England and become a superstar. Not at all.”

“If it all did go horribly wrong I’d go back to the part-time jobs and the sandwich shop. I’d happily do that.”

“It’s very exciting, I’d like to work in Hollywood again, ’cause there is an extraordinary atmosphere. Everyone who lives there dreams about cinema. This town [Los Angeles] exists for and thanks to the cinema… but that’s a little bit suffocating. I think I’d never live there. Anyway I’d never leave England. I’m born there, I started there: it’s my heart’s house. And I can tell you something else: if tomorrow someone asks me to play in an interesting film, with no flee, with a young, unknown but passionate and determinate director I’ll do it!”

“I start thinking about my character as a child, with its family, its habits, and its ideas, then I unroll the thread to the moment when the film is set, as if the character was real.”

“I’m always improving and changing because I think you can never stop learning as any actor. And I think it’s really foolish if any actors ever think that they know how to do it because it’s a very hard job to do.”

After Titanic: “I think I just thought now, you know, how am I going to not sort of stop myself from becoming a movie star, if you like, but how am I going to remember that I’m an actor and this is what I do for a living? And not a sort of ‘movie star’, as it were. And I think the way in which I did that was just to sort of take a back seat, and I did deliberately not do another huge movie because, apart from that, I think people would have gotten a bit sick of me. You know, just being around so much and on every front cover. And you know, I think I didn’t want to kind of exhaust myself and everybody else.”

“I don’t want to now have nothing to do with Hollywood, but I don’t want to be the kind of actor who just does lots of big films. I love acting and I always want to love it and it can be destructive to just do those sort of films.”

“I’ve never had a career agenda, as such. I just make the films I want to make. I wanted to make Titanic because I loved the script and I loved the character. If other people agree, that’s fine by me!”

“The audience’s reactions are more important: if people believe in the love story, it’s because they love how we’ve acted. That’s the most beautiful award. It’s very important for me, people appreciating what I do.”

“You’re successful and you have heaps of offers coming your way, and paychecks being flashed before your eyes. I think it’s very difficult to forget that you must hang onto who you are because, otherwise, you have no soul.”

“I mean it’s okay but it’s just odd, and you know being followed and things and obviously press write whatever they want about you, and you just think ‘hang on a minute, that’s not happening’.”

On weight issues

“When I was 18 and 19 and 20, I would weigh myself and write it down in my diary. I’m not that person now. I have that feeling of not caring. I’m just happy being me.”

“At 19, I went from pillar to post about my body and spent at least 95 percent of my head-space every day thinking about what I bloody looked like.”

“I accept the fact that I have a round face. Sometimes I look in the mirror and go, ‘Oh, why don’t I just have a little bit more sucking in going on?’ But if my cheekbones don’t become more prominent with age, they don’t. Hey ho! There’s more to life than cheekbones.”

“I really have gone to hell and back with this whole blooming weight thing. And I was very big when I was younger and very sensibly lost a lot of weight and then went the other way and made myself really quite ill, and now I’m reaching the point where I’m happy. And so that’s why it’s faintly frustrating that they are sort of kicking up a fuss because I just think “Oh God”, you know, and it’s just annoying. But I am happy the way I am and, you know, I’m not a model, I’m an actress. It’s quite, sort of, it’s quite a nice feeling in a way to know that I’m in Titanic and I’m playing one of the leading roles and that I am not, you know, the waif-like norm you would see in Hollywood. And it’s quite important to me, you know, that I stand there as a British woman and say, ‘Listen girls out there, don’t go starving yourselves ’cause there’s just no point’, and it really is. If you want to be an actor it’s not about being skinny, it really isn’t.”

“The audience doesn’t love you or want to be with you because of what your face looks like or because of the size of your backside. They’ve got yo love you because of the honesty within your soul.”

“I was chubby as a child. When I was sixteen, I was fat. It was a family thing. We’re all big eaters. My uncle is a chef. My mother is a fantastic cook. Kind of unavoidable. I sensibly lost the weight doing Weight Watchers. End of story.”

“When the Academy Awards came around, I thought, ‘I’m young. I’m 21 years old and I’m in this movie and it’s very successful and I have been nominated for an Academy Award for this and I haven’t done any of this through being skinny or through starving myself or anything like that’. And so I thought, ‘I’m just going to hold my head high and I’m just going to be the person that I am’.”

“On Jude, I said to Chris Ecclestone in our big, nude love scene that I wished I could lose a bit of weight and he said, ‘You’ve got to be joking. It would be like shagging a bloke!’ As a younger actress it’s easy to think to be successful you have to be thin, and I used to feel like that. I am a slim, normal sort of shape now but, at the same time, I’m a woman and I’ve got boobs and I’ve got a bum. I am probably nine and a half stone, but I haven’t checked.”

“[My weight is] the most boring subject in the world to me.”

“There was all this stuff after Titanic, about how people thought I had put on weight, and I thought, ‘Who cares?’ But the other thing is, when you wear a corset, you look skinny. It sucks everything in. So as soon as I’m allowed out of the corset, they decide to criticize me physically. And when that happened, I thought, ‘I’m going to turn this into a good thing’. I thought, ‘Right, I’ve been nominated for two Academy Awards; I just played the lead in the highest-grossing film ever in the world. And guess what — I’m not skinny. I’m not a stick. It’s not about being a stick insect.”

“I have a normal woman’s body. I like having a good pair of tits on me and a good ass. If I didn’t, I don’t think I’d feel attractive.”

On GQ magazine drastically airbrushing: “They’ve reduced the size of my legs by about a third! I don’t desire to look like that!”

“I had a time in my life when I was about 19 and I was very thin and I wasn’t eating. I was anorexic for about six months. And I was so unhappy. And someone said to me one day, ‘Don’t you realize how much of your day you are spending thinking about your physicality?’ And it was so true. I realized I’d wake up in the morning, the first thing I do I would look in the mirror: ‘Oh, my bum looks big. Oh, my face is fat’. And I just felt, ‘What am I doing to my life? I can’t even think about others’.”

“It’s important for me to stand by my views, because I do think glossy magazines are the culprit of a lot of these young women’s obsessions with the idea of perfection. I mean, every magazine cover we see now has been retouched. These poor young girls look at these photos and say: ‘I wish I had that body’ or ‘I wish I had beautiful skin like that’. What they dont know is that the actress is wearing three-inch thick make-up, and the pictures have been digitally enhanced or reduced or whatever. It just gives an incorrect idea of beauty. To me, a beautiful person is someone who makes me laugh and is comfortable in their own skin, whatever shape and size they are.”

“Because of the person I am I won’t be knocked down — ever. They can say I’m fat, I’m thin, I’m whatever, and I’ll never stop. I just won’t. I’ve got too much to do. I’ve too much to be happy about.”

“There are no magic tricks of the trade to losing weight, I’m afraid. I wish I could say I was drinking wheatgrass juice, and only eating carrots!”

“I feel for those people [anorexics] because they’re being screwed up by what is said to be beautiful and successful these days, thin and pretty, and it’s just bollocks.”

“I like to be healthy, to eat right by adding protein bars into my diet, to feel comfortable and confident, and I exercise a couple of times a week. But that’s for myself, not for my job. But your body changes when you have children and it’s pointless pretending it doesn’t. But cosmetic surgery isn’t for me. I like the way I’m growing older.”

“I sometimes think that in L.A. people don’t have enough to do. In London or New York you go out for a walk, go to a museum, meet a mate for a coffee, take the kids to the park. Here, the focus is on appearance. You see people going for a run at 5:30 in the morning, when I’m often up with Joe. I mean, there’s something weird about people running around at that time. You’d never get that in London, would you?”

“I am proud, you know? It’s hard work getting your shape back after two kids, but I like the way I look.”

“She [Emma Thompson] set an incredible example for me when I was very young. ‘As much as you might be tempted, you need to remember that it’s vry important not to work sometimes’. And she also told me, ‘If you ever lose weight, I will never fucking talk to you again’.”

About when she and Emma Thompson reunited at 2006 Toronto Film Festival: “She turned up and went, ‘I’m not going to stay for long, but I want to make sure you eat! I ordered sushi, salad, and a pudding of some kind. Did you order the pudding?’ And I said, ‘No, no, I didn’t’ And she said, ‘Why didn’t you order the pudding?! It looks delicious!'”

“It’s important for me to stand by the fact that I eat real food and am not on a diet every day of my life.”

“I just knew I wouldn’t work if I stayed that way [overweight].”

“My body does not dominate my thoughts. Ninety-five percent of my day is not spent thinking about doing ab crunches!”

“There is so much pressure in this business to have the perfect body. I’m sorry, but I have boobs and a backside.”

When asked how does she stay in shape: “A little bit of running on the treadmill every now and then helps. It bores the hell out of me, but you’ve got to do it.”

“Some people were not very nice about my curvy shape.”

“I am not a twig and refuse to be one.”

While pregnant with her first child, Mia: “There have been times when I’ve felt like a bus.”

“Sam was looking up something online. I think he was looking up some early Little Children reviews — so I of course ran away into the other room when he did that. But anyway, he came across a picture of me at the Academy Awards with my parents and he said, ‘You just look like a bladder on a stick’. And I said, ‘I’m sure it’s not that bad’. But then I looked at the picture and bloody hell, my arms. But I was 19 or 20, and it’s that stage in a girl’s life when body image becomes so important. But yeah, I had a pretty.. not quite screwed up, because I never took drugs or drank a lot or ended up in the gutter. But emotionally and inside myself in my own private little way I was pretty screwy for a couple of years.”

“When I was skinny I was really unhappy and unhealthy.”

“I’ll never be a skinny girl — I’ll always be Curvy Kate.”

“Some people are naturally very slim. I’m naturally curvy, I’ve got child-bearing hips. I know I’m not the physical norm of these American film stars. I’m happy now with the way I am, but I’ve been to hell and back with the whole weight thing.”

“It seems to me they’re breeding a whole new generation of anorexics. I look at people and I want to say, ‘Look, it’s really all right. You can eat something’.”

“When you’ve had kids, you lose any shred of vanity you may have had.”

“I was very vocal about it, but the truth is I never really had a weight problem. I certainly went through a time when I didn’t eat enough and went through another chunk of time when I probably ate too much.”

“I’d much rather be known as some curvy Kate than as some skinny stick.”

“I’ve been skinny; it’s fucking boring.”

“Being a film star is very much a label and these days it’s not about being a good actor or not, it’s about the size of your breasts, the shape of your body and whether you’ve had a nose job. Quite frankly, that stuff doesn’t interest me.”

Personal thoughts on general things

On Los Angeles: “I find it suffocating (…) I really dislike the glamour side of the business that’s so prevalent here, the ‘constant attetion’ thing.”

On being afraid of taking drugs: “I make up for it in cigarette smoking and coffee drinking and occasionally going out and getting completely plastered, losing my mind, and waking up the next morning feeling very sorry for myself. I’m an incredible control freak. I think what frightens me about drugs is that I can’t bear the idea of losing control of my self, my center. Particularly in a business that is so out of control.”

About doing nude scenes: “I like exposing myself. There’s not an awful lot that embarrasses me. I’m the kind of actress that absolutely believes in exposing myself.”

On plastic surgery: “Plastic surgery and breast implants are fine for people who want that, if it makes them feel better about who they are. But it makes these people, actors especially, fantasy figures suited to a fantasy world. (…) And yet, I understand how some of this happens. The hardest thing about working in a film environment — and all Los Angeles is a film environment — is that you’re immersed in a fantasy world all the time.”

“I look to people like Meryl Streep and Judi Dench and Helen Mirren and just think, As far as I can tell, none of you have had any surgery. You all look amazing. And you’re all working and being better than ever!”

“I don’t think I will [have plastic surgery] because as I do get older, I’m becoming more and more relaxed about my body image.”

On religion: “I do believe in God. Well, actually, I suppose I don’t, really. If there is a God for me, it’s in the elements — the fresh air, trees… some sort of elemental God.”

On love: “Love to me, God, this is so difficult… To me, love is when you meet that person and you think, ‘This is it, this is who I’m supposed to be with’.”

On New York: I love it that I don’t feel so watched here. It’s relatively paparazzi-free, compared to London, where an activity like going to feed the ducks is immediately abnormal because you’re trying not to let the kids know there are seven photographers hiding behind the trees trying to get a picture of you flicking your knickers out of your arse.”

“Just because society, and government, and whatever was different 100 years ago, doesn’t mean that people didn’t have sex, pick their nose, or swear.”

On the paparazzi: “As long as you give them what they want, they love you.”

“God, I fucking hate the British press.”

On London: “Sad? London? I don’t think so. I love the cold — autumn and winter are my favorite seasons. There is nothing better than wrapping up in a scarf, gloves and boots to walk in the park. That is paradise.”

On theater lessons: “A lot of bla bla for nothing.”

On Hollywood: “Quite frankly that stuff doesn’t interest me. I’m not saying go away Hollywood because I happen to think Hollywood is an extraordinary place full of amazing creativity that creates history every year.”

On other people

On Peter Jackson: “With Peter, who is like my godfather, I knew from the first, ‘Here is a man who’s going to be with us actors, no matter what’.”

On James Cameron: “Some days I’d wake up and think, ‘Please, God, let me die!'” (admitting that the temper of the director frightened her)

“He’s a genious and a maniac. A genius in terms of his vision, a maniac in terms of getting what he wants. But that’s to be absolutely admired, because to be the controller of a thing that’s so absolutely huge is amazing. Some of the visions he had in his head I found really frustrating, because I couldn’t quite understand what he meant. I finally came to realize, though, My God, this man has been visualizing nothing but this for the last two years.”

On Leonardo DiCaprio: “He’s brilliant. At first, I thought, ‘Oh, is he going to be Hollywood stud-like?’ But he’s a really kind, wonderful person. He said to me one day early in the making of the movie, ‘You know, I was kind of worried about you’. He thought I was going to be a perfect skin, which I am certainly not. It didn’t take long for Leo to crack and see who I really am, and we became very close. but, I must say, he is absolutely gorgeous.”

“He’d walk onto the set in the morning, after, like, a half hour’s sleep or something, and that face — it took your breath away. I just looked at him, having been through hair and makeup for hours, and wailed, ‘You fucker!’ He just practically rolled out of bed and looked that gorgeous. He can’t take compliments, absolutely hates them, and he goes, ‘Shut up!’ and gets me in a headlock and wrestles me to the ground. I love him dearly. I bullied him into doing the movie, because it takes a long time for him to make decisions. He likes to be advised by all his close friends and family, which was terribly frustrating for me because, with me, it’s always gut feeling. We became such good friends, so close, absolutely like brother and sister. We’ve talked about everything. We’ve laid our souls out on a slab to each other, in one way or another.”

“Before we met, I thought, ‘I’m just going to fall completely in love with this guy’. Once I met him, I thought, ‘Well, it’s true. Leonardo DiCaprio is incredibly beautiful, but no way’. He’s just so normal and so — what’s the word I’m looking for? — fundamental. Very chatty and so funny that we laughed and joked around. Everybody kept saying, ‘God, you two just get on so well’. Leo and I sometimes still talk about it and say, ‘Oh, should we have an affair just for the hell of it?’ But we wind up agreeing, ‘No, we couldn’t, because we’d laugh too much’. We just wouldn’t be able to take it seriously.”

“There were days when I would say, ‘God, I can’t be without Leo’. He was my rock. We were such a team, nothing could break us, nothing could come near us.”

“Working with Leonardo DiCaprio — he’s a bit gorgeous, and I was worried that he was going to find me all stuffy and Shakespearean and English. But the second we met, we just completely clicked. We’d do the most ridiculous things to each other. He’d be tickling me, groping me, winding me up. And I’d be doing the same thing back, sort of grabbing his bum.”

“Just the notion of that [having a romantic relationship] was insane — it would have been absolutely like incest. I have the relationship with Leo that all the women in the world would envy. He would say, ‘So, um, do you really think that?’ I’d say to him, ‘You are absolutely stunning, you complete bastard. How do you do it when you’ve only had two hours sleep?'”

“He knows me better than anyone else in the world. Lots of male friendships begin as a cheeky snog. Or a little undercurrent of flirtation. But Leo and I? No. He’s my rock. I don’t know what the fuck I would have done if I hadn’t had him”

“I was doing press for Eternal Sunshine, and we had a couple of dinner parties. And Leo came to one of those dinners, and that was so fantastic because I haven’t actually seen him for six years. We’ve spoken on the phone, but we haven’t sat down and gone, ‘Oh my God! Do you remember what that was like?’ And then, at one point, he turned around to me and said, ‘Sweetie, why did we get so fat?’ I said, ‘I don’t know!’ And he said, ‘Well, I know what I was doing. I just didn’t give a fuck!'”

“It sounds naff, I know, but we really were like brother and sister.”

“He’s probably the world’s most beautiful looking man, yet he doesn’t think he’s that gorgeous. And to me, he’s just smelly, farty Leo.”

On ex-boyfriend Rufus Sewell: “[It was] a fling until we both decided, ‘This is just a friendship, really, isn’t it?'”

On late close friend and former boyfriend Stephen Tredre: “He was the person most important to me in my life, next to my family. We were together for four and a half years. I spoke to him every day.”

“He lost his battle against cancer. He died on the eighth of December [of 1997]. So, y’know, I’ve got a lump in my throat now. (…) Sorry. God, I’m really sorry — that’s such a surprise. Don’t worry about it. Don’t feel bad for asking or anything. Stephen was such an extraordinary person.”

On Freddie Highmore: “You just look into the eyes of this boy and he’s giving you everything he’s got. And you can’t help but react to the honesty that he’s giving you. It’s completely pure.”

On meeting Winona Ryder at the 1993 Oscars: “It was the first time I’d ever seen her, and she was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s you! I’m so glad to meet you!’ With left breast hanging out of dress. First time we’d ever met — tit sticking out! And she said, ‘Oh my God, I have to introduce Bruce Springsteen’. And I said, ‘Well, you’d better tuck it back in’.”

On Johnny Depp: “I mean, obviously he’s devastatingly handsome which is just shocking and so annoying. Because, you know, he’s in his early forties now, and he looks like he’s 30. But he’s a lovely, lovely guy.”

“Everybody asks me this, whether I’m slightly annoyed that I didn’t get to kiss Johnny Depp… We would have laughed.”

On Michelle Williams: “I could watch her until the cows come home!”

On Catalina Sandino Moreno: “I could have just wept for joy for her. I didn’t know her, but she and I were on the red carpet and she would lean over and say, ‘Do I look okay?’ and I’d say, ‘You look ab-so-lute-ly fantastic!’ To be suddenly so on show like that is a really strange thing.”

On Jack Black: “He is the sexiest film star I’ve ever worked with. He’s just the best. He’s hilarious. He is so sweet. H edoesn’t have any of that tortured comedian thing that you sometimes see; not at all. He’s a very funny, sweet, hilarious person who wilfully tries to make you corpse in the middle of your scene. They put together my own personal gag reel at the end of the film and I’d never had a gag reel so I was thrilled by that and treasured it. But there were so many moments where Jack was acting off-camera for me and you can just see my face crumbling, while I try to keep it together. He was absolute bliss to work with.”

On Meryl Streep: “She is [a bit of hero of mine]. I embarrassingly went up to her at the Golden Globes last year, having never met her. I was completely sober at the time, I hasten to add. And I said, ‘I love you so much I want to tongue-kiss you’. And she said, ‘Okay’.”

“She’s just everything. I really look up to her. I have so much respect. She’s sort of my role model a little bit and I just have so much admiration for how she’s conducted herself, her life and the choices she’s made. It’s just wonderful to see that and I can only hope to be as sane as her and working when I’m that age.”

On Jim Carrey: “It was one of the best experiences I’ve had. When you think about it, I was the Him Carrey role and he was the girly one. It was terrifying to start with. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it. I just wasn’t used to being the funny one.”

On Ricky Gervais: “Ricky is dreadful because he wilfully tries to fuck you up. He’ll fart in the middle of a scene and won’t crack a smile.”

On Cameron Diaz: “Cameron is always smiling and laughing. Life, to her, is about having fun. When she smiles, her whole face lights up. She has the ability to transform the atmosphere in a room with that laugh of hers! She also has the most incredible set of blue eyes and lips to die for.”

Other people’s quotes on Kate

“Kate could have done any movie she wanted to coming out of Titanic, but she didn’t race off and take a paycheck. She picked movies she responded to. And you’ve got to admire that.” — Titanic producer Jon Landau

“She was my best friend for seven months. We’d unload the stresses of the shoot to each other, vent to each other, watch out for each other. Kate was just the perfect person to work with because she was very much one of the guys, and it would have been much harder without her. We were partners.” — Leonardo DiCaprio

“Kate Winslet is one of my dearest friends. We have the ultimate trust in each other and the best of intentions for what we want to do. I knew Kate before Sam even met her. So on the outside, it may seem strange to do a sex scene with a woman while her husband is directing. But it didn’t feel that way to me. When the scene was about to start, Kate said, in front of the crew, “Wait, wait, this is totally weird.” She turned to both Sam and I and said, “Are you guys okay?” We both looked at each other and said, Yeah, we’re totally fine. She said, “It’s even weirder that you’re both totally fine.” — Leonardo DiCaprio

“Kate has a terrifically powerful imagination—so powerful, it’s dangerous. When you engage they way she does, it’s a bit scary. It’s not like, ‘I remember when my pet tortoise died…'” — Kenneth Branagh

“She’d make a terrific Cleopatra.” — Kenneth Branagh

“I could imagine her running Egypt, couldn’t you? Kate isn’t very easy to understand, which makes her an amazing actress. She has so many different parts of herself, it’s almost like all of those characters are still hiding in there somewhere.” — Melanie Lynskey

“I was picking my luggage up, and I turned around and there she was. She looked like this vision. I said, ‘Oh my God, you look like a movie star!’ I was so in awe of her. And she had head shots! I’d never seen such a thing. She had these black-and-white photos with her hair blown back. And I said, ‘What do you do with them?’ And she said, ‘Send them to fans’.” — Melanie Lynskey

“She was never overinterested in academic things, she wasn’t goody-goody. Kate has a wicked snese of humor, and so do I. A week before the wedding, she told me something I didn’t know. I always thought I had eyes in the back of my head and that I could see around corners, as teachers must. But Kate told me that she and a few friends used to follow me and get as close behind as they could to get a whiff of my after-shave.” — Father Mortiboys, Kate’s schoolteacher

“I have a vision of Kate pouring her heart into Jack And The Beanstalk, outshining everybody. No, there was never any doubt as to what she was going to do.” — Father Mortiboys, Kate’s schoolteacher

“Kate tamed the beast—tamed the ship, and all those able hands upon it. She set the tone.” — Billy Zane

“Kate was the most macho person out trying, braving temperatures, wanting to be all to Method, wanting to feel the cold. The funniest announcement would come over the bullhorn: James Cameron would say, ‘Leo, run more like Kate! Kate, run more like Leo!'” — Billy Zane

“I think to her it was a shock, then a pleasure, then a drag. But she could handle the attention. Kate is good at that. She understands that she is a movie star now.” — Anna Campion, sister of Jane Campion and co-writer of Holy Smoke!, remembers how Kate was about her success

“People do love her. The only other person I’ve ever seen love acting that much is Jack Nicholson.” — Nancy Meyers

“For young women to look at her as opposed to the girls in Us Weekly is terrific. Everything about her just screams smart. I think she’ll keep going and going, giving great performances at every age.” — Nancy Meyers

“[Her work in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind is] so alive and mad and engaging.” — Todd Field

“As actors, we get rewarded for doing things that are our stock in trade: playing someone with a handicap or changing your gender or playing someone like Roosevelt. But what Kate’s done with this woman [Sarah, her character in Little Children] is make tiny, tiny brushstrokes that run the emotional gamut.” — Todd Field

“There’s nothing normal about her. She’s rare and fine and peculiar. When people say she’s normal what they’re referring to is that doesn’t run around trying to get her picture in the papers or on TV. What’s interesting is what she is—grounded and with her head screwed on.” — Todd Field

“She doesn’t know how good she is.” — Patrick Wilson

“She takes it very seriously but also remains very calm and good-natured. She’s not all about showing you how hard it is. When Kate’s on screen, her acting’s effortless and she’s absolutely dedicated to making it as real as possible.” — Jude Law

“To me, Kate embodies the empowerment women have achieved over time. She is self-possessed and connected to her strengths and forgiving of her weaknesses. I think she is an excellent example of a modern woman. And she’s hilarious! Funny! Funny! Funny! She’s a good time, that Kate, a girl’s girl. I think all of these qualities make her shine and give her the beauty that we all love to watch on film.” — Cameron Diaz

Note: To read a more comprehensive list of Kate’s cites on her films, go to the filmography part of the site.