British Artist of the Year
Forthcoming Releases: Recently wrapped DreamWorks’ Revolutionary Road (2008); provided a voice for Miramax’s animated Gnomeo and Juliet (2008)
Very nice interview, and Kate talks more about her role as April Wheeler in Revolutionary Road.
The Hollywood Reporter: You’re rather assertively proud of your British heritage. Where does that come from?
Kate Winslet: It’s where I’m from. England, it’s a small place, and I do feel very proud to represent my country in some way. There’s a handful of us that have been lucky enough to step outside the box, who have been given opportunities to be in films. I feel a duty and a responsibility to do my job as well as I can because I do feel a sense of setting an example. It’s very important to me to work hard, and I don’t believe in bad behavior of any kind for any actor anyway, so that’s not something I have to try at, but it’s important to suggest that young British actors are hard workers and want to really do the best job they possibly can.
And I care very much about the job that I do. Second to my husband (director Sam Mendes) and my kids, it’s definitely the love of my life and, I’m respectful of the position that I’m in and very determined never to drop the ball.
THR: Then you’re the right woman to be British Artist of the Year, although 2007 hasn’t been much of year of releases for you to date.
Winslet: I have been working; that’s no mistake. I think I had so much going on last year that I just had a lot of movies come out in the space of four months. It’s not necessarily an ideal scenario for an actor to have so much exposure in such a short space of time â€” it’s important to maintain a sense of mystery as
an actor â€” but you have to have life too, because life is very much a part of the job that actors do. I deliberately didn’t want to have something necessarily coming out right now, just so I could have that quiet time. Although I did have a very busy summer: I shot Revolutionary Road, which Sam (Mendes) directed and it was myself and Leo DiCaprio playing husband and wife. I still feel like I’m recovering from a pretty extraordinary experience.
THR: What’s your reaction to receiving this award?
Winslet: My immediate reaction is, “Why are they giving it to me?” And that’s not false modesty, that’s (me being) genuinely overwhelmed. Awards do mean a hell of a lot, and they certainly mean a lot to me, and I’m speaking as someone who has been fortunate to have been nominated for some pretty hefty awards in my time. But I have an irritating habit of never winning, so I’m really not used to this.
THR: You’ve been quoted as characterizing many of the roles you play as “ballsy” women. Is that by design?
Winslet: It’s a subconscious attraction I have to women who are strong and/or have something to say for themselves or have this kind of inner fight in them. At the same time it’s possible to play a weaker-willed woman and give them an inner strength, still give them an inner determination despite their exterior weaknesses. The character of April Wheeler that I have just played in Revolutionary Road, by design does come across as she’s relatively weak â€” but underneath it is the most devastating cacophony of fucked-up’edness, for want of a better expression. Again, it’s just this personal desire that I have to really feel things. That’s how I am as a person: a pretty feisty, strong-willed individual â€” and when I’m hugging someone I’m literally hugging them until they can’t breathe. I just don’t do anything by halves.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter