Kate Winslet: Playing the villain


kate winsletYou turned 40 last year and have done so much with your career, you’ve got your seventh Oscar nomination for Steve Jobs, and you’re playing all these amazing, diverse roles. What are your remaining goals?
That’s the dream, to play lots and lots of different roles. People say to me a lot, is there any ambition left, what’s left for you to do? And the goal for me is to always be doing it. But also to play lots of different roles, like Irina, like Joanna Hoffman, like The Dressmaker. That’s the wonderful thing about acting. It’s a trick, it’s all a fun game.

You get to trick people into believing you really are someone else. That’s why I think it’s a lot harder for young actors to be successful now in this day and age where there is so much social media, so much access into their own personal lives and how celebrities live. You know, if the audience is too familiar with the actor and that person and their personal life, then logic dictates that it will be rather difficult for the audience to believe them when they’re playing a character who’s very different to who they are. And that sort of defeats the purpose of acting altogether.

So I try very hard to stay away from all that, from Twitter, from Instagram. There are lots of fake accounts but believe you, that’s somebody else, that’s not me.

You seem quite an open person, yet we seem to read very little about you in the gossip pages.
I think it’s either an ‘opt in’ or an ‘opt out’. I think it helps that I don’t live in a big city anymore. That’s made a huge difference. Because, quite frankly, I think the paparazzi are too lazy to drive out there. And I’m at the stage in my life where it’s very humdrum. I don’t party, I don’t take drugs, never have done. I don’t have any strange, funky habits that people might be interested in photographing.

And if you don’t give off an air of self-promotion, I believe people respect that.

There’s so much emphasis on age in Hollywood, has the game changed for you since turning 40?
I’m not feeling the pressure, but ask me in five years, ten years, I might have a very different answer for you.

Are the roles feeling different?
I like that I’m moving away from the ingénue, the gazing blonde ingénue and playing a mafia moll or Joanna Hoffman. I’m coming across much more character-lead pieces, which is great.

And after playing the villain, do you have a taste for it?
Yeah, probably. I loved it, loved every minute. It didn’t feel comfortable in any way shape or form, I mean for me. I think I had to keep telling myself, ‘it’s not real it’s not real, it’s not real’, over and over to convince myself. I had to do a lot of that stuff. But, Yes, I’d love to. It’s such a different genre for me and to work with a director like John and a cast which I wouldn’t normally find myself in the middle of, it was a wonderful change of pace.