Advertisement

Kate Winslet on Becoming a Celebrity at Just 22 Years Old Thanks To ‘Titanic’: “Being Famous Was Horrible”

 Kate Winslet.
Kate Winslet.

Fame at any age is difficult, but at 22, as you’re still learning who you are? Even more so.

Kate Winslet is opening up about life post-Titanic, the blockbuster 1997 film which took her celebrity status into the stratosphere. In a cover story for PORTER, Winslet said the aftermath of the successful film—which she starred in opposite Leonardo DiCaprio—was difficult: “I felt like I had to look a certain way, or be a certain thing, and because media intrusion was so significant at that time, my life was quite unpleasant,” she said.

Kate Winslet on the cover of PORTER
Kate Winslet on the cover of PORTER

And how does one choose their next role after the cultural juggernaut that was Titanic? Much like the question of “how does Michael Jackson record a follow up to Thriller?” or “what’s next for Greta Gerwig after Barbie?” Winslet was panned for so much across the board—including her career choices. “Journalists would always say, ‘After Titanic, you could have done anything, and yet you chose to do these small things,’ and I was like, “Yeah, you bet your f—kin’ life I did!’ Because guess what, being famous was horrible.”

Winslet was (insanely and erroneously) criticized about her weight during those years, which she opened up about on the “Happy, Sad, Confused” podcast (per The Hollywood Reporter). “They were so mean,” she said. “I wasn’t even f—king fat. If I could turn back the clock, I would have used my voice in a completely different way…I would have said to journalists, I would have responded, I would have said, ‘Don’t you dare treat me like this. I’m a young woman, my body is changing, I’m figuring it out, I’m deeply insecure, I’m terrified, don’t make this any harder than it already is.’ That’s bullying, you know, and actually borderline abusive, I would say.”

Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet

All told, Winslet reiterated to the outlet that she was “grateful” for Titanic’s massive success, especially given that she was “able to get a flat” in her early twenties. But, she said, she still “didn’t want to be followed literally feeding the ducks.”

As for her relationship with fame now, Winslet said she wears “it really lightly,” but adds “It’s not a burden, any of it.” (The beauty of aging a bit.) And she is thrilled that, 27 years later, Titanic “continues to bring people huge amounts of joy”: “The only time I am like, ‘Oh God, hide,’ is if we are on a boat somewhere,” she quipped to the outlet.

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio
Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio

As for her costar DiCaprio—who was 23 upon the film’s release—“he just knows I can see right through it all,” Winslet said. “I think when you experience something so seismic, so young…we really went through that together.”