Kate Winslet Says ‘Titanic’ Fame Was So ‘Horrible’ That ‘You Bet Your F—ing Life I’ Chose Smaller Films After: ‘My Life Was Unpleasant’

Kate Winslet said in a new interview with Net-a-Porter that she actively took roles in smaller, independent films after the record-breaking success of “Titanic” because the fame that resulted in starring in James Cameron’s epic was “horrible.” Winslet was just 22 years old when “Titanic” opened in 1997 and became a cultural phenomenon. It won 11 Oscars, including best picture, and became the highest-grossing film of all time, as well as the first to gross $1 billion worldwide. To say it turned Winslet and co-star Leonardo DiCaprio into overnight superstars would be an understatement.

“[Young women now] know how to use their voice,” Winslet said. “I felt like [in the aftermath of ‘Titanic’] 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.”

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“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 fucking life I did! Because, guess what, being famous was horrible,'” Winslet added. “I was grateful, of course. I was in my early twenties and I was able to get a flat. But I didn’t want to be followed literally feeding the ducks.”

During an interview on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast in 2022, Winslet remembered being repeatedly body-shamed in the aftermath of “Titanic.” She said the film’s ending prompted debates about her physical appearance. Viewers have long debated if there was enough room on the floating door for Winslet’s Rose and DiCaprio’s Jack to both survive the freezing Atlantic waters. Only Rose used the makeshift raft, with Jack dying of hypothermia.

“Apparently I was too fat,” Winslet said. “Why were they so mean to me? They were so mean. I wasn’t even fucking fat.”

Winslet continued, “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.”

“It can be extremely negative,” Winslet later told The Sunday Times about women having to navigate fame. “People are subject to scrutiny that is more than a young, vulnerable person can cope with. But in the film industry it is really changing. When I was younger my agent would get calls saying, ‘How’s her weight?’ I kid you not. So it’s heartwarming that this has started to change.”

Winslet is soon returning to HBO after the Emmy-winning success of “Mare of Easttown” as the star of the political satire “The Regime,” premiering March 3. Head over to Net-a-Porter’s website to read Winslet’s latest profile in its entirety.

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