Kate Winslet Says She Was Told to Settle for ‘Fat Girl’ Roles as a Young Actress
Kate Winslet recently opened up about her experiences as a young actress in Hollywood.
"It can be extremely negative. People are subject to scrutiny that is more than a young, vulnerable person can cope with," she said when discussing her own experiences in comparison to the harshness of today's social media.
She shared that when she was starting out as an actress her agent "would get calls saying, 'How's her weight?' I kid you not."
Winslet got her start in 1994's Heavenly Creatures alongside Melanie Lynskey before breaking through with the 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility and later becoming a household name for her role as Rose in 1997's Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio as her star-crossed lover.
But she noted that thankfully, Hollywood is changing for the better.
"In the film industry it is really changing. So it's heartwarming that this has started to change," she said.
According to People, Winslet faced a barrage of body-shaming in the 1990s, including criticism from tabloids and personalities like Joan Rivers who brutally said, "If Kate Winslet had dropped a few pounds, the Titanic would never have sunk."
Rivers also apparently said, "If she just lost five pounds, Leo would’ve been able to fit on the raft."
In an interview with The Guardian in 2021, Winslet reflected on the body shaming she experienced after Titanic.
"It was almost laughable how shocking, how critical, how straight-up cruel tabloid journalists were to me. I was still figuring out who the hell I bloody well was! They would comment on my size, they'd estimate what I weighed, they’d print the supposed diet I was on. It was critical and horrible and so upsetting to read," she revealed.
"Well, then I got this label of being ballsy and outspoken. No, I was just defending myself," she added in The Guardian interview of her reputation for pushing back against the cruel comments.
Winslet was just 20 years old when she filmed Titanic.
Winslet explained to The Sunday Times, "My daughter's generation has an ability to speak for themselves. They have already learned that they will be heard. Obviously not in every situation, but they know how to use their voice — especially young women. That's striking to me. When I was younger you spoke when spoken to. That is not the case now. Young women are stronger. And they're prouder of their bodies."
Winslet's daughter Mia is now 22. She is also mom to Joe, 18, and Bear, 8.