Kate Winslet says focus on her weight as a young star was ‘straight-up cruel’


Kate Winslet is speaking out on the focus on her weight as a young star, and her regret about working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. (Photo: C Flanigan/Getty Images)

Kate Winslet says public scrutiny of her weight caused her to feel self-conscious about her own body image as a young actress, even as she was one of the biggest stars in the entire world.

“In my 20s, people would talk about my weight a lot,” the 45-year-old Oscar winner says in an interview with the Guardian. “And I would be called to comment on my physical self. Well, then I got this label of being ballsy and outspoken. No, I was just defending myself.”

The Titanic star tells the newspaper that she recently re-read some articles written about her when she was still a teenager and was surprised by how “cruel” the discussion about her weight was in the media.

“And it was almost laughable how shocking, how critical, how straight-up cruel tabloid journalists were to me,” Winslet says. “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.”

The British actress went on to open up about regretting acting in films directed by Woody Allen and Roman Polanski given their respective scandals. 

“I realized it was sitting very badly with me,” Winslet says of working with Allen in 2017’s Wonder Wheel. “I shouldn’t have worked with Woody, or Roman [Polanski], and I’ll probably always grapple with those regrets. It’s just unbelievable to me now that those men have been held in such high regard in this industry, and for such a long time. I defy anyone in the acting community to deny that parts in their movies were heavily coveted. And that’s only just changed.”

Winslet, who starred in 2011 Polanski film Carnage opposite John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz and Jodie Foster, also acknowledged that she’s gotten flak in Hollywood for speaking out after having already acted in the controversial directors’ films. 

“I’ve only said it out loud a couple of times,” she said. “But yes, they have [criticized her]. There will always be people saying, ‘Well, you did the film, so… ’ but we have to be able to change, don’t we? We have to move forward. Try.” 

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Winslet previously expressed regret over her connection to the two men in an interview with Vanity Fair last fall, saying, “It’s like, what the f*** was I doing working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski?… It’s f****** disgraceful.” 

The cultural discourse around the Annie Hall director has been reignited by Allen v. Farrow, the HBO documentary series that dives deep into Dylan Farrow’s claim that Allen, her adopted father, sexually abused her when she was 7 years old.

These accusations, which were made back in 1992, have not stopped Allen from continuing to work with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. But there has been growing public sentiment against the once-revered director, with Elliot Page, Greta Gerwig and Colin Firth among those who have spoken out against him.

Polanski, meanwhile, pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in 1977 and eventually ended up fleeing the United States before an official sentence could be issued.

Polanski returned to his home country of France, where he was protected from extradition and he has enjoyed a successful film career in the decades since, even winning best director at the Oscars in 2003. When Polanski was arrested in Switzerland in 2009 on behalf of United States authorities, several prominent figures in Hollywood, including David Lynch, Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese, even signed a petition demanding his release.

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