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Articles 2001





Quick Links to Articles:
''Why My Man Is One In A Million,'' UK Glamour Magazine, March 6
''Why I'll Never Sell My Private Life,'' TV Week (Australia), March 1
''Moving On,'' The Sydney Morning Herald, February 24
''Madame Kate,'' Australian HQ Magazine, March issue
"Thrills and Quills," Australian Sunday Telegraph, February 18
"Ground Breaker," UK Times, January 20 edition
"I'll Always Be The Curvey Kate," Fox News, January 12
"It's Tempting To Take The Money..." Radio Times magazine, January 13-19
"Titanic Struggle," UK Sunday Times Magazine, January 7
"My Most Amazing Production," The News Of The World Sunday Magazine, January 7





  
March 10:

Kate is the cover girl for the premiere issue of UK Glamour Magazine! Go HERE for the article and great color photos! (Thanks to Zohra and Munir for the scans!)

The editor made this comment about choosing Kate for the cover: ''We know our readers love Kate. She was number one for the cover from day one. Not just because she's British, but she embodies the magazine. She's beautiful, she's glamorous. She's A-list. She's also seen by our readers as someone who's really down to earth. She's in love with her husband, she's got a baby. She has an idyllic domestic life, grounded in reality."


  

March 1:
A big 'thank you' to Lorissa for scanning the interview with Kate that appears in the current TV Week (Australia). Go HERE to read. Here's an excerpt (great Kate quote):
''Phil [Kaufman, the director] would come up to me and say, 'You look like a painting,' and I'd tell him to get back behind the camera because I had a job to do,'' she giggles. ''I was lucky to be surrounded by men like Geoffrey, Phil, Michael and Joaquin who were paying me all these compliments, but I'd regularly say to Geoffrey, 'What are you looking at?' because he got a bit carried away with the Marquis' lecherous side at times and had to be told to stand in the corner!''


  
February 24:
The Sydney Morning Herald has a nice feature on Kate today. I've posted the interview on a separate page. Kate discusses her films and tries to clear up the issue of dieting. Here's an excerpt about working with Joaquin Phoenix:
Having just finished Gladiator, Phoenix came to Quills completely exhausted. Winslet, who plays the maid smuggling de Sade's text out of the asylum to which he's been banished, proved a big help. Phoenix takes the part of the asylum's pioneering abbe who advocates a libertine approach to mental illness. He recalled: "I'm standing there with the crew at 10 o'clock at night saying, 'I'm not coming back tomorrow, there's no way I can do this', and Kate's asking if she can bring me some tea. She's bringing tea and biscuits for everyone, throwing parties, she's just a really considerate woman. And you can see that in her acting. She's very giving. There's a great warmth about her." "It was my project to get Joaquin through the film," Winslet admitted, "because he was very tired and he was playing the hardest role of all of us."


  
February 22:
Lorissa has emailed me the HQ Magazine article featuring Kate! I've transcribed the article and posted it, along with the great photos, on a separate page. I'm certain we're all grateful to Lorissa for taking the time to scan it and share it with us! Excerpt:
''I have seen enough of the other side of acting - being out of work and waiting for the phone to ring - to appreciate everything. I learnt early on that luck has a bigger part to play than talent. Coming from an acting family has meant they have been really brilliant about my career. They never actually encouraged me but nor did they ever discourage me. We all made our own way, went down our own paths and made our own mistakes.''




  
February 19: Lorissa posted this interview with Kate on the kwfc mb. It's from the February 18th edition of the Aussie Sunday Telegraph:
"Thrills & Quills," by John Hiscock [2 page article on Rush; 1 page on Kate]
    She shares a kiss with Geoffrey Rush and a bed with Joaquin Phoenix. Explicit stuff and all acting. But Kate Winslet, proud and protective new mum, concedes it'll be a long time before she lets four month old Mia Honey Threapleton watch Quills.
    The much acclaimed film - in which she plays a laundry maid at Charenton, the lunatic asylum where the Marquis de Sade was imprisoned - contains acts of torture and brutality, and Winslet has an explicit lovemaking scene with Joaquin Phoenix. "That scene with Joaquin was the hardest for me to do, not just because it's a nude scene - and they're always hard for me to do - but because there was so much emotion," Winslet says.
    To prepare herself for the role, she read some of the writings of the Marquis de Sade. "I won't give you any examples, but its embarrassingly vile" she says, even blushing in recall. "I'm not easily shocked but I was utterly outraged by it. I was so taken aback by this despicable writing, but kind of amazed as well, because you have to admire a man who can write this sort of stuff. The Marquis wasn't just a madman - he was a troubled genius as well. When I read the script, I thought some of the things were so disgusting they were funny."
    To counteract the intensity of Phoenix, Michael Caine and Rush did their best to bring some levity to the set.  "When we were filming, every day was just like a party," Winslet says. "We had so much fun, and it had to be like that because if we hadn't had a laugh, we'd have been bogged down with a black, heavy story. I was one of very few girls, and I was lucky to be surrounded by men such as Geoffrey and Michael, who paid me some wonderful compliments. It did wonders for the ego. In fact, sometimes Geoffrey got a bit carried away with the marquis' lecherous side and had to be told to stand in the corner."
    Winslet, like her co-stars, is a down-to-earth woman. She has starred in the world's biggest-grossing movie, Titanic, but says she is far prouder of what she calls "my most amazing production yet" - little Mia. "She's absolutely gorgeous. She's just amazing and she's transformed my world," the 25-year-old star says.
    Mia is in the care of Winslet's husband, Jim Threapleton, while we talk, but Winslet is finding it difficult to tear her mind away from her daughter. "Mia's teeny-weeny and she's not very far away," she says as she settles into a comfortable chair in the Terrace Room in London's Dorchester Hotel. "She's just gone for a little walk with her dad. He's just wonderful with her."
    Mia has already had a profound effect on Winslet. "I've changed a lot" she says. "I'm a lot less hectic than I was. I've stopped smoking and I've become a much calmer, softer person. I'm becoming much more squishy and vulnerable and emotional, and I'm sure I'll find it a lot easier to cry on screen. I wanted to be a young mum because I wanted to be able to enjoy my child when I'm young and active, and we're lucky that we can."
    In a way, Winslet had Titanic - the filming of which was not a happy experience for her - to thank for the fact that she is now a blissful mother. When James Cameron's gigantic blockbuster finished filming in Mexico, she vowed she had enough of epics. "I was so tired and I wanted to go and do a film that was totally different and small," she says. "When I did Titanic, there were thousands of people at work every day and it was difficult to remember who everyone was. I wanted to be able to know everyone's name."
    So she chose Hideous Kinky in Morocco, which was where she met Threapleton. "I was the leading lady and he was the 3rd Assistant Director, so we had to be a little bit careful, but to be honest, I didn't really care," she laughs. "I just thought to myself: 'This is the man for me and I'm going to go for it.' It's a tribute to our professionalism that when we got to the end of the shoot, everyone knew that we'd got it together except for Gilles McKinnon, the director. I was so relieved and thrilled that we'd managed to play our cards right".
    The couple were married in November 1998, but Winslet had the travel bug, so she went off to film Holy Smoke in India and Australia. "It satisfied a need in me to travel," she says. "I felt a lot more fulfilled after doing those two films because part of me had always wanted to take a year out and travel, but it never happened because I was working. It was a stroke of luck that they were shot in such beautiful places."
    She returned to England to film Quills and then the World War II Mick Jagger produced thriller, Enigma, which called for some clever camera work because she was five-and-a-half months pregnant. "Rather than have me shoot for a 12 week period, they squashed all my stuff into four weeks so I didn't get too tired and so that I didn't get too big," she says. "It was a brilliant experience and I had so much fun".
    Winslet will next produce and star in the period drama Therese Raquin, which will be filmed in England at Shepperton, just 20 minutes away from home. The actor says she doesn't anticipate traveling very far for the foreseeable future. "It's very important to us that Mia isn't put into a bag and bundled off to film locations," she says. "I don't want to see her anywhere but at home for the next 5 years. Where a film is made has now become very important to us."
    There are no movie star-style airs and graces about Winslet. She is refreshingly natural and down-to-earth, and appears so approachable that strangers have no compunction about coming up and talking to her while she's out shopping. "I'm a normal person so I end up having lovely chats with people at the fruit and vegetable stall and I love it," she says.

  
January 19: This article is from the Saturday edition of the UK Times:
"Ground Breaker," by Ed Potton
Kate Winslet is just a down-to-earth middle-class girl from Reading, even if the host of big names willing to work with her and two Oscar nominations suggest otherwise --
    No other British actress has been borne on the prow of a multibillion-dollar movie. No other British actress has such clout in Hollywood's casting bearpit. No other actress of any nationality has been nominated for two Oscars before turning 23. But nobody seems as determined to prove their unaffected normality as Kate Winslet.
    When people suggested that she put down roots in L.A, she answered incredulously, "Why? What for?" While her American peers provide interviewers with the blandest and most guarded of answers, Winslet puts her (size ten) foot in it with charming regularity. Take her comments on portraying a lust-inspiring laundry maid in her new film, Quills, a fictional account of the life of the Marquis de Sade: "I wondered if people would accept me playing a lower-class scrubber. It's normally the sort of role Martine McCutcheon would play."

    Tactless, perhaps, but probably correct. The undeniably middle-class Winslet, one of a six-strong family of actors from Reading, will be forever defined by her Oscar-nominated role as a feisty debutante in Titanic (1997). But her determination to resist the pull of Hollywood showed when, instead of following James Cameron's behemoth with the female lead in Shakespeare in Love, which she was offered, she opted for a small independent picture, Hideous Kinky (1998).
    It was while shooting that film in Marrakesh that she met her husband Jim Threapleton who, as a lowly third assistant director rather than a world-famous leading man, fitted in perfectly with her down-to-earth image. Not that this was the initial source of the attraction: "I saw Jim and thought, `I'm not going to get through this with my legs crossed'."
    Then, of course, there is the rabidly discussed topic of her weight. At the age of 16, Winslet tipped the scales at 13st and was known to her bitchy classmates at Redroofs Theatre School in Maidenhead as "Blubber". Though she slimmed down for her first screen role in Heavenly Creatures (1994), her fluctuating curves have made headlines ever since.
    As Leonardo DiCaprio, her co-star in Titanic, told her: "Honey, you're always going to have that `I'm a fat girl' thing. Forget it, you're gorgeous." But now, three months after the birth of her first child, Mia, she is resigned once again to some committed dieting. Then she can continue a career that has seen her work with some of cinema's most unconventional directors.
    Heavenly Creatures, a film by the offbeat New Zealander Peter Jackson, saw her play an obsessive, and ultimately homicidal, schoolgirl. The visionary Ang Lee cast her as the romantic Marianne opposite her mentor Emma Thompson's pragmatic Elinor in his zesty adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (1995), a performance which won her her first Oscar nomination. The "wonderfully mad" Jane Campion asked her to pee in the desert in Holy Smoke (1999), and she is shortly to appear in Enigma, Michael Apted's codebreaking drama.
    For the moment, though, Winslet is content to play happy families with Mia and Threapleton, now a writer and director, with whom she has set up a production company, Telltale Films. But don't expect any husband-wife collaborations in the near future: "I want him to direct me more than he wants to direct me." Which, for one of the most prized (and, despite her protests, least ordinary) actresses around, has got to be a first.
CV: Kate Winslet
Full name Kate Elizabeth Winslet
Born October 5, 1975, in Reading, Berkshire
Family Her father Roger, mother Sally, and sisters Anna and Beth are all actors. Also has a brother Joss.
Marital status Married Jim Threapleton in November 1998, with whom she has a daughter, Mia
Big break Being cast in Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Finest hour Being nominated for an Oscar for Sense and Sensibility at the age of 20

  
January 12: This interview is from Fox News:
"Winslet: 'I'll Always Be the Curvey Kate'"

Pic caption: British bombshell and
box office draw, Kate Winslet
NEW YORK - Since riding to stardom on the wave of box-office giant Titanic, Kate Winslet has been sailing along just fine, both as an actress and in her new role as wife and mother. Winslet spoke to Fox News Channel's Arthel Neville about her new movie Quills, starring Geoffrey Rush and Michael Caine, and the recent talk about why she's trying to shed some pounds.
Q: When you watch this movie, are there any scenes that evoke memories of production - like, How did we pull that off?
Winslet: Oh yes, many. In fact, all of the scenes do. I wonder how we pulled them off. Mr. Geoffrey Rush was always making me laugh. I am surprised we got to the end of any scenes at all, we were always in hysterics.
Q: There is so much going on in that movie. One scene in particular, where you had five people passing a note through about five different secret compartments - how difficult was that to choreograph?
Winslet: Very difficult to choreograph. It took a week to shoot that scene. There were so many people in it, passing it down the line, and everyone was in a different room so it had to be shot in a very specific way.
I have such great memories of that film, and all of the actors were amazing. I felt so in awe of the actors playing the lunatics. You know, they completely became these lunatics, and it was fascinating to watch. And they stayed in character the whole time. It was really impressive.

Q: I'm glad to know you were impressed. I was, too.
I know you don't want to talk about it, but people are making a big thing about the weight thing. You work in a business that's all about image. What made you succumb to going on a diet and getting in shape after the baby?
Winslet: Well, the thing is, I'm not stuck on the idea of being thin to work. That's completely untrue. Unfortunately, something I said was taken completely out of context. All I'm doing is exactly what every woman that's had a baby wants to do, and that is to lose the weight they gained. That's all I'm doing. I gained 50 pounds when I was pregnant. It's nice to get back to being you.
I'll always be the curvy Kate I've been. I am not going to suddenly shrink miraculously to get a job. That's absolutely not the case. I'm afraid the shape is always going to be here to stay.
Q: No, go with the curves. Work those curves.
Winslet: I will. Don't worry. I'm not trying to drop to a size 4. That won't happen. No way. I couldn't.
Apart from anything else, I don't think I'd be happy if I did that. I have never been concerned about whether I'd get a job or not. I was never asked to lose weight for a role I've played. I have always been happy being me, and I would encourage other people, certainly aspiring young actors and actresses, to do the same. Be happy being with who you are. And that's the way that I am.
Q: Absolutely. Are there any particular types of films that you'd like to do that you haven't done or would like to repeat again?
Winslet: Well, I'm always on the hunt for great contemporary roles. You get tired of the corsets after a while. It just seems to me that these female roles in period films are always so strong and challenging that I'm constantly drawn back to them. I am constantly back in the corset. I am reading some scripts right now. We'll wait and see what can happen.
Q: Is there anything we can expect to see you in soon?
Winslet: Well, I'm doing a movie which we were suppose to shoot last year, but then I had (new baby) Mia and that was completely impossible. So we're shooting the movie starting in August. I will be the executive producer in the movie and playing the title role. I am very excited about that and really looking forward to getting into it.
Q: Is this your first time executive producing?
Winslet: Yes, it's my first time. You have to go to all of these meetings about budgets and things like that. It's all complicated but really good fun, and I'm pleased to do it.


  
January 11: Munir emailed me scans of the Radio Times magazine interview with Kate. It's posted on a separate page, along with media coverage of the article.


  
January 13: Following is the article from the January 7 UK Sunday Times Magazine. Special thanks to Farida for scanning it and Munir for emailing it!
'Titanic Struggle"
The Kate Escape - She burps. She flashes her knickers. She detests showbiz parties. Kate Winslet has never been one to beat about the bush. But can the star of the world's biggest-grossing film be as down to earth as she says she is? Interview by Lesley White. Portraits: Jason Bell

Within a matter of minutes, and quite unbidden, Kate Winslet is showing me her knickers - big, black, high-waisted ones with a special tummy-control panel from Marks & Spencer. "Nothing fits any more," she announces, running me through the maternity jacket and trousers and the oversized white shirt that have been her posh get-up since her much publicised pregnancy. She gained four stone - and produced the 8lb-9oz reason why none of this matters, why she laughs as she prods her rounded stomach. Her three-week-old daughter, Mia, is being taken for a walk by her father, while Kate remembers how to play an actress promoting her new film.

Although she is as willing and companionable as ever - Winslet is the best sport of film stars - her heart isn't in it. We find ourselves talking against an immutable deadline: not a dragon PR with a stopwatch, but a hungry baby wanting her feed, calling to the new mother with a telepathy the latter cannot resist. Sweet, but she is here to discuss revolting sexual practices.

Her new movie, Quills, is the story of the Marquis de Sade's last years at the Charenton lunatic asylum outside Paris, where Winslet's laundry-maid Madeleine risks her life smuggling out his manuscripts to a salivating public and a furious Napoleon. At moments unwatchably violent, with Geoffrey Rush cavorting as the demented sex fiend de Sade, the film teeters on the precipice of nudge-nudge Carry On farce, all heaving bosoms and saucy asides. "It was hard to hit the right note," admits Winslet, who nonetheless holds the line with the balance of innocence and insolence she has delivered in all her work. "Geoffrey used to joke that he was Sid James and I was Barbara Windsor. We made a pact to tell each other if we'd gone over the top." Not just accomplice to the pornographer of post-revolutionary France, Madeleine is also the object of his fantasy; for her pains she dies a horrible death, and her corpse is violated in the chapel by the tormented priest who runs the institution. Though she was the first actor to commit to the project, when Winslet read Doug Wright's lurid script, based on his stage play, she wondered if she was right for it. "I wondered if people would accept me playing a lower-class scrubber, it's normally the sort of role Martine McCutcheon would play. But I knew I had it in me. I thought it was great that she could find fun and excitement in a loony bin. That's very like me - when the chips are down, you'll find me laughing. At the moment our home is about to be flooded and I'm like, 'F*** it, who cares?'" Then comes the guilty coda: "Of course I'm lucky enough to be in a financially secure position. I can afford to think it's funny, for other people, their lives are ruined."

Winslet's most winning quality is her tendency to trip headlong over the cautious diplomacy of the average star on the record. If her earnest, full-of-exclamation-marks delivery is more stage school than trained thespian, her naturalness is priceless in a business of image maintenance. Unbolstered by arrogance and thoroughbred legs, she is also as embarrassed as the next girl about stripping off. In Quills she and Rush share scenes where he is naked and which she has blanked out of her memory. "It never gets any easier, in fact it gets harder, especially for older actors. I mean, Geoffrey doesn't exactly go to the gym every day…" She stops and remembers herself. "I mean, it's really important that we do see people who look like that… who are, um, more normal."

In fact Rush looks in reasonable nick for a 49-year-old, and Winslet, though she has struggled with her curvaceous figure for all of her adult life, looks as scrumptious as a golden peach. Playing against a much older actor darkens her youthfulness with a forbidden sexuality, one she has become adept at exploiting. In her previous film, Jane Campion's Holy Smoke, Winslet stood naked in the desert and urinated before talking Harvey Keitel through a lesson in oral sex. When I ask if it was embarrassing to be in such a compromised position with a veteran actor, she smiles. "It was fun to be able to take control and to treat him like sh**." She stops for a second. "Not Harvey, I mean the character."

After working with the exacting Campion, whose two-week rehearsal (the lead actress was never allowed to drop her Aussie accent) brought Winslet to a point of praying for a respite, she chose Quills as an ensemble antidote. She loves the idea of mucking in together, no one actor more important than the rest. Indeed, had Winslet not attended her preening stage school she might have been the product of one of those public schools that produce girls ready to do their bit, shirt-sleeves rolled, putting all their privileges aside for the common good.

Released from her starry duty, you can bet the 25-year-old is a hands-on, helping sort of friend and daughter, never too grand or too tired to put the kettle on, a trooper who would have been just as temperamentally suited - if not more so - to life in a traveling group of players. Sometimes she is so determinedly down-to-earth that you wonder how a girl who has led such a charmed life since the age of 17 can be quite so matter-of-fact about her big adventure. You soon suspect, however, that though she may kick off her shoes and show you her stretch marks, she is not really being her uninhibited self, but acting a part she hopes will be appreciated. Acting is a second nature. Perhaps those who start so young in show business have difficulties separating the real from the acted in all but their most private sanctums. Certainly Winslet has at times identified almost too strongly with her roles, fainting on set, succumbing to fevers and vapours, being unable to let characters go. When she returned from shooting her first film, Heavenly Creatures, her school friends pestered her for every detail, but she was unable to discuss an experience that had traumatised her. Only later did her mentor, Emma Thompson, teach her the importance of protecting herself from the mental invasion of other people's fictions. "It was a hard lesson but I have learnt to look after myself better now."

You read with sinking heart the other press interviews in which she has not only spilt the same secrets, but in precisely the same wording, artfully making them sound fresh and original each time - just as she does on the trying fifth take of an important scene. You also notice the preponderance of allusions to bodily functions. She has often said how impressed she was that Emma Thompson's first words, when she opened her front door before a meeting for Sense and Sensibility, were to the effect that the older actress needed a pee. This matey lavatorial reference (for Kate, now usurped by the even earthier breast feeding) has entered the handy nice 'n normal lexicon, of which stars such as Winslet avail themselves. How appealing that she bothers.

Kate wants to be seen as one of us. The battle with her body, the "I burp, I fart" manifesto, the bangers 'n mash wedding breakfast, the confession that she would prefer a suitor to send around a pair of smelly socks instead of roses, all serve to disassociate her from the fragrant existences of the fame elite. Then there is her intellectual self-depracation. With her nine GCSEs and the research she undertakes assiduously for every part, cramming so thoroughly on the subject that she begins filming with a whole world inside her head, she is better informed than many more formally educated women of her age. She certainly got the point of de Sade. "At 23," says Quills director, Philip Kaufman, "she was the most mature person on the set. She was fearless about the nudity because she understood there is room for an adult exploration of sexuality."

Actually, she grits her teeth. For a woman bored by being asked to be a role model for eating disorders, and one so nervous of on-screen nudity that her brief career can be mapped by fluctuations of her hips, she still would never issue a no-nudity edict. "For me, it is the hardest thing to overcome, standing there and running the risk of looking stupid, but at times you have to." She has really suffered for the ever-receding ideal of the perfect 10. Before Heavenly Creatures, in which she was startling as Juliet Hulme, one of two besotted New Zealand schoolgirls engulfed by a murderous fantasy, Winslet weighed as much as she did just before giving birth. At first she dieted sensibly, but after filming ended she found she could not stop and was only jolted back to her senses when, drained of energy, she fell asleep at the wheel of her car.

Two years later, for Sue Bridehead in Jude, she starved herself into a tiny-breasted slimness for which she still berates herself. Whatever her insecurities, however, she must be aware that for every eyebrow raised at her voluptuousness there are 10 voices declaring her a ravishing beauty, the loudest of which belongs to her adoring husband, Jim. He was horrified when she showed him a Polaroid taken for the body make-up on Jude. "He just said, 'You f***ing idiot. You were mad to do that to yourself.'" Even equipped with post-partum padding, with her wide eyes, perfect profile and lips like the Mae West sofa, she is blessed with a particular British luminosity which serves her well.

The nice girl with the trustworthy face appeals to the soppy preferences of the US box office, which has assured her smooth glide to bankability and two Oscar nominations. Even now she says, typically, she can barely believe it. "When other big offers came in after Titanic, I just sat thinking, 'Am I in a dream of what? Is it really me this is happening to?'" But she does not want us to think she lives in a dream. When I comment that since Peter Jackson's Oscar-nominated Heavenly Creatures, she has had little to be embarrassed about, she corrects me instantly. "Oh I do! The next film I did was Kid in King Arthur's Court [Michael Gottlieb's 1995 version of Twain in which she played Princess Sarah] which I can be very embarrassed about."

Since that blip, however, she has known little but success, including the epic Titanic which raised her fee to a reported $3m. She does not talk about the movie that made her with particular interest, merely stating that it might have changed her life, but not her personality. In fact, the leviathan put her in danger of losing touch with why she was an actor at all. "After Titanic they were all telling me to ride the crest of the wave and take another huge part, but I just couldn't. I needed to get something back of myself, to do something small that I cared about." After the gallons of freezing water, she opted for the North African sunshine of the Hideous Kinky location, and by the time Titanic emerged she had met her husband, Jim Threapleton, and was concerned that Kate-and-Leo mania would scare him away. "Thank God he hung in there, most people couldn't have taken it." The idea that a boyfriend might actively court the reflected glamour doesn't even occur to her; and in 26-year-old Threapleton she has found a reliable anchor of common sense to steady her well-practiced sensibility. Kate and Jim, both younger than the Brit-pack, followers of Jude and Sadie, tend to keep their own company. She has always hated the Met Bar and other hot spots, has never entertained metropolitan ambitions. "I once read that I hang out at the Ivy, and it made me really miserable. I can't stand those places or premieres or appearing in public. It doesn't interest me. Fashion is not important. I'd rather go for a nice walk."

Apart from wanting to be liked rather than envied, Winslet has another reason for staying grounded. She is the only dazzling success in generations of actors in her family, and she shudders at the notion that her father, Roger Winslet, or actress sisters Anna and Beth would ever think she had grown too big for her Doc Martens. Her uncle Robert Bridges may have appeared in the original West End musical Oliver! and Singing' in the Rain with Tommy Steele, but her father needed to work as a postman between jobs. The need for a second string to one's bow was drummed into Kate from an early age. "One Christmas I asked for a typewriter, but I hardly used it, the ribbon got all knotted and I got ink all over my hands. I just knew I wanted to be an actress; it was as straightforward for me as all my friends who wanted to be air hostesses."

Having conquered his many misgivings, her father allowed her to attend Redroofs Theater School in Maidenhead, full of bitchy nymphets and rich girls there for the fun part of which was making the 13-stone Winslet - nicknamed "Blubber" - miserable. "I wouldn't let Mia go there," she says. "Fine if she wants to be an actress, but she can get an education first. I regret not having done that. Jim uses words I don't know, and whenever I do interviews I think, 'God, I talk such crap, people must think I'm thick.' I blame that on leaving school at 16."

The family is close, and its millionaire member would love to be in a position to share out the goodies. It is an ambition that may well be at the heart of her hopes for Telltale Films, the production company she and Threapleton have formed. "I constantly read scripts and think that my sister Anna would be brilliant for the part, so much better than me. I can hardly make demands on their behalf, but once we get Telltale up and running it should be easier."

Winslet knows she owes her parents heavily. The belief in imagination they instilled has traveled with her on her professional journey of pretending and game-playing. Even if she did start earning money at 13 (a Sugar Puffs commercial), far from missing out on a childhood as young performers are feared to do, the child still lingers in Winslet, a solid core of happiness crystallised from her idyllic Berkshire childhood. Philip Kaufman needed that quality of innocence to counterpoint the marquis's dark manipulation, for him it invested Madeleine with echoes of Eve being tempted by forbidden pleasure. "Kate is innocent, but in a strong and robust rather than passive way," he enthuses. "And she can convey that without saying a word. In a scene where all she's doing is pushing laundry through a slot, you get 10 emotions with no dialogue."

If Winslet has missed out on any stage of growing up, it is the reckless party nights, the gap year and backpacking that others of her generation take for granted. Instead she has lived those developmental stages on camera, choosing Hideous Kinky because the carefree hippiedom of her character would have suited her down to the ground, had she found time for it. Likewise, she chose Holy Smoke! because she had never trodden that hopeful path to the ashram. Turning the surrogate adventure into reality, however, Jim flew out to be with her in Australia and India, where they traveled when Campion's film was wrapped. "Subconsciously I think I chose those roles because I felt that I had never done that traveling thing. When Mia's a bit bigger we'll all go off together and have another adventure. I do feel I missed out on those years from 17 to 21 when you're supposed to be out every night getting wrecked."

She accepts that she has grown up on film. "I went away to do Heavenly Creatures a girl and I came back a woman. When I did Sense and Sensibility, I changed again, I could feel it happening and that was part of the reason for separating from Stephen. [Stephen Tredre, a writer and actor, was Winslet's first love and died of cancer aged 34, two years after their split.] It did help that. I looked and felt like sh** in some of the scenes we were shooting at that time because my character, Marianne Dashwood, was near dead. I was lucky that I felt genuinely bad. But I kept it all bottled up, nobody knew except Emma…"
But like Austen's incurable romantic, the actress soon found peace and domesticity - and almost a double wedding with her sister Anna. After Holy Smoke! she took five months off and got married. She made Quills, and then Enigma, the adaptation of Robert Harris's thriller about the Bletchley codebreakers, which coincided nicely with her pregnancy. They had to pad her out because her character, the owlish Hester, had a bigger bump than Kate at the time, which makes her smile wryly. "I play a goody two-shoes with specs," she explains, far more interested in discussing her water retention. Her pregnancy was joyful but also fraught; she found it impossible to bond with her baby in the early stages, swelled up like a balloon, and could not have fitted her naked bump on the cover of a glossy magazine a la Demi Moore even if she had been asked, which we can reasonably assume she was not. "There is a lot of pressure to have a sexy, womanly, fulfilling pregnancy, but I didn't feel like that. I was huge, massive. I put on four stone. I'm still two stone overweight. I held a lot of water and I was very uncomfortable. Mia was 10 days late and by then I was climbing the walls. The birth was natural, and somehow I just coped with the pain. It was the most amazing experience from start to finish. Jim was with me the whole time. As soon as she was out I thought, 'I want to do that again, I'll do that any day.'" For someone who can work as little as 12 weeks a year, there are no pressing concerns of "palming her off" on a nanny. The couple will take it in turns to stay at home, and Winslet is highly unlikely to accept offers that take her further than short-haul trips for a while. "Sometimes Jim and I just look at each other, and go, 'Oh God! We're doing all this and we're so young!' It's great, but we don't think about it too much because it freaks us out."

When her leave period is up she will produce and star in Therese Raquin, Zola's grisly depiction of crime and passion among the Parisian lower classes. It is, she says earnestly, all about love that sours to hate and murder, and proof to Winslet that having a baby has not softened her taste for a racy challenge. She read the book when she was 17, though not for love of the author's naturalistic style. "I picked it up for 50 pence because I liked the picture on the cover. I mean, you don't want a cookery book without pictures do you?"

Cynical comments will no doubt be made about Threapleton's improved prospects since falling in love with the nation's sweetheart - same syndrome as Cate Blanchett's other half, Andrew Upton - but the dignified 26-year-old has been quietly writing scripts and directing short films while his wife gets on with being the star. Do they want to work together? "I want him to direct me more than he wants to direct me, but at the moment it's important that we don't do it. People will be quick to say, 'He's only directing that because she's in it.'"

She finds it impossible to stop talking about him; he tells friends he cannot believe his luck in finding her; and in the unconscious narcissism which often touches passionate love, they even look alike, like brother and sister in Alexander McQueen creations on their wedding day in November 1998. Winslet has never been impressed by power and status in a man; while it makes sense that her only celebrity dalliance was a fling with the maverick and suitably crumpled Rufus Sewell, the idea of her ending up with a worldly sophisticate like her friend Catherine Zeta Jones did is absurd. When she met Threapleton, the third assistant director (the coffee-fetcher: there is no fourth assistant) on Hideous Kinky in Morocco, it was his eyes and hair that won her at first sight. "I saw him and thought, 'Well, I'm not going to get through this with my legs crossed.' The etiquette of the thing didn't occur to me at all. Why would it?"

They announced their passion early on by openly snogging on the dance floor of a dubious Marrakech nightclub, and they have been together ever since, blessed darlings out of whom pure happiness radiates in the sort of syrupy romance that on screen might disappoint Winslet's tomboy tastes. Some of these have been moderated recently, the former pleasures of swearing and smoking roll-ups banished since pregnancy made one inappropriate and the other foolish. "Mia has made me calmer," she smiles. "Before I'd be sitting here and the ashtray would be full of cigarette ends and I'd have ordered three trays of coffee and be all nervous and not eating. Now there's something so much more important than me, or Jim, or work, or this interview. I'm lucky to have met my person in life. I used to think love at first sight was a crock of sh**, but then it happened to me. So there is hope. Girls, here is hope."

A few weeks later I bumped into our photographer, who had visited the Threapletons at home, the day punctuated with Kate's repeated trips to the garden for a cigarette. It was the only way that she felt she could reclaim her body for herself after her baby, she explained. Fair enough, but I wish you could have seen the rapturous sincerity on her face when she told me she had quit. "Completely!" What a girl.



  
(Scan was found on ebay)

January 7: Kate is featured in The News of The World Online Sunday Magazine. The brief article is a re-working of quotes previously published, and it has three pics inside that aren't new to us - the 'official' first baby photo, a wedding photo, and a pic of Kate and Joaquin in Quills. The cover shot is an older pic - but a nice pose from that photo session that's new to me.


"I Was Scared I'd Break My Baby," by Eva Lawrence
    "She's my most amazing production yet," says Kate Winslet of her three-month-old daughter Mia. "She's not very far away from here, she's just gone for a little walk with her dad. She's absolutely gorgeous."
    Mia was born 8lb 9oz on October 12 last year - Kate and hubby Jim Threapleton's first-born - and has transformed their lives. "My mind has been so much on her and I was just feeding her, so it's been sort of bizarre to find myself re-engaging with the real world," adds Kate, 25. "We've been in this little cocoon of baby for a while, since the day that she was born. But I would say that I already feel like a much calmer person, I don't feel so hectic and so desperate for a cigarette. I don't smoke anymore, so I feel I've changed in some ways already, and I'm sure it will continue to change me."
    She says Jim, 26, whom she fell for while filming Hideous Kinky, has taken to fatherhood like a duck to water. "Jim is absolutely brilliant," she beams. "There are times when I look at him with her and I think `God, I wish I could be as brilliant with her as he is'. I'm constantly questioning myself and he's questioning himself all the time as well, but he's just amazing with her. We both didn't know how to handle her in the first few days - she is so precious we didn't want to break her. So every nappy change would take 30 minutes! Now it takes 30 seconds, you get quicker at these things. And actually babies are very robust, they're not as fragile as people think they are."
    Kate's obvious joy at becoming a mum comes as she launches her raunchiest role yet, alongside Sir Michael Caine, in Quills, about the life of the Marquis de Sade. The movie is released on January 19. Kate - Oscar-nominated for her role as Rose in Titanic - plays a laundress who smuggles the Marquis' manuscripts out of the lunatic asylum where he is being held. She also stars in Second World War thriller Enigma, filmed while she was pregnant with Mia and out later this year.
    In the past, filming has taken her to Morocco, Australia and India. But she's determined not to stray far from London now. She adds: "It's very important to us that Mia isn't suddenly bundled into bags and shipped off to every different location like part of the package. I would hate for that to happen. So I'm very fortunate that I am not working for about six months now and when I do work, it's all at home. On the next film, Therese Raquin, that I am doing this year, everything is being shot at Shepperton Studios, which is half an hour from where I live. The location of a film will make a great difference to me. I don't want Mia to be everywhere else apart from home before the age of five. She'll always come first, so Jim and I will take it in turns to work. My hope for Mia is that she'll be able to put up with us as parents! I mean, I don't have any set ideas for her, I just hope that we can bring her up to be a happy, balanced child. If you're asking me whether I would like her to be an actress, probably not. But if she did want to do that, then great, we wouldn't encourage or discourage it, we'd just let her make up her own mind."
    But Kate's fans will be glad to hear that although motherhood may mean fewer movies, it will mean even better acting. She says: "It will probably make me much more squishy and vulnerable and emotional - and I will probably find it a lot easier to cry on screen now." And she adds: "My private life, no matter how poor I was, will always be the most important thing in the world to me. Because if I didn't have that, then I wouldn't have anything and I would just feel a commodity."
    Kate and Jim love being parents to Mia.



There are many previous newspaper and magazine articles posted on the 'Article Archive' page.