Kate Winslet ('Eternal Sunshine / Spotless Mind')
'Bathing In The Sunshine of Her Life'
Kate Winslet had the luxury accorded to few actors of bursting onto the scene with immediate success. The young Brit quickly captured the attention of cinema lovers across the globe. This is not to say that she didn't have to work at her craft first. Winslet comes from a long line of actors. Her parents are stage actors, her maternal grandparents managed a repertory theater, and her late uncle Robert Bridges acted in several West End productions; so you could say that acting is in her blood. Winslet also started her career on the stage in many diverse productions. She then moved to television and appeared in several television programs, most notably 'Dark Season' and 'Get Back'.
It was shortly after 'Get Back' that she burst onto the international scene with her role in New Zealander Peter Jackson's independent film, 'Heavenly Creatures'. She won the Best Foreign Actress Award at the New Zealand Film and Television Awards. While the role demonstrated her passion for her craft and her astounding acting abilities, her next role didn't quite match up. She appeared in the Disney film, 'A Kid in King Arthur's Court'.
However, after that failure she bounced right back with a string of period pieces. She fell in with the likes of Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, the King and Queen of period pieces. She appeared in Thompson's 'Sense and Sensibility' for which she earned an Oscar nomination and won an SAG award, Branagh's 'Hamlet' as Ophelia, as well as Sue in 'Jude', an adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 'Jude the Obscure'.
With the danger of being typecast in mind, Winslet has chosen to make a departure from Victorian era adaptations and move closer to present day. She secured herself a role in James Cameron's much anticipated 'Titanic', alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. While the film is still a period piece it was a big step in the right direction. When you consider that it also happens to be the most successful movie of all time, it can’t help but have been a good move. The film also earned her a second Oscar nomination.
After the swell of unexpected attention surrounding 'Titanic', Winslet was eager to retreat into independent projects. Rumor has it that she turned down the lead roles in both 'Shakespeare in Love' and 'Anna and the King' in order to play adventurous soul searchers in 'Hideous Kinky' (1998) and 'Holy Smoke' (1999). The former cast her as a young single mother traveling through 1960s Morocco with her daughters in tow; the latter, as a zealous follower of a guru tricked into a "deprogramming" session in the Australian outback. The next year found her back in period dress as the Marquis de Sade's chambermaid and accomplice in 'Quills'.
Bigger and better things will definitely be forthcoming for Kate Winslet as she progresses ever upwards in her cinematic career. But, for the here and now, Kate is in town to help promote her new movie 'The Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind' in which she stars alongside the unstoppable talent of funnyman Jim Carrey.
Tell me more about this new movie of yours, 'The Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind' and about the character that you play "Well, I'm starring in it with Jim Carrey and I'm playing this completely eccentric woman who's in her thirties. She doesn't know who she is really, to the point where she dyes her hair a different colour practically every week to try and find some kind of identity for herself!"
So, exactly just HOW weird is your character? "Clementine Kruczynski is quite beyond any person I've ever met in my life. And certainly beyond any character I've ever played in my life. She's completely dippy and eccentric and wild and independent. And aggressive sometimes, and vulnerable at other times. And my hair changes all the time! It's blue, it's red, it's orange, it's green. It's great fun. It's really, really great fun."
It must have been a trip working with Jim! "He's a complete delight, and very, very funny. And I really feel like a very lucky person to have worked with him."
Yeah, but come on he's frickin' hilarious so wasn't it hard keeping up with his energy some days? "It is a little daunting, you know, because his timing is so good, and all of those things. And I have to kind of just keep up with it a bit. But, it was really great fun. It was really great fun."
How was it filming in New York? "It really was freezing there, actually, but I didn't mind it. Plus, my daughter had never seen snow before we came here and she's just in seventh heaven, making snowmen all the time. Being English, I'm used to the cold but we were doing a night shoot the other night, and Clementine is drunk. They have an argument, and she storms out of the house wearing fishnet stockings, heels, and a tiny little slip of a dress! That's it! And it was so freezing. I mean, it was sub sub zero temperatures!"
Your American accent is great, but is it hard to keep it running throughout an entire movie? "No, not really. I'm like a sponge. I really listen to people and imitate the way they sound. I love doing accents. It makes a role so much more exciting, interesting, and challenging. And it's fun, it's just so much fun."
People say comedy's harder. Is that true for you? "Well, it's kind of new to me, really, 'cause I've never done comedy on film. I did a lot of sitcom when I was much younger, when I was kind of fifteen, sixteen. And since then, you know, I'm so famous for the period movies, and the corsets, and, you know, all of those things. And it's great to be working with Jim Carrey, who is one of the biggest, and brilliantest, and funniest actors in the world."
What is the big thrill of being an actress for you? "It's so hard to answer that question completely concisely. But I love communication. And I love being imaginative and creative."
Have you always felt that way? "It's something that comes from my family, obviously, and it's been in my blood from when I was little, I think. It's just fun to jump in and out of other people's clothes. And to see how far I can push myself. And frankly, to see how convincing I can be at being somebody else. And those things are challenging. It's like going on an adventure, like having lots of journeys to different places. I just really enjoy it. You go to work, and you masquerade as another person. I mean, what is that about? There are times when I think, what am I doing?"
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