ELLE Meets Kate Winslet

The Oscar Winner On Films, Family and Dream Destinations.

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Kate Winslet has the rare talent of being one of the most recognisable actresses on the planet while still managing to totally embody the mind-bendingly diverse array of characters she's played in her 23-year career.

She's the actress who has gone from the quintessential English rose (literally), opposite Leonardo DiCaprio as one half of cinema’s most iconic couple (Titanic), to a period and corset drama mainstay (Quills), to an indie darling (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), to an Oscar-winning star for her role in The Reader, all the while maintaining a refreshing distance from saccharine LA superficiality.

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And now Winslet is back with two typically different roles; playing Steve Jobs' Apple confidant Joanna Hoffman in the new critically-acclaimed Steve Jobs biopic, as well as the lead role of Tilly Dunnage in the black comedy/murder mystery/fashion drama The Dressmaker. 

In anticipation of the release of The Dressmaker, ELLE caught up wth Kate to discover the most important things in her world.

What's your dream destination?

When I have to get away, I enjoy being anywhere that’s far flung and distant. I need to explore nature, to be outside, even if it’s the windswept highlands of Scotland; as long as I can be far away and it’s not too hot!

Which one designer could you wear forever?

It would have to be Alexander McQueen, the tailoring is just so extraordinary. Playing Tilly in the Dressmaker, I learned quite a lot about the importance of simple, yet beautiful tailoring and that’s something that McQueen does so well. 

Is there a process or philosophy behind what type of roles you choose?

There’s never really one specific thing that I look for in a script. It could be another actor, or a director, or sometimes it’s just the character. With The Dressmaker and Steve Jobs, it was a combination of all of those things coming along at the same time.

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Are there any downsides to winning an Oscar?

Winning an Oscar has never, ever felt like a burden, not for one second! It’s fantastic, in fact it still feels so amazing. I still look at it and I’m incredibly proud and I think, having not won prior to or after, it makes it feel all the more great and exciting.

Was there a culture shock moving from New York to the English countryside?

My heart has always been in England, even when I was living in America. But whenever I’m back in Manhattan there are certain smells, like fresh coffee and bagels in the morning that make me go ‘Ahhh, New York’. I miss it sometimes. 

What are you yet to achieve?

I don’t have specific personal goals. I think that if you set yourself up to achieve something, then inevitably you won’t achieve it and I’m just not the kind of person to want to unnecessarily disappoint myself. I think my goal in the next five years is to keep working and to play lots of different parts that are challenging and interesting to me. After 23 years in the job, I am very fortunate to say that I do love it still feel challenged by it. Not everyone can say that.

Steve Jobs is in cinemas now

The Dressmaker is in cinemas this Friday.

 

Interview by Finlay Renwick

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