In terms of actors who have made a huge generational impact, Kate Winslet pretty much tops the list. She’s acted with everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio, Alan Rickman and Jodi Foster to Ricky Gervais, Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz. She’s been nominated for more awards than we can count on both hands and has won an Oscar and three Golden Globes.
And yet, somehow, the thing that some people fixate on when it comes to the actress is her weight. Because, Hollywood.
Winslet has never let the haters get her down though, and she made sure to let young minds know as much during an inspirational speech for U.K.’s WE Day on Wednesday.
The actress took the stage to reveal how, when she was younger, she too was a victim of bullying, and that the other kids used to call her things like “Blubber” and locked her up in a cupboard. The thought of her becoming an actress made plenty of children laugh, and it was something that stuck with her through her adulthood — even when she dropped some of the weight through Weight Watchers.
“I wasn’t the prettiest. I was even told that I might be lucky in my acting if I was happy to settle for the fat-girl parts,” she said. “[Casting agents] would say, ‘You’re just not what we’re looking for Kate.’ I’d hear that a lot.”
Even after Winslet landed the leading role in the 1997 smash hit Titanic she faced “bullies.” Back then, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Winslet revealed that film director James Cameron had nicknamed her Kate Weighs-A-Lot.
Like, c’mon Cameron. You were the captain of that ship — couldn’t you have led with a better example?
Anyhow, although it certainly seems like all of that was plenty hurtful, Winslet never let it get her down. And that was the message she wanted to give to those in attendance at the event.
“I didn’t lock myself away and give up on my dream. I fought back,” she said. “I had to ignore the negative comments. I had to believe in myself. I had to choose to rise above it all, and I had to work hard. You have to be indestructible to do what you love, and believe that you are worth it. And sometimes that’s the hardest part.”
Inspiring words from an inspiring person, right? It’s exactly the kind of behaviour we’ve come to expect from the mother-of-three, who has long said it like it is in this industry. Need further proof?
How about her take on wrinkles?
“I have the kind of wrinkles that are here to stay now,” she once told People. “You know, not just the ones where you wake up in the morning and you go, ‘Oh that will go away in two hours time.’ No, they’re there. That’s the way it is.”
Or on not changing her last name when she got married?
“I’ve never changed my name to anything so I didn’t see a reason to start now,” she told The Telegraph. “I quite like Kate Winslet. In fact, I think it’s very flashy.”
Maybe not as flashy as Mrs. Ned Rocknroll, but okay.
Oh, and then there’s the fact that she co-founded the Golden Hat Foundation to help children with autism. Because her day job and being a mother aren’t enough work. See what we mean? It’s easy to love Winslet, regardless of how Hollywood might see her weight. But what’s even more awesome is that despite the haters, she’s learned to love herself too.
“I learned to embrace my flaws, to make no apology for who I am,” she said during her speech. “I dug deep and I decided that I simply wouldn’t listen when they said my body didn’t fit. This is who I am, the real me, Kate from Reading.”
Never, ever change.