Winslet was born October 5th, 1975 in Reading, England to a family filled with actors and stage managers. Both of her grandparents were stage managers and her parents were actors. Winslet began acting as a child, making appearances in commercials and British TV. She eventually dropped out of school to pursue her acting career.
Winslet appeared on the British stage and had a recurring role on a British TV sitcom before landing her debut film role in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures (1994). The movie attracted a lot of attention for Winslet leading her to her next film Sense and Sensibility (1995). Winslet played a supporting role, surrounding herself with well known actors such as Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant. The movie earned Winslet her first Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Winslet followed up her Academy Award nominated performance in movies such as Jude (1995) and Hamlet (1996). She got her career changing role of a lifetime when she signed up to star as Rose DeWitt in the record breaking blockbuster Titanic (1997). She showed a whole new range of acting and became one of the most sought out female actresses in the business. The movie was rewarded with numerous Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Titanic was the movie that audiences wanted to see over and over again, becoming one of the most popular films in Hollywood ever made. The film earned Winslet her second Academy Award Nomination, this time, for Best Actress.
After staring in her first real hit movie, Winslet made two unlikely choices for her next movies, Hideous Kinky (1999) and the Jane Campion film Holy Smoke (1999) about a women who joins a religious cult. This film, like Titanic, displayed her ability to portray physical and emotional nudity onscreen. In her future films, she displays the same talent.
Winslet started the decade out strong and in 2000 starred in the period piece film, Quills. In 2001, Winslet earned her third Academy Award Nomination for her supporting role in Iris. Fun fact, Iris was the second movie Winslet was in where both she and her co-star were nominated for playing different versions of the same character. The first movie was, Titanic. The same year she co-starred in the World War II drama, Enigma. In 2003, she appeared as a reporter interviewing a death row inmate in The Life of David Gale.
In 2004, Winslet earned her fourth Academy Award Nomination staring opposite Jim Carrey in Charlie Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. When I was watching the Oscars in 2005, I was rooting for Winslet to win. She took on a role so different than anything she had ever done before. Plus, I’ve never seen anybody play so well off of Jim Carrey. Jim Carrey is known for being the one man show in all of his movies, but she took that spotlight away from him. The same year she co-starred with Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland, which explored J.M. Barrie inspiration for his well is known play, Peter Pan. I feel she deserved a supporting nomination for this film, because her performances touched audiences hearts, especially mine. Her performance was so emotional without her even trying and it was beautiful.
In 2006, Winslet starred as a frustrated suburban married mother having an affair with a married man in the film, Little Children. Winslet earned her fifth Academy Award Nomination for this role. I actually loved this movie. There’s something about this movie that I love, and I think it’s the acting because each actor portrays there character in such a brilliant way. And I also love how the story is told, like someone is reading a book out loud to you and the actors stories are pictures in the book. That same year, Winslet was part of the ensemble cast of Nancy Meyers’ film, The Holiday. The story was cute, but she kind of overacted in the film. But that’s just me.
In 2008, Winslet took the roles of a lifetime. One of the films was the highly anticipated Revolutionary Road. The film was one of the most talked about movies that year because Winslet and her Titanic costar Leonardo DiCaprio, were finally teaming up after 11 years of being known as the most romantic couple on screen. Plus, the movie was being directed by Winslet’s husband; Academy Award Winner, Sam Mendes. Winslet and DiCaprio starred as a struggling suburban married couple in the 1950’s; A complete 180 from their previous role together. Both Winslet and Dicpario brought raw emotion to the film, and in my opinion were the best roles of their career.
The movie became one of my favorites of the year and I was disappointed it didn’t get the recognition it deserved from the Academy. It opened up to few audiences but received outstanding reviews. Even though the movie didn’t receive any awards she received acting awards and nominations from The Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild.
The second film that year was The Reader, where Winslet portrayed an older German woman in a relationship with a younger boy and what happens when she is put on trial for war crimes in the Holocaust. During the awards season she was being nominated for supporting actress but when it came to the Oscars, they placed her in the Lead Actress category. After being nominated at the Academy Award five times, Winslet’s sixth nomination for The Reader, won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.
I feel as though Winslet should have been nominated for both The Reader and Revolutionary Road; The Reader in the Supporting category and Revolutionary Road in the Leading category. It would have been nice to see her win in both categories, because if she had been nominated she would have taken both categories, deservingly.
Kate Winslet is one of the best actresses working today. She is 36 years old, with one Oscar and six nominations under her belt. She may not be as good as an actress as Meryl Streep, but just how Steep became the next Hepburn, Winslet will become the next Streep.
She is just a delight to watch on screen because she takes every role and makes it her own. My favorite performance of Winslet is a tie between, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Revolutionary Road. She is so great in every film she takes on, except for The Holiday, but one bad performance can be forgiven when we’re talking about an actress with her resume.
Winslet is currently starring in the TV miniseries Mildred Pierce, the iconic role Joan Crawford won an Academy Award for and has four films in production. Kate Winslet is a wonderful actress and one of the best, and I can’t wait to see what she does with the rest of her career.