(LONDON) — Kate Winslet opened up about the criticism she endured in her early 20s, following her breakout success after starring in the 1997 movie Titanic.
Winslet, who was 22 when the movie hit theaters, recalled the intense scrutiny and bullying she faced over her weight in a new interview with The Guardian.
“In my 20s, people would talk about my weight a lot. And I would be called to comment on my physical self,” said the Oscar winner, now 45. “Well, then I got this label of being ballsy and outspoken. No, I was just defending myself.”
She invoked a comment late comedian Joan Rivers made about her shortly after Titanic hit theaters, which was, “If she just lost 5lb, Leo would’ve been able to fit on the raft.”
“It was almost laughable how shocking, how critical, how straight-up cruel tabloid journalists were to me,” said Winslet. “It was critical and horrible and so upsetting to read.”
She explained how the constant bullying affected her her mental health and self worth, confessing, “It damaged my confidence.”
The negative press also made Winslet consider furthering her career, with her adding. “I didn’t want to go to Hollywood because I remember thinking, ‘God, if this is what they’re saying to me in England, then what will happen when I get there?'”
“Also, it tampers with your evolving impression of what’s beautiful,” said Winslet.
“I did feel very on my own. For the simple reason that nothing can really prepare you for… that,” the four-time Golden Globe winner expressed, saying the scrutiny cooled down after she had her first child, Mia, when she was 25.
When looking back, Winslet admitted she is “moved” by how things have changed and “how different it is now” for young actresses.
By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.