Kate Winslet Opens Up About Bullying In Hollywood, Recalls Being Told To ‘Settle For The Fat Girl Parts’

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Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet is a worldwide treasure, and her longtime acting career is one of the most enviable ones in Hollywood.

After all, Winslet is a four-time Golden Globe winner, an Oscar winner, and a SAG award winner, and she’s received praise time and time again for the plethora of movies she’s starred in, including The Reader, Sense and Sensibility, The Holiday, and of course, the movie that catapulted her to A-list Hollywood fame, Titanic.

In an interview published on Feb. 22, Winslet opened up about the treatment she received from Hollywood, the media, journalists, and more after her breakout role in Titanic, and much of it had to do with the criticism of her body.

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In fact, the late Joan Rivers — who basically made a career for herself with her cutthroat analysis of celeb fashion and harping on A-listers — once cracked a joke about Winslet that stayed with her for years.

“If she just lost 5lb, Leo would’ve been able to fit on the raft,” Rivers said.  

“Yes. In my 20s, people would talk about my weight a lot,” Winslet recalled. “And I would be called to comment on my physical self. Well, then I got this label of being ballsy and outspoken. No, I was just defending myself.”

“And it was almost laughable how shocking, how critical, how straight-up cruel tabloid journalists were to me. I was still figuring out who the hell I bloody well was!” she said. 

“They would comment on my size, they’d estimate what I weighed, they’d print the supposed diet I was on,” she added. 

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Although Winslet endured bullying from the media for much of her teens and early 20s, the Ammonite actress admitted she is “moved” by the growth of the industry and its shifting standards:

“It was critical and horrible and so upsetting to read. But it also made me feel so… so moved. By how different it is now.”

Winslet’s interview also referenced her backstage statement to the press after her 2016 BAFTA win for her role in the movie, Steve Jobs, where she opened up about the people in her past who told her she should “settle for the fat girl parts”:

“When I was younger, when I was only 14, I was told by a drama teacher that I might do okay if I was happy to settle for the fat girl parts. Look at me now! Look at me now.

“So what I feel like saying in those moments is, to any young woman who has ever been put down by a teacher or a friend or even a parent, just don’t listen to any of it. 

Because that’s what I did. I didn’t listen, and I kept on going, and I overcame all of my fears, and I got over a lot of insecurity. And just keep doing it, and keep believing in yourself.”

Kate Winslet’s honest comments about the media and the unfortunate treatment she experienced during her early years in Hollywood is a reminder that although the industry has made small steps in the right direction when it comes to inclusivity, there’s still a long way to go. 

Her interview also highlights the the fact that the industry needs to stop focusing on the obvious — the appearance of a woman — and start focusing on their talent. 

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Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on Twitter