Why Kate Winslet Says Aftermath of Titanic Was “Horrible”

Kate Winslet recently revealed why she only took on independent acting roles after her starring role in 1997’s Titanic movie.

By Leah Degrazia Feb 13, 2024 3:14 AMTags
Watch: Kate Winslet Gets Emotional Over Leonardo

Just like Jack's hand, Kate Winslet had to let go of movies like Titanic

The Mare of Easttown actress recently confessed to taking on more independent acting roles after starring in the 1997 blockbuster film because of how intense her celebrity became.

"Journalists would always say, ‘After Titanic, you could have done anything and yet you chose to do these small things,'" Kate remembered in an interview with Net-a-Porter published Feb. 12, "and I was like, ‘Yeah, you bet your f---king life I did! Because, guess what, being famous was horrible.'"

And that's not to say the Oscar Winner—who shares daughter Mia Threapleton, 23, with ex Jim Threapleton and son Joe Mendes, 20, with ex Sam Mendes—wasn't appreciative of her early rise to stardom. 

"I was grateful, of course," Kate continued. "I was in my early twenties and I was able to get a flat. But I didn't want to be followed literally feeding the ducks."

Kate Winslet's Best Looks

And while the 48-year-old—who married Edward Abel Smith in 2012—has certainly managed to remain one of Hollywood's A-listers over the years, starring in beloved films like 2006's The Holiday and 2004's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, she believes today's generation of actresses are even better equipped to handle the spotlight. 

Kate said that young women today "know how to use their voice," whereas in the aftermath of Titanic, she felt she "had to look a certain way, or be a certain thing, and because media intrusion was so significant at that time, my life was quite unpleasant."

Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage

This isn't the first time Kate has spoken up about the intense scrutiny she faced following her first movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. She previously got candid about the criticism she received over her weight in the film. 

"Apparently I was too fat," Kate said during a December 2022 episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast. "Why were they so mean to me? They were so mean. I wasn't even f---king fat."

Noting that she was only 22 years old at the time, she reflected, "[Now] I would have said, ‘Don't you dare treat me like this. I'm a young woman, my body is changing, I'm figuring it out, I'm deeply insecure, I'm terrified, don't make this any harder than it already is.'"

Keep reading to revisit more of Kate's iconic movie roles. 

Mare of Easttown

In the 2021 HBO Max series, Kate Winslet plays Mare Sheehan, a detective who investigates the murder of a teenage mother in Pennsylvania. Winslet received an Emmy nod in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her performance.


Set along the southern coast of England in the 1840s, the movie follows paleontologist Mary Anning (Winslet). After a career of legendary discoveries, Mary turns to collecting common fossils, which she sells to tourists to support herself and her mother. One day, she meets a man named Roderick Murchison (James McArdle) who asks her to look after his wife Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan). He offers to pay Mary, and she reluctantly agrees. During their time together, Mary and Charlotte grow close and develop a romantic connection.

Steve Jobs

How good was Winslet's acting in this movie? Just ask Siri. Winslet portrays Joanna Hoffman, a former marketing executive for Macintosh, in this 2015 movie about Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) and three of the Apple founder's major product launches. Winslet received SAG Award and Oscar nominations for the supporting role and won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.

Mildred Pierce

Mare of Easttown wasn't Winslet's first Emmy nomination. She also earned one for playing the titular character in HBO's 2011 adaptation of James M. Cain's novel Mildred Pierce.

The story is about a woman who fights to support her family during the Great Depression. After her husband leaves, Mildred starts working at a diner and selling pies. She later launches her own restaurant business, which becomes quite successful. The five-part miniseries also explores Mildred's relationship with a man named Monty (Guy Pearce) and centers on her complicated dynamic with her daughter Veda (Evan Rachel Wood).

Winslet took home the trophy in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie category for her performance.

The Reader

Set in post-World War II Germany, the film follows Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes), who had an affair with a woman in her 30s named Hanna Schmitz (Winslet) when he was 15. Michael would also read to Hanna as viewers later discover she doesn't know how. Hanna disappears, but they see each other again when Michael is a law student attending a war crimes trial and learns of Hanna's past as a guard at a concentration camp.

The 2008 film was based on Bernhard Schlink's 1995 book, and Winslet won her first Oscar for her performance in the movie.

Revolutionary Road

Eleven years after Titanic, Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio reunited for this 2008 adaptation of Richard Yates' 1961 novel Revolutionary Road. The movie is set in the 1950s and tells the story of Frank (DiCaprio) and April (Winslet). From the outside, it looks like the couple has it all. But on the inside, they're longing for more than their suburban life and watching their marriage fall apart.

Winslet won a Golden Globe for her acting, and in a 2008 review of Winslet's and DiCaprio's performances, Roger Ebert wrote, "They are so good, they stop being actors and become the people I grew up around."

The Holiday

Who doesn't love this Christmas rom-com? The 2006 movie follows two women: Iris (Winslet) from England and Amanda (Cameron Diaz) from Los Angeles. They decide to swap houses after Amanda breaks up with her boyfriend and Iris learns her ex recently got engaged. While they each plan on enjoying a solo getaway for the holidays, everything changes when Amanda meets Graham (Jude Law), Iris' brother, and Iris meets Miles (Jack Black), a friend of Amanda's ex.

Little Children

Based on Tom Perrotta's novel, Little Children follows Sarah Pierce (Winslet) and Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson), who live in a Massachusetts suburb and have an affair. Winslet was nominated for an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and a BAFTA Award for her role in the 2006 film.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Fans will never forget this performance. The 2004 movie tells the story of couple Clementine (Winslet) and Joel (Jim Carrey), who undergo a procedure to have their memories of each other erased. Winslet was up for an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA Award and a SAG Award for her performance.


The 2001 movie looks back at the life and talent of British novelist Iris Murdoch and chronicles her relationship with her husband John Bayley (Jim Broadbent and Hugh Bonneville) from the moment they met in college to his care for her amid her battle with Alzheimer's disease. Winslet played Iris during the writer's young adulthood, and Judi Dench portrayed her in the author's later years. Winslet was nominated for an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for the role.


In the 1997 film, Winslet's character Rose looks back at the romance she formed with a man named Jack (DiCaprio) while onboard the ship that sunk in 1912. And while there's still debate over whether Jack and Rose could have both fit on that floating door, there's no arguing how impressive Winslet's performance was. She received an Oscar nomination for her role in the movie, and the film took home 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. 

Sense and Sensibility

This 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen's novel earned Winslet her first Academy Award nomination. While the actress didn't take home the Oscar for her role as Marianne Dashwood, she did win a BAFTA Award and a SAG Award.

Heavenly Creatures

This 1994 movie marked Winslet's first major film role. The movie is about two teenage girls. Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey) and Juliet Hulme (Winslet), who become inseparable. They often use their imaginations to escape the realities of their lives at home with their families. And when they find themselves being torn apart, they plot the murder of Pauline's mother.

While Winslet was new to the film industry, she instantly won moviegoers over with her performance. The picture screened at the 1994 Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Lion Award, and received an Oscar nod for Best Screenplay.

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