Kate Winslet has recalled being “bullied” and “subjected to physical scrutiny” by the British press in the wake of Titanic.
The Ammonite actor became an international superstar in 1997 when she and Leonardo DiCaprio headlined the James Cameron epic, which would go on to become the most successful film of all time. It would hold the record until 2009 when it was usurped by the director’s other film, Avatar.
Winslet has now described going into “self-protective mode” following its release, and experiencing the worst elements of fame.
“I remember cars and cars full of British tabloid photographers who were photographing me going and buying a pint of milk and a newspaper, and that was just weird,” Winslet told Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast. “It was like night and day from one day to the next.”
She continued: “I was subjected to quite a lot of personal physical scrutiny, and I was criticised quite a lot. The British press were quite unkind to me, and I felt quite bullied, if I’m honest. And I remember just thinking, ‘Okay, well this is horrible and I hope it passes’. It did definitely pass, but it also made me realise that if that was what being famous was, I was not ready to be famous.”
Winslet added that she “strategically” backed away from big-budget films after Titanic, instead choosing to make smaller independent movies as she was “still learning how to act”.
Winslet, who would win an Oscar in 2009 for The Reader, next stars in the period romance Ammonite. Last year, she said filming the movie’s sex scenes, with her co-star Saoirse Ronan, left her feeling “proud”.