Kate Winslet Recalled The “Unpleasant” Scrutiny She Faced After “Titanic” And Said She Felt Pressure To “Look A Certain Way” Because Of Intense “Media Intrusion”

"I felt like I had to look a certain way or be a certain thing," she said, "because media intrusion was so significant at that time."

Kate Winslet is reflecting on her life and career in the years after Titanic.

Close-up of Kate at a media event

As I’m sure you know, Kate landed her breakout role in James Cameron’s Titanic in 1997, starring as Rose alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Jack.

Kate and Leo on the red carpet

And while the film brought both of the stars global notoriety and helped launch their decade-spanning careers in Hollywood, Kate recently opened up about how the fanfare wasn’t all that easy to deal with.

A close-up of Kate smiling

“I felt like I 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," she said in a new interview with Porter.

Kate waving

For context, Kate was only 22 years old when Titanic was released, and she recalled that the success of the film prompted extra scrutiny of the projects she went on to star in next.

Close-up of Kate smiling

“Journalists would always say, ‘After Titanic, you could have done anything, and yet you chose to do these small things,’” she said, confessing that she purposely chose to work on smaller films and shows to limit her exposure.

Close-up of Kate smiling at a media event

“I was like, ‘Yeah, you bet your life I did! Because, guess what, being famous was horrible,’” she said.

Close-up of Kate smiling at a media event

In the past, Kate has previously talked about the intense criticism she faced after Titanic propelled her to global stardom, saying during a 2021 podcast appearance that she went “into self-protective mode” right away.

Leo and Kate walking hand-in-hand at a media event

“It was like night and day from one day to the next,” she said of her overnight fame. “Also, I was subject to quite a lot of personal physical scrutiny and criticized quite a lot — the British press were actually quite unkind to me.”

Close-up of Kate smiling at a media event in a lacy spaghetti-strap outfit and choker

Admitting that she felt “quite bullied” at the time, she recalled thinking, Well, this is horrible and I hope it passes.

Close-up of Kate smiling at a media event in a halter top outfit

“And it did definitely pass,” she said, “but it also made me realize that if that's what being famous was, I was not ready to be famous, thank you. No, definitely not.”

Close-up of Kate at a podium in a halter top outfit

Despite the difficulties that came with her big break, Kate made it clear in her recent interview with Porter that she still feels “grateful” for the experience and has adopted a very different outlook on “fame” today.

Close-up of Kate wearing a halter top outfit

“It’s such a ridiculous word,” she said. “I wear it really lightly. It’s not a burden, any of it.”

Close-up of Kate onstage in a halter top outfit

During those early years in her career, Kate was fortunately able to lean on the support of Leo, who remains one of her closest friends to this day.

Close-up of Leo in a bow tie and Kate in a lacy spaghetti-strap outfit

“I think when you experience something so seismic, so young…we really went through that together,” she said of her Titanic costar.

Close-up of Kate and Leo holding hands

As you’ll probably know, Kate and Leo have since become one of the most beloved celebrity duos in Hollywood, which has also led to speculation that they’re “soulmates” destined to be together as a couple.

Close-up of Kate and Leo

This is something that both parties have constantly denied over the years, and Kate’s response to the subject was no different when the Porter journalist asked her if she’d stumbled across the memes about finding a partner “who looks at you the way Leo looks at Kate.”

In response, Kate admitted that she hadn’t seen the posts fawning over Leo’s adoration for her, but made sure to rebut fan theories that he was ever looking at her in a romantic way.

Close-up of Kate and Leo looking at each other on the red carpet

“He just knows I can see right through it all,” she said, circling back to their close bond as friends.

Close-up of Kate and Leo at an event

You can read Kate’s full Porter interview here.

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