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.
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, you bet your life I did! Because, guess what, being famous was horrible,’” she said.
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.
“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.”
Admitting that she felt “quite bullied” at the time, she recalled thinking, Well, this is horrible and I hope it passes.
“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.”
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.
“It’s such a ridiculous word,” she said. “I wear it really lightly. It’s not a burden, any of it.”
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.
“I think when you experience something so seismic, so young…we really went through that together,” she said of her Titanic costar.
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.
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.
“He just knows I can see right through it all,” she said, circling back to their close bond as friends.