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Kate Winslet
Biographical Information
Birth Name

Kate Elizabeth Winslet

Born

October 5, 1975, Reading, Berkshire

Nationality

British

Gender

Female

Career
Years Active

1991 - Present

Avatar Role

Ronal

Kate Elizabeth Winslet (born 5 October 1975) is an English actress. She is particularly known for her work in period dramas and tragedies, and is often drawn to portraying troubled women. Winslet is the recipient of several accolades, including three British Academy Film Awards, and is among the few performers to have won Academy, Emmy, and Grammy Awards. She will portray the character Ronal in Avatar 2.

Biography[]

Early life[]

Kate Winslet was born on 5 October 1975 in Reading, Berkshire, England, to Sally Anne (née Bridges) and Roger John Winslet. Her mother worked as a nanny and waitress, and her father, a struggling actor, took labouring jobs to support the family. Her maternal grandparents were both actors and ran the Reading Repertory Theatre Company. Winslet has two sisters, Anna and Beth, both of whom are actresses, and a younger brother, Joss. The family had limited financial means; they lived on free meal benefits and were supported by a charity named the Actor's Charitable Trust. When Winslet was 10, her father severely injured his foot in a boating accident and found it harder to work, leading to more financial hardships for the family. Winslet has said that her parents always made them feel cared for and that they were a supportive family.

Winslet attended St Mary and All Saints' Church of England primary school. Living in a family of actors inspired her to pursue acting from a young age. She and her sisters participated in amateur stage shows at school and at a local youth theatre, named Foundations. When she was five, Winslet made her first stage appearance as Mary in her school's production of the Nativity. She has described herself as an overweight child; she was nicknamed "blubber" by her schoolmates and was bullied for the way she looked. She said that she did not let this defeat her. At 11, Winslet was accepted into the Redroofs Theatre School in Maidenhead. The school also functioned as an agency and took students to London to audition for acting jobs. She appeared in a Sugar Puffs commercial and dubbed for foreign films. At school, she was made head girl and took part in productions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and played the lead role of Wendy Darling in Peter Pan. She worked simultaneously with the Starmaker Theatre Company in Reading. She participated in over 20 of their stage productions, but was rarely selected as the lead due to her weight. Nonetheless, she played key roles as Miss Agatha Hannigan in Annie, the Mother Wolf in The Jungle Book, and Lena Marelli in Bugsy Malone.

Career[]

In 1991, within two weeks of finishing her GCSE examinations, Winslet made her screen debut as one of the main cast members of the BBC science fiction television series Dark Season. Her part was that of Reet, a schoolgirl who helps her classmates fight against a sinister man distributing free computers to her school. She did not earn much from the job, and at 16, a lack of funds forced Winslet to leave Redroofs. To support herself, she worked at a delicatessen. In 1992, she had a small part in the television film Anglo-Saxon Attitudes, an adaptation of Angus Wilson's satirical novel. Winslet, who weighed 13 stone 3 pounds (84 kg; 185 lb) at the time, played the daughter of an obese woman in it. While filming, an off-hand comment from the director Diarmuid Lawrence about the likeness between her and the actress who played her mother prompted Winslet to lose weight. She next took on the role of the young daughter of a bankrupt middle-aged man (played by Ray Winstone) in the television sitcom Get Back (1992–93). She also had a guest role in a 1993 episode of the medical drama series Casualty.

She made her first film debut playing a teenage murderess in the New Zealand biographical drama Heavenly Creatures (1994), directed by Peter Jackson. For her following role in Sense and Sensibility (1994), she won the BAFTA Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She went on to star in two period dramas in 1996, Jude and Hamlet, solidifying her reputation for portraying complicated, complex female characters with a "mad edge". She was launched into global stardom for her lead role in James Cameron's 1997 film Titanic, starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. She went on to star in several small, low budget films, as well as several more larger and critically acclaimed films, such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Little Children (2004), The Reader (2008), and Steve Jobs (2015). She portrayed the lead villain Jeannie Matthews in the science fiction dystopian film Divergent (2014), and reprised the role in the film's sequel, Insurgent (2015). Her latest roles include Wonder Wheel (2017), Blackbird (2019), and Ammonite (2020).

Aside from her acting roles, Winslet has also served as a voice actor in many animated TV shows, films, and shorts, such as Flushed Away (2006), Swift (2019) and Moominvalley (2019-2020). She has provided narration for several audiobooks, and received critical acclaim for her performance of the song "What If" for the soundtrack of Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001). She is the co-founder of the Golden Hat Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting awareness and acceptance of autistic individuals. In 2010, she released a book on the topic, The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism.

Role in the Avatar sequels[]

Kate Winslet performing underwater motion-capture on the set of the Avatar sequels.

In 2017, it was confirmed that Winslet had been cast as Ronal, a member of the Metkayina clan, in the upcoming Avatar sequels. This would mark the first time she has worked with James Cameron in 20 years following her role in Titanic. Though the details of her character are scarce, Winslet has described Ronal as a "water goddess" and stated that she would perform a "birthing ceremony"- an on-set photo appears to depict her doing just that.

She insisted on doing all of her own stunts and performances for the underwater motion-capture used during filming for the sequels; to accomplish this, she learned to free-dive and was able to hold her breath in apnea for record time of 7 minutes, 14 seconds, beating prolific action movie actor Tom Cruise's record of six minutes in an underwater scene from Mission Impossible 5 (2015). Winslet stated she greatly enjoyed the experience, and worked closely with performers from Cirque du Soleil, who had previously worked with James Cameron to create Toruk - The First Flight.[1]

Filmography[]

Film[]

  • Heavenly Creatures (1994)
  • Sense and Sensibility (1995)
  • A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995)
  • Jude (1996)
  • Hamlet (1996)
  • Titanic (1997)
  • Hideous Kinky (1998)
  • Faeries (1999) (voice)
  • Holy Smoke! (1999)
  • Quills (2000)
  • Enigma (2001)
  • Iris (2001)
  • War Game (2001) (voice)
  • Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001) (voice)
  • The Life of David Gale (2003)
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  • Finding Neverland (2004)
  • Romance and Cigarettes (2005)
  • Deep Sea 3D (2006) (narrator)
  • All the King's Men (2006)
  • Little Children (2006)
  • Flushed Away (2006) (voice)
  • The Holiday (2006)
  • The Fox and the Child (2007) (narrator)
  • The Reader (2008)
  • A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism (2009) (narrator)
  • Carnage (2011)
  • Contagion (2011)
  • Movie 43 (2013)
  • Labor Day (2013)
  • Divergent (2014)
  • A Little Chaos (2014)
  • The Divergent Series: Insurgent (2015)
  • Daisy Chain (2015)
  • Steve Jobs (2015)
  • The Dressmaker (2015)
  • Triple 9 (2016)
  • Collateral Beauty (2016)
  • The Lost Letter (2016)
  • The Mountain Between Us (2017)
  • Wonder Wheel (2017)
  • Mary and the Witch's Flower (2018) (voice)
  • Birds of a Feather (2019) (voice)
  • Blackbird (2019)
  • Baba Yaga (2020) (voice)
  • Ammonite (2020)
  • Black Beauty (2020) (voice)
  • Avatar 2 (2022)

Television[]

  • Dark Season (1991)
  • Anglo-Saxon Attitudes (1992)
  • Get Back (1992-93)
  • Casualty (1993)
  • Pride (2004) (voice)
  • Saturday Night Live (2004) (host)
  • Extras (2005)
  • Mildred Pierce (2011)
  • Running Wild with Bear Grylls (2015)
  • Snow Chick (2015) (narrator)
  • Diana: The Day Britain Cried (2017) (narrator)
  • Snow Bears (2017) (narrator)
  • Moominvalley (2019-20)
  • Mare of Easttown (2021)

References[]

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