In an interview with Vanity Fair ahead of the “Ammonite” premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, the star opened up about her regrets and how she’s learned to speak up for herself on set. She also talked about being a woman in film, and the harassment that comes with it.
“It’s like, what the f— was I doing working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski? It’s unbelievable to me now how those men were held in such high regard, so widely in the film industry and for as long as they were. It’s f–king disgraceful,” she told Vanity Fair.
Winslet starred in Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” and in Polanski’s “Carnage.”
“I have to take responsibility for the fact that I worked with them both,” she said, “I can’t turn back the clock. I’m grappling with those regrets but what do we have if we aren’t able to just be f—ing truthful about all of it?”
Polanski was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, while Allen was accused of sexual abuse by his adopted daughter.
Her upcoming film is based on the life of a paleontologist named Mary Anning, with the plot centering around a relationship between Anning and Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan). The two actresses choreographed the love scenes themselves, and Winslet said that she’s learned lately to voice her own opinions in shooting.
“‘Ammonite’ has made me really aware of being even more committed to honoring what women want to be saying for themselves in films and how we really want to be portrayed, regardless of sexual orientation,” she said. “Because life is f–king short and I’d like to do my best when it comes to setting a decent example to younger women.”
Winslet added that she had been thinking prior to the interview about a repressed memory from shooting 1994’s “Heavenly Creatures” film. Though she emphasized that the experience acting in the film was one she loved, an objectifying comment made on set by a camera boy during a topless scene stuck with her — “Well, I guess it’s hard-dicks day, boys.”
Of the memory she said, “When you’re younger, you do this nonsense thing of just thinking, ‘That’s what men say.’ And they do it sometimes like they’re breathing…. I don’t know a single girl, actually, who hasn’t experienced some level of harassment on that level. Even if they’re just words, they’re so powerful. It’s like bullying.”