Kate Winslet revealed in an interview with The Sunday Times that she was told to settle for “fat girl” parts when she was a young performer in acting school. Later on, when Winslet started booking movie roles, her agent was often asked the same question: “How’s her weight?”
“It can be extremely negative,” Winslet said about the pressures facing female actors. “People are subject to scrutiny that is more than a young, vulnerable person can cope with. But in the film industry it is really changing. When I was younger my agent would get calls saying, ‘How’s her weight?’ I kid you not. So it’s heartwarming that this has started to change.”
Winslet has long championed normal body types on screen. The Oscar winner was adamant during the making of her HBO series “Mare of Easttown” that no one glam her up. When it was brought to her attention by director Craig Zobel that her “bulgy bit of belly” could be removed from a sex scene with co-star Guy Peace, Winslet fired back, “Don’t you dare!”
“Listen, I hope that in playing Mare as a middle-aged woman — I will be 46 in October — I guess that’s why people have connected with this character in the way that they have done because there are clearly no filters,” Winslet told The New York Times. “She’s a fully functioning, flawed woman with a body and a face that moves in a way that is synonymous with her age and her life and where she comes.”
Winslet is one of many female actors who have spoken out against Hollywood this year due to the pressures put on women to be a certain size on screen. Bryce Dallas Howard revealed in September that studio executives wanted her to lose weight for “Jurassic World Dominion,” but her director Colin Trevorrow shot them down.
“[I’ve] been asked to not use my natural body in cinema,” Howard said. “On the third movie, it was actually because there were so many women cast, it was something that Colin felt very strongly about in terms of protecting me… because the conversation came up again, ‘We need to ask Bryce to lose weight.’”
“[Colin] was like, ‘There are lots of different kinds of women on this planet and there are lots of different kinds of women in our film,’” Howard added. “I got to do so many stunts that wouldn’t have been possible if I had been dieting.”
Winslet next appears in “Avatar: The Way of Water,” opening in theaters Dec. 16.