Kate Winslet talks a lot of nonsense. I don’t want to offend anyone when I say this, but… I get the feeling that Kate isn’t very bright? I’ll put it another way: I don’t think she’s as clever as she thinks she is. I always think back to this interview she gave where she talked about quitting therapy when she realized she could “outsmart” her therapist. She also lied about how she gave birth to her daughter Mia… for no real reason. There are other little lies that just accumulate and leave the impression that A) Winslet is a fantasist and B) she talks a lot of nonsense. Anyway, Kate participated in the UK version of Who Do You Think You Are?, the show where celebrities work with genealogists to trace back their ancestry. Winslet comes from Swedish peasant stock, and she couldn’t be happier about that because even though she worth tens of millions of dollars, she wants everyone to know that at heart she really is just a working class peasant.
She now lives in a £4.1million Sussex mansion and is worth an estimated £62million. But Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet has revealed she would be ‘upset’ and ‘disgusted’ if she discovered that her ancestors had been rich or royal. The Titanic star, 43, told how her ‘socialist’ parents ‘frowned upon the wealthy’ after tracing her family tree for the new series of the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?
‘I would have been upset and disgusted if I had come from wealth or royalty,’ she told the Radio Times. ‘There was never any money in our family, but I always felt very fortunate because I came from a lovely, wonderful, loving family. My roots are socialist, working class and, in a funny way, my parents frowned upon the wealthy.’
She learned that her maternal great-great-grandfather came to the UK from Sweden in 1884 to work as a tailor, a fact which “basically means I’m an immigrant”. The most heartbreaking discovery for Winslet was that her great-great-great-great-grandfather, Anders Jonsson, was imprisoned in Sweden for stealing potatoes and honey to feed his family; one of his five children died from malnutrition. He died in prison from typhoid. He was kept as a “slave” in Sweden, where he worked as a groom and was paid not in money but in tokens which could only be exchanged on the estate owned by his employer.
Winslet said: “Mum and Dad went to Oxford for their honeymoon and we always had holidays out of the back of the van with a tent.” She told Radio Times that discovering how poor her ancestors were made sense of her life. “I come from a long line of impoverished people on both sides of my family, which perhaps explains why I’ve tried to instil my parents’ values into my kids. People never believe me, but my children aren’t over-privileged. We just don’t live like that. They are very balanced. Humble.” Winslet has three children, the youngest with Edward Abel Smith, nephew of Sir Richard Branson and previously known as Ned Rocknroll.
Yes, everyone knows that one should only research your genealogy to reconfirm your preconceived notions about socioeconomics. Kate Winslet is such a poseur, right? She’s basically an immigrant, people! She’s basically a peasant, please praise her for being super RILL. It also bugs me that Kate would truly be angry if she learned that she maybe had a king or queen or aristocrat in her lineage too – I come from a long line of Indian communists, politicians, doctors and intellectuals, but here I am, a late-stage capitalist who writes gossip for a living in a declining empire. My point: your genealogy doesn’t define you. This focus on learning about your ancestry should be an interesting exercise in discovering more about your family, not an excuse to brag about how humble you are.
PS… I can’t help but remember when Gwyneth did the American version of this show and on her mother’s side, she came from peasant stock and Gwyneth was SO MAD. But then on her father’s side, Gwyneth was basically Jewish royalty, so that made her happy.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN.