I told you that we would be hearing about fossils and lesbians for months, and here we go. Kate Winslet is currently promoting Ammonite, a film about fossils and an affair between Mary Anning and a protege, Charlotte Murchison, played by Saoirse Ronan. Ammonite premiered at the virtual Toronto Film Festival and Kate has already appeared on a recent cover of the Hollywood Reporter. Now here she is with a high-profile feature in Vanity Fair. Because, remember, she HATES Oscar campaigns. She’s never campaigned for an Oscar. Oscars don’t mean anything to her. Oscar campaigns are bullsh-t. Trust her, as she prepares to spend the next five months talking about fossils and lesbians and how she’s just an ageing mum with saggy skin and it was super-brave – nay, Oscar-worthy – for her to film nude scenes at her age with no makeup. Lord, that’s the entire Oscar campaign. You can read the full Vanity Fair piece here. Some highlights:
She’s glad to not be stuffed into couture & heels right now: “Actually I’m wearing an old bathrobe because, to be completely honest with you, none of my pants fit me at the moment…. I think the question of how Hollywood will change is probably not something that any of us could fully answer quite this far out. But it is clearly changing significantly. Just experiencing the little bit of press that I have been doing to support Ammonite…I love not getting into those f–king dresses and those f–king shoes. All the money. It’s always really pained me, the money that gets wasted on colossal, great big junkets: flying journalists, actors, glam squads all over the world. Why the hell is any of that important? If I cared what I looked like, I would have put makeup on right now. It’s always been so baffling to me—the hoopla and the wasted money that could be better put to making more independent films, number one, or building f–king classrooms. Jesus Christ, you know?
She doesn’t want to travel to promote Ammonite: “For me, there’s a lot that’s already changed. I’ve said to the people who help me with press, “If any of the bans are lifted anytime soon, and the requests come in for me to fly places, can you apologize and say I won’t be doing that because it’s a waste of air travel?” It’s appalling—putting ourselves into the sky left, right, and center. There’s only so much a person can stomach before your morals come into play. We’re still able to do all the things that need to get done without pumping biofuels into a beautiful, beautiful fading world.
She finds the awards season wasteful & stressful: “The dresses, the stress, the dress fittings…It’s so stressful, and I know that sounds like, “Oh, here goes Kate Winslet talking about how stressful it is to do dress fittings for award shows.” But it is stressful. I don’t like having to squeeze my hot-and-bothered mum-on-the-school-run body randomly into a red carpet dress that I’m never going to wear again. The money that’s wasted on it. The hours and stress that people pour into these things. The incredible artists who make these dresses are wonderful, but to make something that’s only going to be worn once…I’ve already decided I’m doing repeat dresses. Everything will have to be let out, but whatever.
Ned RockNRoll is a hands-on dad: “Ammonite was filmed in Dorset, which is exactly a two-hour drive from where I’m sitting. I spent about three nights out of five down there by myself. Then my husband would come with our little one and one of the old ones normally…but I’m very fortunate to be in a position where my husband is in the home doing all of the things that I would ordinarily be doing.
No makeup! “There’s very little written about [the real-life Mary] in terms of physical description. A couple of people described her as being very thin and worn and pinched…but I didn’t want to do that because this isn’t supposed to be a biopic. Also, I felt it was very important to be able to carry the weight of the manual laboring life that was so much a part of who Mary was. There’s a solidity and a heftiness to her that I wanted to create. That just meant physically doing a few things a little differently and letting go of all vanity. I mean, no makeup. And I’m older now. I’m about to turn 45, and sh-t moves…My youthful years have gone.”
Setting a good example for younger women: “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. We’re handing them a pretty fucked up world, so I’d like to do my bit in having some proper integrity. It’s like, what the f–k 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. And I have to take responsibility for the fact that I worked with them both. 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–king truthful about all of it?
I mean, she worked with Woody Allen, Roman Polanski AND Harvey Weinstein. She was always chasing the Oscar-bait movies, even if they involve deeply terrible men. I guess I have to hate-respect how quickly (within one sentence) she abdicated responsibility for working with them, basically saying that they were “held in high regard” by all of Hollywood, how was she to know? That argument works for Weinstein (the depth of his depravity was not widely known, it really wasn’t). But Polanski? Woody? People knew they were problematic AF. And she didn’t care at the time.
Anyway, just remember: she’s 45, she has a mum-on-the-school-run body and she didn’t wear makeup. GIVE HER AN OSCAR. Not that she wants one!
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, IG.