Kate Winslet’s two haunt­ing film ex­pe­ri­ences

An ac­tress in sur­vival mode.

Vocable (All English) - - Édito | Sommaire - KATE WINSLET Ac­tress

Lost in the moun­tains af­ter a plane crash, Kate Winslet has to sur­vive in a very hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment against the el­e­ments in La Mon­tagne entre nous (in cinemas on 8 Novem­ber). She is also in the new Woody Allen film, Won­der Wheel, due for re­lease in Jan­uary. She talks about shoot­ing these two films, and both the fear and plea­sure she finds in these kinds of chal­lenges.

Kate Winslet has two films com­ing this year, and mak­ing them has haunted her nights. Af­ter film­ing “The Moun­tain Be­tween Us” in which she and Idris Elba play strangers stranded on an icy, des­o­late moun­tain range when their plane crashes, “I would have panic dreams about my chil­dren be­ing trapped un­der ice,” she said, night­mares that are just now sub­sid­ing.

2. And for dif­fer­ent rea­sons, she also lost sleep shoot­ing Woody Allen’s “Won­der Wheel,” set in 1950s Coney Is­land (due 31 Jan), in which Winslet is caught in an un­ful­fill­ing mar­riage and a dead-end job as a wait­ress in a clown house.

3.“The Moun­tain Be­tween Us” is di­rected by Hany Abu-As­sad and shot in the moun­tains of West­ern Canada. “We would fly up in he­li­copters to work ev­ery day,” she said. “We were very, very high up” — about 10,000 feet — “and very, very cold” — 36 de­grees be­low zero. To Winslet, that was the ap­peal. “There’s a cer­tain sense of sat­is­fac­tion af­ter hav­ing had three chil­dren and be­ing 41 years old, and ac­tu­ally feel­ing prob­a­bly fit­ter and stronger than ever,” she said. “It was like, I can put some of that phys­i­cal strength to good use.” 4. Q. Why pick an en­durance test like “Moun­tain Be­tween Us”? A. I’m much more taken by an ex­treme set of cir­cum­stances than an easy, com­fort­able route. I like a chal­lenge, and it’s been a long time since I’ve done a film that re­quired such a level of phys­i­cal ex­er­tion and stamina and com­mit­ment — and also over­com­ing a cer­tain de­gree of fear ev­ery sin­gle day. Plus, I’m a much more cold than hot sort of per­son. If a script says, “It’s a swel­ter­ing hot day on a beach in Tahiti,” I’m less in­ter­ested.

5. Q. What was scary about this? A. We would go into work and there would be six dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios, based on whether the he­li­copters could fly that day, based on the weather — howl­ing gale, a bl­iz­zard. It would take me 45 min­utes to dress in the morn­ing, clever lay­ers un­der those cos­tumes, so we didn’t look like Miche­lin men. And then I would have

heat packs stuck to me — three on my arms, a cou­ple across my chest. They give g out re­ally fast when you’re at al­ti­tude. A cou­ple of mo­ments, we would lose the feel­ings in our toes and have to stop for half an hour, and some­one would put t their gloves on our r feet. We were in n full sur­vival mode. e.

6. Q. Still, I bet a lot t of peo­ple would be e thrilled to be stranded on a moun­tain with Idris Elba. A. Hell yeah! [Laughs] I could think of worse peo­ple to be trapped with. I was re­ally grabbed by the huge chal­lenge [of] putting two ac­tors on screen for the en­tire length of a movie. I re­mem­ber think­ing, “Oh my God, we’ve got to keep this in in­ter­est­ing, othe er­wise we’re d doomed.” I think it was re­ally go good that we di didn’t know each ot other — we disco cov­ered a lot ab about the other per per­son. We got qui quite good at read­ing what the other pers per­son was think­ing a and need­ing — hot p packs and hid­den candy c sup­plies.

7. Q. Do you pre­fer play­ing strong peo­ple fac­ing a vul­ner­a­ble mo­ment, or vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple find­ing strength? A. I like char­ac­ters who are com­pletely un­afraid of show­ing all their flaws. I think of­ten peo­ple as­so­ci­ate me with strong char­ac­ters who are dar­ing and reck­less. But it’s very in­ter­est­ing to play a char­ac­ter who ac­tu­ally is vul­ner­a­ble. I’m a very open book. I don’t be­lieve in hid­ing emo­tion. The char­ac­ter in “The Reader” [the 2008 film for which Winslet won an Os­car] is to­tally closed off and that was very hard for me, largely be­cause it was so op­po­site who I am. There’s noth­ing more ex­cit­ing than read­ing a script and go­ing, “How am I sup­posed to play this part?” [Laughs] When I read the Woody Allen script, I thought, “Oh my God, I can’t do this.” I read the script sit­ting on the stair­case in my house, and didn’t move un­til I fin­ished read­ing. I just sat on the stair­case for an hour, in com­plete shock and panic. But that’s the best feel­ing, be­cause sheer ter­ror some­times is the great­est chal­lenge of all.

8. Q. What was the cat­a­lyst to get you from sheer ter­ror to play­ing the part? A. Here’s the cat­a­lyst — prob­a­bly wasn’t go­ing to get an­other go-round with Woody Allen, so it’s now or never. The only rea­son I wouldn’t have done it would have been fear, and that is no way to live a life, man.

9. Q. You’ve been act­ing since your teens. When you were start­ing out, did you think much about ca­reer longevity? A. I very much thought about that, prob­a­bly do still. You’re only as good as your last movie. When I started, I couldn’t be­lieve I was re­ally be­ing cast un­til four or five movies in, and even then I couldn’t quite be­lieve it. I was very much aware of watch­ing young ac­tresses come and go. I just have al­ways felt that you have to dig deep and work hard. And I see it as real work. I don’t leave any­thing to chance. In terms of longevity, I al­ways hope to be in­vited back, be­cause I love it.

(20th Cen­tury Fox)

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