Titanic left a lasting impact on Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio’s careers, but not in the way you would think.
Despite earning her career’s first Oscar nomination from the blockbuster epic, the actress admitted there was one thing she could do without that has followed her since starring in the film in 1997: the “awful scrutiny and judgement” she received from the media as a young starlet.
Speaking to Vogue in a recent interview, the actress candidly spoke on “the most awful scrutiny and judgment, and, actually, I would go so far as to say bullying, from mainstream media when I was in my 20s.”
“I was consistently told I was the wrong shape,” she said. “I was consistently told I would have to settle for less.”
Winslet opened up about her decision to appear nude in her upcoming film Lee, a biopic of wartime photographer Lee Miller’s life.
The actress explained that she was unable to work out to prepare for the scene because she injured her back on the first day of filming.
“I had three massive haematomas on my spine, huge,” she said. “I could barely stand up.”
“I had to be really f***ing brave about letting my body be its softest version of itself and not hiding from that,” she continued. “And believe me, people amongst our own team would say, ‘You might just want to sit up a bit.’ And I’d go, ‘Why? [Because of] the bit of flesh you can see? No, that’s the way it’s going to be!’”
Winslet has previously said people were “so mean” to her about her body image after Titanic premiered. The criticism she received at the time, she once said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, were “borderline abusive,” per Variety.
Despite it all, the actress enthusiastically spoke on how much the culture of the industry has changed post #MeToo.
“Young actresses now … they are unafraid. It makes me so proud. And I think, Yes, all the shit flinging, all the struggle, all the using my voice for years, often being finger-pointed at and laughed at – I don’t give a sh*t! It was all bloody worth it,” she said.
“Because the culture is changing in the way that I couldn’t in my wildest dreams have imagined in my 20s.”
Lee recently made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the complicated biopic has been praised as “remarkable”.
This article originally appeared in Decider and was reproduced with permission