Chatty Kate keeps it real

Chatty Kate keeps it real
Labor Day starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.

With Kate Winslet having a husband called Ned Rocknroll and a son named Bear, you would not expect her to be as real as she comes across.

The 39-year-old English actress took a break from a school run in London for her two older children last October to talk to the press about her new film with Josh Brolin, Labor Day.

As the interview rolls along, it becomes evident that she, really, just wants to talk about life and all that, instead of peddling the usual publicity spiel.

"Is it just me that's boiling? Pheurrgh! You can't open that window?" she exclaims.

Then, gesturing at an Australian reporter, she bellows: "By the way, you have amazing hair. God, I'd love some of that. It reminds me of Eternal Sunshine, although it wasn't my real hair in the movie, but I got to keep all the wigs. Hooray!"

And so it begins.

Winslet is blonde, buxom, two months from having her third child who would be called Bear - her first with third husband, Ned Rocknroll, who is also Richard Branson's nephew. She is also happy to yammer away about anything under the sun.

"After I had my daughter Mia, who's now 13, I knew I was doing Iris when she was going to five months. It was good to know there was something to think about after the first few months," she continues, referring to the 2001 movie about the writer Iris Murdoch.

"It's great to get your creative brain moving again."

After zigzagging her way through highlights of her career and personal life (thrice married, first to film-maker Jim Threapleton and then director Sam Mendes, with a child each from both marriages), she launches straight into what she found most interesting in her latest work, a collaboration with Jason Reitman.

"Accents - I love doing accents," she says of playing Adele, an American single mother with an agoraphobic condition who finds love with an escaped convict over the course of a wistful, fleeting weekend.

"It isn't something that just comes like that. I can do a generic American accent now without having to think about it too much, but to shape it and mould it, that takes an amount of time, because your mouth makes different shapes," she elaborates.

"So much of the character is built working through scenes, putting the accent together. I realise I gain so much just through that process, and unconsciously I end up learning all my lines again."

Twenty years ago, Winslet put on her best upper-class voice for the first time onscreen as murderous schoolgirl Juliet Hulme in the critically acclaimed Heavenly Creatures (1994).

The film, directed by a young Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, proved to be the career launch pad of many, including Winslet, then 18.

To date, the actress has swanned through blockbusters from Titanic (1997) to comedies (Carnage, 2011) and period drama (Revolutionary Road and The Reader, both 2008) as well as more than her fair share of independent movies (Hideous Kinky, 1998, and Holy Smoke, 1999).

Although she says "I don't think I set out to hope for fame, but to hope to get a job", she became famous anyway.

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