Feb 19, 2009

Winslet ready to end Oscars losing streak

Hollwood- After five previous nominations and five defeats, Kate Winslet says she has perfected her losing smile on Oscar night.
But sixth time may be the charm for the British actress at Sunday's 81st Academy Awards, where Winslet finds herself in familiar territory once more.
Winslet's performance in post-World War Two drama ‘The Reader’ has left her the strong favorite to win best actress honors, where she is nominated along with Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie and Melissa Leo.
And while Winslet says she would ‘absolutely love’ to win an Oscar, this year she says she also is just happy to share the company of her fellow nominees.
‘It's been such an amazing year, extraordinary performances by men and women across the board,’ Winslet told reporters.
‘So to be part of this global film community in this particular year, with this nomination, at this time of my life, it feels the most poignant nomination ever for me, knowing how inspiring all the other performances have been.’ If she misses out once again, Winslet says she will have no difficulty masking her disappointment.
‘I have been here so many times and lost so many times that quite honestly I've got a pretty good losing face now,’ Winslet said.
‘I've perfected that strange, zen, blank calm that you have to have in that moment when they don't call out your name.’ Winslet who gained earlier Oscar nominations for her roles in ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ ‘Titanic,’ ‘Iris,’, ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,’ and ‘Little Children’ says her portrayal of former concentration camp guard Hanna Schmitz in ‘The Reader’ was the hardest role of her career.
‘Taking on that role was terrifying because I didn't know if I could do it,’ she said. ‘I genuinely thought ‘I don't know if I've got the stuff to do this.’ I'm really not sure. And consistently throughout it was a test of endurance. There was nothing on the page that I could relate to.’ Presenting the humane side of her character along with the monstrous was a ‘difficult balance,’ she said.
‘I had to make her a human being,’ she said. ‘I had to make her a woman who was capable of great love and affection and warmth as well as the vulnerability and the shame that she feels. And she also had to be a woman who had at least some level of courage, certainly when she starts serving her prison sentence.’ Born in 1975 in Reading, England, Winslet comes from a long line of thespians: Her parents were stage actors, her grandparents ran a repertory theater and her uncle was an actor in London's West End.
She made her on-stage debut at age five and appeared on British television at 13.
Her first rave reviews came just four years later, when she played one half of a pair of young friends who conspire to murder in Peter Jackson's ‘Heavenly Creatures,’ released in 1994.
To many fans, however, she is best remembered for her roles in a string of elegant period pieces whether it be as high-society Rose, stuck aboard the sinking Titanic; as the bubbly, Marianne Dashwood in ‘Sense and Sensibility,’or as JM Barrie's muse in ‘Finding Neverland.’ She has also portrayed a laundry woman who smuggles the Marquis de Sade's writings from his asylum, in 2000's ‘Quills,’ and a year later, she played a young Iris Murdoch, a British novelist with a zest for life and nude bathing.
But Winslet has also gained recognition for roles in edgy independent films and for playing quirky characters like Clementine, who undergoes a psychological procedure to wipe out all memories of her ex-boyfriend in ‘Eternal Sunshine.’ Winslet is married to director Sam Mendes of ‘American Beauty’ and ‘Road to Perdition’ fame, and the couple have a five-year-old son, Joe.
The actress also has an eight-year-old daughter, Mia, from a previous marriage. AFP

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