Kate Winslet’s path to fame after Titanic wasn’t without its bumps. Sadly, the actor experienced something many women in Hollywood know all too well. In a new interview with The Guardian, Winslet recalls how she dealt with the constant criticism of her weight after Titanic became a phenomenon in the late 90s.
“It was almost laughable how shocking, how critical, how straight-up cruel tabloid journalists were to me,” she tells the outlet. “I was still figuring out who the hell I bloody well was! They would comment on my size, they’d estimate what I weighed, they’d print the supposed diet I was on. It was critical and horrible and so upsetting to read.”
Out of all the comments she received, there’s one she still remembers. The late Joan Rivers said, “If she just lost five pounds, Leo would’ve been able to fit on the raft.”
“In my 20s, people would talk about my weight a lot,” she says. “And I would be called to comment on my physical self. Well, then I got this label of being ballsy and outspoken. No, I was just defending myself.”
Kate Winslet was a teenager when she was cast as Rose in the blockbuster and award-winning Titanic. She notes that facing scrutiny in the U.K. made her nervous to continue her career in Hollywood. “I remember thinking, ‘God, if this is what they’re saying to me in England, then what will happen when I get there?’” she admits. “Also, it tampers with your evolving impression of what’s beautiful, you know? I did feel very on my own.”
Despite her negative experience with fame at a young age, she notes that witnessing the industry and media evolve is encouraging. Winslet says she’s “so moved by how different it is now.”
You can read her full Guardian interview here.