“I never walk alone at night because I’m scared to do so”

On the other side of the screen Kate Winslet – very blond hair in a ponytail, dark blouse – takes a Tic Tac candy to gather strength between interviews. The 45-year-old actress presents her new series, Mare of Easttown, which premieres on April 19 on HBO, and is focused on promoting it. A decade has passed since the British starred in Mildred Pierce, also on that platform. Now he is not facing a period drama like then, but a thriller contemporary in which he plays Mare Sheehan, a detective who leads an investigation into the disappearance of young girls and the murder of one of them in a Pennsylvania coastal town.

«I do not choose the medium for strategic reasons, but for how it coincides in my life. I have three children, a film is made in 10 or 11 weeks, but a series is 25 or 26. The role came at the right time, I was able to teach my young son while we were shooting … For me, all this is a much bigger job than Doing a project ends up being a true family decision and we all have to be able to have an opinion on it. I always ask my children: ‘Do you think we can manage if Mom takes this job?’ The youngest, Bear Blaze, is seven years old and is the result of his relationship with Ned Rocknroll, nephew of millionaire Richard Branson, whom he met in 2011, when they emerged unscathed from a fire on the private island of Necker. Mia Honey (20) and Joe Alfie (18) were born from their marriages to Jim Threapleton and Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes, respectively. Winslet, the protagonist of Titanic, the unforgettable Clementine from Forget about me, he lives with them in his house, in the country, “two hours south of London, near the sea,” he says.

Kate Winslet and Guy Pierce, in a still from ‘Mare of Easttown’. Photo: HBO

Your movie Contagion (2011) became one of the most viewed at the beginning of the pandemic. Did you see it as a family or did you prefer to forget what you learned and not remember it?
No, we didn’t see it. My children have never seen it. For me it was very strange to see that at the beginning of the covid, of this terrifying pandemic, people wanted to be even more terrified by seeing Contagion. Scary how accurate it was, it predicted everything.

How has the pandemic transformed your work?
Filming Mare of Easttown it was discontinued in March and we didn’t come back until September, it was a long time away from character, and I can’t just ‘turn off’. Going back was very strange, because we were tested every day, there were members of the team that I did not see again without a mask. And not being able to hug people… That, for me, is very difficult, extremely sad.

Also the awards are different, do you miss the galas or was it a liberation? Jodie Foster received a Golden Globe in pajamas …
I’ve been fantasizing about walking a red carpet in socks and pajamas for years! I don’t miss the red carpets at all. I do miss the connection with the audience that you feel when you go to a screening and then there is an encounter with the audience. But I’ve never been a big fan of wearing fancy dresses and looking glamorous. That’s the strange part of this industry for me. I’m sure she’ll be back, but I’m not so sure I’ll be wearing heels again. I do not like.

Kate Winslet

In ‘Mare of Easttown’ Winslet plays a detective who investigates a murder case and disappearances of young girls. Photo: HBO

At his back is a shelf with a couple of pieces of pottery, flowers, a book. Winslet gives off confidence in herself and wants to help young actresses to have it, something that, she has recognized, cost her in the beginning, when everyone was thinking about her physique. He says that he is in a very good moment of his life, he reaffirms it with a smile. He has shot again with James Cameron 24 years after Titanic (will be in the new installment of Avatar) and has an enviable career – an Oscar in 2009 for The reader and seven nominations for the statuette, four Golden Globes, an Emmy – although last year he acknowledged that he regrets working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. Because MeToo, he argues, is transforming his industry.

In this series she makes her debut as an executive producer. And he will produce his next movies, Lee, on the life of photographer Lee Miller, and Fake! What leads you to take this step, do you want to have more control?
Part of it is about that, now I feel stronger to be able to do a complete and thorough job. Being fully immersed in the process, from start to finish, has been incredibly rewarding when I discovered this facet with Big… She was not just an executive producer for the position, she was involved in script writing, in the selection of actors. I was a bit of everyone’s mother, I wanted to take care of them and make sure they were okay and felt respected. I like to take on that role, I feel like I always have, at least the last 15 years. Producing takes a lot of extra time. I find it wonderful to be able to collaborate creatively with the writers and make sure these characters talk about certain issues. Have a voice, contribute, be heard and included. That is fantastic.

She helped Angourie Rice, the actress who plays her daughter on the show, in her first sex scene. Did you miss this support in the beginning?
I didn’t really have any support when it came to intimate scenes. I had to learn for myself. And that’s quite uncomfortable for a young actress, you can feel extremely vulnerable. You are expected to know what to do, how to deal with it, and how to handle your emotions. And you don’t really have to know how to manage your emotions, how to deal with it, nor should you feel that you are alone. I realized that Angourie was nervous, and I said: “I’m going to stay with you, I’m going to be your trusted person, if there is something that makes you feel uncomfortable tell me and I will help you.” And I think I wanted to do that for her because I recognized that it is something that I did not have when I was young. But all that is changing a lot now.

Do you think it is because of the MeToo movement? Has the industry now become a safer place for actresses?
Yes, it is changing. And it’s doing it pretty fast. Everything is improving in terms of supporting young actresses and making sure they feel one hundred percent safe and secure, heard and respected.

Mare is a detective investigating a case of violence against women. Why do you think it is necessary to talk about this issue today?
It’s very important. I am afraid to walk alone through the streets at night. It happens to many women. We spend our lives wondering which are the best lit streets to go from the theater to the station, from the restaurant to the subway, or to walk home. I never walk alone at night because I’m scared to do so. And I care a lot for my daughter.

She is going to dedicate herself to acting now. Has he given you any advice for your future career?
Work, work and work more than you think you need. Hold on to your instincts. Prepare yourself well, but be yourself, because a lot of acting when you are young has to do with confidence, with knowing that when you arrive on set for the first time everyone is happy to have you there, because you are the person they have chosen. for that role. We go over dialogue together… But she doesn’t need me to do it. She doesn’t need my help, she’s on her own.

Kate Winslet

‘Ammonite’, with Saoirse Ronan, is his last film, and he is already preparing ‘Avatar 2’ with James Cameron. Photo: Cordon