‘Being Famous Was Horrible’ Kate Winslet Gets Real About Experiencing ‘Seismic’ Shift In Popularity After Titanic Made A Billion Dollars

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Written By Maya Cantina

Back in 1997, Titanic was the biggest (and most expensive) thing happening at the movies. James Cameron’s blockbuster was half-historical disaster film, half-romance, skyrocketing its stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio to an unexpected level of fame. For the young actress who portrayed Rose, however, that “seismic” shift in her popularity was not a welcome surprise. Winslet recently got real about why being so famous at 22 years old was “horrible” and affected what jobs she accepted after.

Neither Kate Winslet nor Leonardo DiCaprio was a novice when they signed onto the movie that to date has earned $2.26 billion globally (and sparked multiple debates over whether or not two people could fit on a floating door), but for Winslet, the increased attention came with a lot of pressure. She told Net-a-Porter she felt like she had to look a certain way, and the intrusiveness of the media made life “quite unpleasant.” In the actress’ words: 

Journalists would always say, ‘After Titanic, you could have done anything and yet you chose to do these small things’… and I was like, ‘Yeah, you bet your fuckin’ life I did! Because, guess what, being famous was horrible.’ I was grateful, of course. I was in my early twenties, and I was able to get a flat. But I didn’t want to be followed literally feeding the ducks.

How relatable is it that the young 20-something was just happy to be able to afford a house? Kate Winslet took issue with her professional life bleeding into her personal life, especially when it came to the lack of privacy and being followed around by the media. That experience seems to have shaped the way she sees being famous in general, and these days it’s definitely not something she takes seriously. The Holiday star said of fame: 

Oh, it’s such a ridiculous word! I wear it really lightly. It’s not a burden, any of it. [Titanic] continues to bring people huge amounts of joy. The only time I am like, ‘Oh god, hide’, is if we are on a boat somewhere.

Her reaction to the memes of her and Leonardo DiCaprio looking at each other is the perfect example of just how silly she thinks it all is. When she was asked if she knew about the images captioned, “Find yourself someone who looks at you the way Leo looks at Kate,” Kate Winslet reportedly snorted with laughter and said: 

He just knows I can see right through it all. … I think when you experience something so seismic, so young… we really went through that together.

Leonardo DiCaprio is just a year older than Kate Winslet, and he undoubtedly saw a similar increase in media attention after Titanic. It’s no wonder that having that shared experience formed such a bond between the actors. If you want to relive one of the best movies of the 1990s, Titanic is available to stream with a Paramount+ subscription. Also be sure to take a look at our 2024 movie release schedule to see what’s headed to theaters soon. 

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