“I went into self-protective mode right away [after Titanic came out],” Winslet said on Marc Maron’s podcast WTF. “It was like night and day from one day to the next. I was subject to a lot of personal physical scrutiny, I was criticized a lot and the British press were quite unkind to me.”
“I felt bullied if I’m honest,” she continued. “I remember thinking, ‘this is horrible and I hope it passes’ – it did definitely pass but it made me realize that, if that’s what being famous was, I was not ready to be famous, definitely not.”
Winslet famously did not capitalize on her Titanic platform to continue landing splashy roles in blockbuster movies, instead pursuing indie productions to hone her craft.
“I was still learning how to act, I felt I wasn’t ready to do lots of big Hollywood jobs,” Winslet said. “I didn’t want to make mistakes and blow it, I wanted to be in it for the long game. I strategically tried to find small things so I could understand the craft a bit better and maintain some degree of privacy and dignity.”
“And try to have a life?” Asked Maron. “Yeah exactly,” Winslet replied.
The actress added that after she had her daughter, at the age of 25, the press scrutiny receded and she also took less notice of it by focusing on her child. “All of that stuff evaporated a bit,” she added.
Winslet has been acting for Cameron again, this time in the Avatar sequels, with the actress revealing she shot two of the movies back-to-back. She also joked that she had “slightly lost track” of how many follow-up movies the director was now making to his 2009 blockbuster.
Winslet is considered an Oscar contender this year for her lead role in Francis Lee’s Ammonite.