Eternal Sunshine: Kate Winslet

The frustration I’m facing with traffic detours my significant anxiety regarding my punctuality. Ironically, it doesn’t even register in my thoughts that I’m entering the eye of an entertainment tornado.

 

It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles and I’m coasting down a street of streamlined palm trees. The luxurious lawns of Beverly Hills breathe with breeding contempt for those within its boundaries who aren’t humbled by its air of narcissism. Intimidation withstanding, I am running late for my scheduled interview with the cast of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Adrenaline pumping, I’m gaining time with significant acceleration of the gas pedal.

The unpredictable and chaotic supernova that is Los Angeles has me firmly entrenched within her grip. Just try to believe you are atop of your situation and she will topple you down with gale-like force. The city senses my burgeoning optimism. With one fell swoop, I barrel head on into a sea of BMWs worming their way into the valet parking drop-off in front of the Four Seasons Hotel. The frustration I’m facing with traffic detours my significant anxiety regarding my punctuality. Ironically, it doesn’t even register in my thoughts that I’m entering the eye of an entertainment tornado.

Eventually, the sea of traffic divides and I’m quickly ushered onto the second floor of the hotel; the hallways are curiously bare of fellow journalists whom, I assume, are already interviewing with the actors. After all, they did arrive on schedule. I am left to wait in my shame.

Almost instantaneously, the elevator door dings behind me and I hear an unmistakable British accent ricocheting off of the hallway mirrors: “Sorry, I’m late!” Before I turn to look, I identify the voice as that of Kate Winslet. She is standing in front of me, asking my tour guide to let the press junket directors know that she has arrived. “Thanks, dear!” she calls out, as the PR lady runs briskly down the hall. Feeling a bit shy, I pour over some questions in my notebook and jot down the specifics of the events that are unfolding, seemingly moving at time-warp speed. At least I’m not the only one who is late.

If there is one celebrity who escaped a media maelstrom unscathed, it is Winslet. Her profile was relatively low on the entertainment radar screen throughout the mid-’90s, with critically acclaimed performances in films such as Heavenly Creatures, Sense and Sensibility, Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet, and Jude the Obscure. Her fate changed for better or for worse in 1997, when she appeared opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the mega-popular cultural tsunami known as Titanic. Winslet was not only introduced to American audiences, she was quickly adopted and appointed as a screen idol, a mythical character that every adolescent girl envied or wanted to emulate—a role that would make most actresses dreams come true, but for Winslet, it turned her world upside down.

“It sounds terrible, but I have no interest in being a movie star. It doesn’t come very naturally to me.” It is a few hours after our hurried arrivals in the hallway and Winslet is calmly composed, ever so much the professional. She is stunningly beautiful; her ivory white skin complexion complements her perfectly styled blonde tresses. She laughs easily and heartily, definitely the least self-conscious of the group of actors I’d just spoken to. And it is her relaxed demeanor that shines a light onto the inner wisdom and maturity that acts as her buoy while she sails the seas after a turbulent career storm.

“After Titanic, I hated it. I just kind of lost sense of what it was about for me. And so I wanted to go away and rediscover that feeling and do something that was different.” She followed the ship-sinking blockbuster with the eccentric art-house film Hideous Kinky, its title virtually declaring itself non-commercial. Her journey into independent cinema pulled her farther and farther from the media spotlight, and she chose to spend her time privately, getting married (twice) and having two children.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Focus, rated R) is by no means a commercial film, though it does star Jim Carrey and features several other big name Hollywood stars: notably, Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst, and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. But its eccentricities as a film will make it a tough sell to mainstream audiences. Aside from the unconventional title, the film is a kaleidoscopic and oftentimes confusing rollercoaster ride through the human psyche; a brand of science fiction that holds more in common with the philosophical and intellectual discourses of 1960’s drug-addled pop culture than anything cinematically modern.

Winslet plays Clementine, an outspoken fashion pixie who goes through no fewer than three hair color changes in the film (she wore wigs). But it was director Michel Gondry’s unconventional visual and directorial approach that brought Winslet the most enthusiasm. She gushes when I ask her what it was like working with the wizard behind the camera.

“It was great and spontaneous and fun, and things changed everyday. And I just loved not knowing what to expect every single morning. I loved not knowing how it was going to look. I loved not knowing what crazy idea Michel was going to come out with. I loved having no clue how the erasing thing was going to work. I just loved it. I just loved it. Because it meant I could just focus on being Clementine and just allow this genius to work his magic. And Michel is just gorgeous. I mean, I so loved the experience of working with him, and would do so again, and hope to do so, time and time over.”

“Predictable” isn’t a word that people equate with Kate Winslet, and neither is “conventional.” Her past roles reveal such an incomparable breadth of variety that it is near to impossible to guess her next move. “I love to do things people wouldn’t expect me to do. Since then [Titanic] and up until now, I’ve just applied that same kind of rule really, which is just go on instinct, and I think that’s the most important thing.”

Next up for Winslet is J.M. Barrie’s Neverland, in which she will costar with another American heartthrob, Johnny Depp. Winslet plays the role of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, a widowed mother whose relationship with the author J.M. Barrie inspires him to write the wonderful and timeless tales of Peter Pan. “It’s the relationship he had with the family that gave him these incredible ideas, and I play Sylvia.”

Also on the actress’s horizon is Romance and Cigarettes, a small film to be written and directed by John Turturro. Winslet clarifies the details about the film: “I play a brazen hussy, basically. And the film is a musical, so we get to sing and dance and it’s got an incredible cast. It’s myself and Susan Sarandon, Christopher Walken, and James Gandolfini. You just don’t walk away from something like that. And I actually committed to it about two years ago before I had any financing; we all did.”

Predictably, the brazen Winslet succeeds once again in pulling a one-two punch with her back-to-back succession of two completely different types of films and characters. For it is not her intent to stay afloat above the sea of starry-eyed starlets, it is to be creative and to constantly challenge herself. “It’s fun to take risks. I never like to form habits. I never like to rely on a quick and easy way to make myself cry. I just always try and mix it up and take risks and just sort of see where it takes me, really. And just to try my best; you know, you can only ever really do your best.”

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Eternal Sunshine: Kate Winslet

It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles and I’m coasting down a street of streamlined palm trees. The luxurious lawns of Beverly Hills breathe with breeding contempt for those within its boundaries who aren’t humbled by its air of narcissism. Intimidation withstanding, I am running late for my scheduled interview with the cast of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Adrenaline pumping, I’m gaining time with significant acceleration of the gas pedal.

The unpredictable and chaotic supernova that is Los Angeles has me firmly entrenched within her grip. Just try to believe you are atop of your situation and she will topple you down with gale-like force. The city senses my burgeoning optimism. With one fell swoop, I barrel head on into a sea of BMWs worming their way into the valet parking drop-off in front of the Four Seasons Hotel. The frustration I’m facing with traffic detours my significant anxiety regarding my punctuality. Ironically, it doesn’t even register in my thoughts that I’m entering the eye of an entertainment tornado.

Eventually, the sea of traffic divides and I’m quickly ushered onto the second floor of the hotel; the hallways are curiously bare of fellow journalists whom, I assume, are already interviewing with the actors. After all, they did arrive on schedule. I am left to wait in my shame.

Almost instantaneously, the elevator door dings behind me and I hear an unmistakable British accent ricocheting off of the hallway mirrors: “Sorry, I’m late!” Before I turn to look, I identify the voice as that of Kate Winslet. She is standing in front of me, asking my tour guide to let the press junket directors know that she has arrived. “Thanks, dear!” she calls out, as the PR lady runs briskly down the hall. Feeling a bit shy, I pour over some questions in my notebook and jot down the specifics of the events that are unfolding, seemingly moving at time-warp speed. At least I’m not the only one who is late.

If there is one celebrity who escaped a media maelstrom unscathed, it is Winslet. Her profile was relatively low on the entertainment radar screen throughout the mid-’90s, with critically acclaimed performances in films such as Heavenly Creatures, Sense and Sensibility, Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet, and Jude the Obscure. Her fate changed for better or for worse in 1997, when she appeared opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the mega-popular cultural tsunami known as Titanic. Winslet was not only introduced to American audiences, she was quickly adopted and appointed as a screen idol, a mythical character that every adolescent girl envied or wanted to emulate—a role that would make most actresses dreams come true, but for Winslet, it turned her world upside down.

“It sounds terrible, but I have no interest in being a movie star. It doesn’t come very naturally to me.” It is a few hours after our hurried arrivals in the hallway and Winslet is calmly composed, ever so much the professional. She is stunningly beautiful; her ivory white skin complexion complements her perfectly styled blonde tresses. She laughs easily and heartily, definitely the least self-conscious of the group of actors I’d just spoken to. And it is her relaxed demeanor that shines a light onto the inner wisdom and maturity that acts as her buoy while she sails the seas after a turbulent career storm.

“After Titanic, I hated it. I just kind of lost sense of what it was about for me. And so I wanted to go away and rediscover that feeling and do something that was different.” She followed the ship-sinking blockbuster with the eccentric art-house film Hideous Kinky, its title virtually declaring itself non-commercial. Her journey into independent cinema pulled her farther and farther from the media spotlight, and she chose to spend her time privately, getting married (twice) and having two children.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Focus, rated R) is by no means a commercial film, though it does star Jim Carrey and features several other big name Hollywood stars: notably, Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst, and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. But its eccentricities as a film will make it a tough sell to mainstream audiences. Aside from the unconventional title, the film is a kaleidoscopic and oftentimes confusing rollercoaster ride through the human psyche; a brand of science fiction that holds more in common with the philosophical and intellectual discourses of 1960’s drug-addled pop culture than anything cinematically modern.

Winslet plays Clementine, an outspoken fashion pixie who goes through no fewer than three hair color changes in the film (she wore wigs). But it was director Michel Gondry’s unconventional visual and directorial approach that brought Winslet the most enthusiasm. She gushes when I ask her what it was like working with the wizard behind the camera.

“It was great and spontaneous and fun, and things changed everyday. And I just loved not knowing what to expect every single morning. I loved not knowing how it was going to look. I loved not knowing what crazy idea Michel was going to come out with. I loved having no clue how the erasing thing was going to work. I just loved it. I just loved it. Because it meant I could just focus on being Clementine and just allow this genius to work his magic. And Michel is just gorgeous. I mean, I so loved the experience of working with him, and would do so again, and hope to do so, time and time over.”

“Predictable” isn’t a word that people equate with Kate Winslet, and neither is “conventional.” Her past roles reveal such an incomparable breadth of variety that it is near to impossible to guess her next move. “I love to do things people wouldn’t expect me to do. Since then [Titanic] and up until now, I’ve just applied that same kind of rule really, which is just go on instinct, and I think that’s the most important thing.”

Next up for Winslet is J.M. Barrie’s Neverland, in which she will costar with another American heartthrob, Johnny Depp. Winslet plays the role of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, a widowed mother whose relationship with the author J.M. Barrie inspires him to write the wonderful and timeless tales of Peter Pan. “It’s the relationship he had with the family that gave him these incredible ideas, and I play Sylvia.”

Also on the actress’s horizon is Romance and Cigarettes, a small film to be written and directed by John Turturro. Winslet clarifies the details about the film: “I play a brazen hussy, basically. And the film is a musical, so we get to sing and dance and it’s got an incredible cast. It’s myself and Susan Sarandon, Christopher Walken, and James Gandolfini. You just don’t walk away from something like that. And I actually committed to it about two years ago before I had any financing; we all did.”

Predictably, the brazen Winslet succeeds once again in pulling a one-two punch with her back-to-back succession of two completely different types of films and characters. For it is not her intent to stay afloat above the sea of starry-eyed starlets, it is to be creative and to constantly challenge herself. “It’s fun to take risks. I never like to form habits. I never like to rely on a quick and easy way to make myself cry. I just always try and mix it up and take risks and just sort of see where it takes me, really. And just to try my best; you know, you can only ever really do your best.”

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Eternal Sunshine: Kate Winslet

It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles and I’m coasting down a street of streamlined palm trees. The luxurious lawns of Beverly Hills breathe with breeding contempt for those within its boundaries who aren’t humbled by its air of narcissism. Intimidation withstanding, I am running late for my scheduled interview with the cast of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Adrenaline pumping, I’m gaining time with significant acceleration of the gas pedal.

The unpredictable and chaotic supernova that is Los Angeles has me firmly entrenched within her grip. Just try to believe you are atop of your situation and she will topple you down with gale-like force. The city senses my burgeoning optimism. With one fell swoop, I barrel head on into a sea of BMWs worming their way into the valet parking drop-off in front of the Four Seasons Hotel. The frustration I’m facing with traffic detours my significant anxiety regarding my punctuality. Ironically, it doesn’t even register in my thoughts that I’m entering the eye of an entertainment tornado.

Eventually, the sea of traffic divides and I’m quickly ushered onto the second floor of the hotel; the hallways are curiously bare of fellow journalists whom, I assume, are already interviewing with the actors. After all, they did arrive on schedule. I am left to wait in my shame.

Almost instantaneously, the elevator door dings behind me and I hear an unmistakable British accent ricocheting off of the hallway mirrors: “Sorry, I’m late!” Before I turn to look, I identify the voice as that of Kate Winslet. She is standing in front of me, asking my tour guide to let the press junket directors know that she has arrived. “Thanks, dear!” she calls out, as the PR lady runs briskly down the hall. Feeling a bit shy, I pour over some questions in my notebook and jot down the specifics of the events that are unfolding, seemingly moving at time-warp speed. At least I’m not the only one who is late.

If there is one celebrity who escaped a media maelstrom unscathed, it is Winslet. Her profile was relatively low on the entertainment radar screen throughout the mid-’90s, with critically acclaimed performances in films such as Heavenly Creatures, Sense and Sensibility, Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet, and Jude the Obscure. Her fate changed for better or for worse in 1997, when she appeared opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the mega-popular cultural tsunami known as Titanic. Winslet was not only introduced to American audiences, she was quickly adopted and appointed as a screen idol, a mythical character that every adolescent girl envied or wanted to emulate—a role that would make most actresses dreams come true, but for Winslet, it turned her world upside down.

“It sounds terrible, but I have no interest in being a movie star. It doesn’t come very naturally to me.” It is a few hours after our hurried arrivals in the hallway and Winslet is calmly composed, ever so much the professional. She is stunningly beautiful; her ivory white skin complexion complements her perfectly styled blonde tresses. She laughs easily and heartily, definitely the least self-conscious of the group of actors I’d just spoken to. And it is her relaxed demeanor that shines a light onto the inner wisdom and maturity that acts as her buoy while she sails the seas after a turbulent career storm.

“After Titanic, I hated it. I just kind of lost sense of what it was about for me. And so I wanted to go away and rediscover that feeling and do something that was different.” She followed the ship-sinking blockbuster with the eccentric art-house film Hideous Kinky, its title virtually declaring itself non-commercial. Her journey into independent cinema pulled her farther and farther from the media spotlight, and she chose to spend her time privately, getting married (twice) and having two children.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Focus, rated R) is by no means a commercial film, though it does star Jim Carrey and features several other big name Hollywood stars: notably, Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst, and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. But its eccentricities as a film will make it a tough sell to mainstream audiences. Aside from the unconventional title, the film is a kaleidoscopic and oftentimes confusing rollercoaster ride through the human psyche; a brand of science fiction that holds more in common with the philosophical and intellectual discourses of 1960’s drug-addled pop culture than anything cinematically modern.

Winslet plays Clementine, an outspoken fashion pixie who goes through no fewer than three hair color changes in the film (she wore wigs). But it was director Michel Gondry’s unconventional visual and directorial approach that brought Winslet the most enthusiasm. She gushes when I ask her what it was like working with the wizard behind the camera.

“It was great and spontaneous and fun, and things changed everyday. And I just loved not knowing what to expect every single morning. I loved not knowing how it was going to look. I loved not knowing what crazy idea Michel was going to come out with. I loved having no clue how the erasing thing was going to work. I just loved it. I just loved it. Because it meant I could just focus on being Clementine and just allow this genius to work his magic. And Michel is just gorgeous. I mean, I so loved the experience of working with him, and would do so again, and hope to do so, time and time over.”

“Predictable” isn’t a word that people equate with Kate Winslet, and neither is “conventional.” Her past roles reveal such an incomparable breadth of variety that it is near to impossible to guess her next move. “I love to do things people wouldn’t expect me to do. Since then [Titanic] and up until now, I’ve just applied that same kind of rule really, which is just go on instinct, and I think that’s the most important thing.”

Next up for Winslet is J.M. Barrie’s Neverland, in which she will costar with another American heartthrob, Johnny Depp. Winslet plays the role of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, a widowed mother whose relationship with the author J.M. Barrie inspires him to write the wonderful and timeless tales of Peter Pan. “It’s the relationship he had with the family that gave him these incredible ideas, and I play Sylvia.”

Also on the actress’s horizon is Romance and Cigarettes, a small film to be written and directed by John Turturro. Winslet clarifies the details about the film: “I play a brazen hussy, basically. And the film is a musical, so we get to sing and dance and it’s got an incredible cast. It’s myself and Susan Sarandon, Christopher Walken, and James Gandolfini. You just don’t walk away from something like that. And I actually committed to it about two years ago before I had any financing; we all did.”

Predictably, the brazen Winslet succeeds once again in pulling a one-two punch with her back-to-back succession of two completely different types of films and characters. For it is not her intent to stay afloat above the sea of starry-eyed starlets, it is to be creative and to constantly challenge herself. “It’s fun to take risks. I never like to form habits. I never like to rely on a quick and easy way to make myself cry. I just always try and mix it up and take risks and just sort of see where it takes me, really. And just to try my best; you know, you can only ever really do your best.”

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