Kate Winslet, Once Called "Blubber," Reveals How She Fought Back Against Childhood Bullies
"You have to be indestructible to do what you love, and believe that you are worth it," said the actress in an empowering speech to children.
During an inspirational speech to children in London, Kate Winslet spoke about being fat-shamed and bullied when she was growing up. "They called me Blubber," the actress shared at a youth empowerment event for the WE Day organization on Wednesday.
"[They] teased me for wanting to act," added Winslet, according to The Telegraph. "Locked me in the cupboard. Laughed at me."
She said it continued when she started to pursue acting. "I was even told that I might be lucky in my acting if I was happy to settle for the fat-girl parts," revealed the actress, adding that casting agents would tell her she wasn't what they were looking for.
The Titanic star said that she "fought back" by refusing to give up on her dream: "I had to ignore the negative comments. I had to believe in myself. I had to choose to rise above it all, and I had to work hard. You have to be indestructible to do what you love, and believe that you are worth it. And sometimes that’s the hardest part."
"One day, I was cast as Rose in Titanic," continued Winslet, who has been nominated for an Academy Award seven times. "The most unlikely candidate — Kate from the sandwich shop in Reading — suddenly acting in one of the biggest movies ever made!"
Winslet has been open about being bullied about her weight in the past. When she won a BAFTA for her role in the Steve Jobs biopic, she told reporters backstage, "When I was only 14, I was told by a drama teacher that I might do OK, if I was happy to settle for the fat-girl parts," she said, adding in a stage whisper, "Look at me now. Look at me now."
She also told Rolling Stone that Titanic director James Cameron used to call her "Kate Weighs-a-Lot."
"It is possible to overcome your fears," said Winslet on Wednesday. "I learned to embrace my flaws, to make no apology for who I am. I dug deep, and I decided that I simply wouldn’t listen when they said my body didn't fit."