Kate Winslet Felt 'Bullied' After 'Titanic' Success: 'I Was Subject to a Lot of Physical Scrutiny'

Kate Winslet is looking back on how she was "bullied" by the press after becoming a household name at just 21 for her role in Titanic. On Wednesday's episode of WTF With Marc Maron, Winslet recalled how her physical appearance became ground zero for negative press and paparazzi coverage and how it affected her personal life and career. After Titanic became a blockbuster hit, Winslet recalled going into "self-protective mode" right away.

"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," she continued. "I felt bullied, if I’m honest. 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." The actress even recalled "cars and cars full of British tabloid photographers who were photographing me going and buying a pint of milk and a newspaper."

Winslet famously moved on to do more indie movies following Titanic's commercial success, which she said was partly because she wanted to craft her skills more. "I was still learning how to act; I felt I wasn’t ready to do lots of big Hollywood jobs," she 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." Having her daughter when she was 25, Winslet said the press' interest "evaporated a bit." She was able to live more of the life she wanted.

The Ammonite actress had spoken out about embracing her appearance and her value before, saying at the BAFTAs in 2016, "When I was younger, when I was 14, I was told by a drama teacher that I might do OK if I was happy to settle for the fat girl parts," as per The Guardian. She continued, "So what I always feel in these moments is that any young woman who has ever been put down by a teacher, by a friend, by even a parent, just don’t listen to any of it, because that’s what I did — I kept on going and I overcame my fears and got over my insecurities."