Kate Winslet in an interview discussing her new romance “Ammonite” said that taking the part made her rethink some of her previous roles, and she now regrets working with two once-venerated directors, Woody Allen and Roman Polanski.
Winslet told Vanity Fair Friday that the #MeToo movement and working with director Francis Lee on “Ammonite” made her more aware of how women are portrayed in films and that she wishes she had spoken up on previous projects throughout her career.
“It’s like, what the f— was I doing working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski? It’s unbelievable to me now how those men were held in such high regard, so widely in the film industry and for as long as they were. It’s f–ing disgraceful,” she told Vanity Fair. “And I have to take responsibility for the fact that I worked with them both. I can’t turn back the clock. I’m grappling with those regrets but what do we have if we aren’t able to just be fucking truthful about all of it?”
Winslet starred in Allen’s 2017 film “Wonder Wheel” and in Polanski’s 2011 adaptation of the stage play “Carnage.”
Allen’s standing has fallen in the wake of the #MeToo movement when his daughter Dylan Farrow resurfaced accusations that he molested her in the early 1990s when she was 7 (Allen has repeatedly denied the accusations and has never been charged with a crime). Polanski was arrested and charged with raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977. After being imprisoned for 42 days and pleading guilty in a deal for time served and probation, Polanski learned that a judge was planning to go back on the plea deal. The director then fled the country to his native France before the sentencing and he has remained a fugitive since then, with extradition efforts unsuccessful. And he was expelled from AMPAS in 2018.
Winslet though reconsidered many moments in her career in light of “Ammonite,” in which she has a same-sex relationship with her co-star Saoirse Ronan. Winslet said that dating back to early roles in “Heavenly Creatures” and “Holy Smoke!” where she shared intimate scenes with a woman, she’s always been shocked that she’s been asked more questions about what it was like to kiss a girl.
“I have never been asked the same level of questions when I’ve been in equivalent scenes with a man,” Winslet said. “Out of all the questions that I could have been asked, that one always came about. Why? So it brought up new stuff for me, this whole experience. It made me feel a little bit mad at myself that maybe I haven’t taken enough responsibility for how I might have allowed a character to be portrayed in heterosexual relationships onscreen in the past.”
On “Ammonite” however, Winslet helped to choreograph intimate scenes she performed with Ronan, and she added that she wishes she had contributed in the past.
“I would sometimes walk into the room and [go along with directions] even if it was a little thing, like the director saying, “We’d like to have you two over there in the corner by the window because the light’s good,” yet the [setup] made my character look more feminine or look more lusted after or something,” she said. “[It should have been] me walking into the room and saying, “Hang on. No, I don’t want to sit in the fucking window. That’s stupid, stereotypical, make-the-woman-look-good-by-the-fucking-nice-flattering-light shit. I don’t want to do that. Can we find an alternative?”
“Ammonite” makes its premiere at TIFF this week. Read Winslet’s full interview with Vanity Fair here.