Kate Winslet: Uncommon Sense

Kate Winslet describes her leap to the big screen with last year's Heavenly Creatures as one big fluke, which is surprising since she was practically born with a script in her hand.

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Landing the role of a lesbian teenager who helps out with the slaying of her lovers mom raised 20-year-old Winslet from a TV star in her native England - where she's worked steadily for the past decade - to the cat's meow for directors. She stars this holiday season opposite Hugh Grant and Emma Lee's Sense and Sensibility, "I never allowed myself ambitions," says Winslet. "Things have fallen into place for me. Not a day goes by that I don't think I've been lucky, lucky, lucky, because luck is what gets you the job."

Winslet's realistic approach to success can be attributed to her extensive theater background. Practically everyone in her family is involved in the trade somehow, from grandpa to her 17-year old sis. "Acting's always been in my backyard and as a result we're all mad and barmy," quips Winslet. "I didn't have any false impressions about the business, but I've kept a passion for it." How does she feel about pursuing Big Star status in the US as her co-star Thompson has done? "That's not important to me," she claims. "I'd rather do theater and British films than move to L.A. in hopes of getting small roles in American films." Speaking of Thompson, did the soon-to-be ex-Mrs. Branagh offer Winslet any advice about moving from stage to screen? "She told me to take my time and try to allow gaps between projects so you can have a normal life. But what is normal anyway?"

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Heidi Parker



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