Speaking at the fourth annual WE Day UK event at the SSE Arena in Wembley, London on Wednesday, the Oscar-winner told a crowd of about 12,000 that she was teased growing up because she wanted to be an actress.
“I had been bullied at school. They called me Blubber. Teased me for wanting to act. Locked me in the cupboard. Laughed at me,” she said.
“I was even told that I might be lucky with my acting, if I was happy to settle for the fat girl parts,” she added. “I felt that I wasn’t enough, I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t look right … and all because I didn’t fit into someone else’s idea of ‘perfect.’ I didn’t have the perfect body.”
The actress has been candid about her experiences with bullying in the past, and told the audience she “had to choose to rise above it all.” Winslet never let the bullying get in the way of her acting, and even if she didn’t get the best part, she never gave up.
“I would often get cast as the crocodile, or the scarecrow, or the dark fairy, I was even a dancing frog once,” she remembered. “But it didn’t matter. I still loved it. I loved acting. It didn’t matter how big or small the parts were. I wanted to be great and I was determined to keep learning.”
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She went on to recount the day her dedication finally paid off. “One day, I was cast as Rose in Titanic,” she said. “The most unlikely candidate, Kate from the sandwich shop in Reading, suddenly acting in one of the biggest movies ever made!”
Citing her success, Winslet encourage others to “get out there and go for it because your generation has the power to rock the world!” She added, “You can be from anywhere, and you can do anything. Believe it.”