"I've never felt more confident and happy," the Insurgent star says of her family life

Updated March 12, 2015 09:15 AM
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Credit: Courtesy Virgin Gotels Group Ltd; Inset: Dan Steinberg/AP

In Insurgent, Kate Winslet plays malevolent Erudite faction leader Jeanine, who coldly hunts down anyone who gets in her way, including Shailene Woodley’s Tris.

But Winslet says her wicked side had little effect on kids Mia, 14, and Joe, 11. “I’m their mom, and they’re never scared of me!” she tells PEOPLE, with a chuckle. “So, no, the crazy act didn’t work on them.”

Actually, she says, life with her kids – including 15-month-old Bear – and husband Ned Rocknroll is “really wonderful.”

“We’ve all got our health and we all laugh a lot,” she continues. “In my personal life, I really can’t say why, but I’ve never felt more confident and happy.”

And, with a handful of films out this year, including Insurgent (opening March 20), A Little Chaos and the Oscar hopeful Steve Jobs, which she’s filming now in northern California, Winslet is fulfilled professionally.

“My creative life in the last few years has been really, really, colorful for me,” she says. “And I’ve really really enjoyed being able to embrace that.”

The actress credits one person in particular – her husband. “I have a wonderful man in my life who is so incredibly supportive that makes it possible for me to have those experiences,” she says. “It’s been a really fun time.”

Mia and Joe have also gotten in on the act a bit, letting their mom know which roles they’d like to see her take – or turn down.

“They do very much have an opinion on what I do and don’t do these days,” she says with a laugh.

So when she was asked to star as the villain in the Divergent series, based on Veronica Roth’s bestsellers, what did they say? “‘Yeah, Mom, you should definitely do it!’ The idea that their mom would play this baddie was incredibly exciting,” she says.

For more on Kate Winslet, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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