Kate Winslet Titanic

Kate Winslet became an international superstar after the hit movie Titanic was released in 1997, but that doesn’t mean her career was easy from there. In a new interview, Winslet reveals some of the surprising difficulties she had after the movie that made her famous came out.

Winslet Opens Up

During a panel discussion with actresses Michelle Pfeiffer, Rashida Jones, Vanessa Kirby and Andra Day for the Los Angeles Times, Winslet was asked what it was like to go from a relatively unknown actress to a household name virtually overnight.

Despite the success of Titanic, Winslet said that she could not shake the feeling that she did not belong. She was just 21 in the movie.

“I was playing an American for the first time. And working with Leo, who I’d seen in ‘[What’s Eating] Gilbert Grape’ and ‘Basketball Diaries.’ So it was like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m Kate from Reading,’” the 45 year-old British actress explained. “I was the overweight girl who would always be at the end of the line. And because my name was a W, sometimes I wouldn’t even get in the door of the audition because they’d run out of time before the Ws. And I was in ‘Titanic.’ It’s mad.”

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‘I Was Scared Of Hollywood’

Jones asked how Winslet made the decision to focus on smaller independent movies after Titanic, rather than on major Hollywood roles.

“The honest answer is I was scared of Hollywood,” she admitted. “A big, scary place, where everyone had to be thin and look a certain way. And I knew that I did not look that way or feel like I fit there, so if I was ever going to belong, I had to earn my place. And to me, I hadn’t earned it.”

Winslet added that she saw Titanic as a “fluke,” and that despite the fact that she had two Academy Award nominations to her name, she felt she could not compete with other young actresses.

In fact, it wasn’t until she became a mother herself that Winslet found the courage to take on Hollywood again.

“I had this feeling of ‘maybe that was just luck.’ When I became a mother at 25, all of that stuff evaporated completely,” Winslet said. “Then two years after she was born, I was asked to do ‘Eternal Sunshine [of the Spotless Mind].’ I do believe that was a huge turning point in my career, because from then on people suddenly went, ‘Oh, she can do that?!’”

Watch: James Corden and Céline Dion Recreate Iconic ‘Titanic’ Scene In Carpool Karaoke

Winslet’s Career Still Going Strong 

These days, Kate Winslet is an Oscar-winning star whose career is still going strong. Her film Ammonite came out in November and can be watched online.

Bless her for opening up about the past struggles that she’s faced in the crazy world of Hollywood.