Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Kate Winslet: 'Getting that work/life balance right can be tricky, there's no magic wand'

The 38-year-old Oscar-winning star is mum to Mia (13), Joe (10) and Bear (four months). She reveals all about filming her new film Divergent while pregnant

New role: Kate Winslet as Jeanine in new film Divergent
Kate Winslet

Behind the clipboard, behind the iPad, oh, anything to hide my baby bump.

It was great actually; Bear was there, hiding under my coat the whole time. And I suppose it won't be that long before he can see it.

Mia and Joe can't see most of the films that I've been in, still now, and they won't for a long time, but little Bear will probably be able to see Divergent in 10 or 11 years' time.

My secret to keeping on top of baby exhaustion?

I've done it before, and know exactly what to expect, particularly from this phase when they're so small. I am just really, really relaxed.

It's just lovely. When you're going through it for the first time, and I was only 25 when I had Mia, you are more anxious: 'Why are they upset, what do they need?' There are just lots more questions.

But now it's like, 'They're only crying because they're tired. It's fine, they're hungry, it's fine!' You just kind of know a little bit more. It's more instinctive.

I have no shortage of little helpers in Mia and Joe anyway.

I've never really played an evil person before now.

My character in Divergent, Jeanine Matthews, is like a female Hitler. It's been fascinating for me playing someone who is quite blatantly cunning and manipulative.

The film's themes, of fitting in and finding your identity, brought back memories of my own teenage years.

It really resonated with me, and I think that's what's going to resonate with a lot of people of that age who do go and see this film, because it's such a confusing time. You have questions about absolutely everything: who you are, what you want to be, what's going to happen in the world; what if, and when.

Just this notion that you have an opportunity to choose to stay with your family, or leave and be in the faction of your choosing, and being true to yourself, the fact that these individuals are forced to stop and really think about who they are; that's an important moment I think in anyone's life.

I think the world is tough for teenagers.

It's definitely tougher for parents of teenagers too, simply because we have to protect them from a lot more, I think, than perhaps when I was growing up.

So far, I'm not worried for (my own kids). They're pretty feisty little people. But I'm sure that will all change.

I'm really looking forward to delving into my dark side again for Divergent's sequel.

Even though I loved everything about the experience first time around, when I'd had the baby we had to go back and do four days of re-shoots, and the baby was only about seven weeks old, and my brain actually felt much more awake. Because, when you're pregnant, so many more brain cells go to the baby that you sort of walk around in this slight fug. And I really did feel as though I was sort of awake again.

Mastering that work-life-guilt-balance can prove difficult sometimes.

It changes all the time. There's no right or wrong – there's no sort of magic wand that gets waved in order to do it. You just juggle and muddle and somehow make it work. We just do, because you just have to.

INTERVIEW: Jeananne Craig

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