Kate Winslet is putting her celebrity (and connections) to good work. With the help of friends like Meryl Streep, Anna Wintour and Demi Moore, the upcoming "Carnage" star is set to publish a book dedicated to non-verbal autism awareness. She became inspired to help after she provided the English language narration for an Icelandic documentary about a non-verbal autistic boy in 2009. The book, which will be available next April and raise money for her Golden Hat Foundation, is comprised of photos of many well-know faces in various places, all wearing golden hats. "What you have in this book is incredibly intimate portraits that people have taken of themselves wearing this hat," says Winslet. "I mean, you know, without even asking for it, I got access to very intimate windows on these peoples' worlds, which is extraordinary in it of itself. A lot of people turns out, that when photographing themselves, they’re going to the bathroom. I’ve got so many -- like Ben Stiller, Jude Law -- they’ve both got stacks of toilet rolls behind them, you know? Or people standing by their kitchen sink, or sitting on the edge of their bed. And then on the next page, you have this quote from each individual." She then approached Lancôme (she's currently the face of the brand's Renergie line), and together they created a limited-edition makeup collection which will also benefit her non-profit. We recently sat down with the the actress to discuss why she's so passionate about this cause, her anti-aging arsenal and what she really thinks of "Titanic" being rereleased in 3-D.
Can you tell us why you decided to publish "The Golden Hat" book?
I came up with this idea to take one of my own hats and to send it out to high-profile people who had achieved a level of success in their fields, so not just actors and actresses, but sports personalities, entrepreneurs, directors, photographers even, and ask them to photograph themselves wearing this hat. And then in addition to that, asking those people that if they couldn’t speak, if they had the opportunity to say one thing, what would that one thing be? So it’s really remarkable because it sort of bridges the gap between the non-verbal world and the very vocal, very verbal world. The short term goal is to raise awareness and also just to break down all the barriers that do surround this particular subject of autism. Because people by and large don’t really understand their condition and they don’t really know very much about it.
How has Lancôme helped with the effort?
They said, ‘We’re totally on your side, we’ll support you.” Then they came up with the idea to bring out the limited-edition line of products in connection with the publication of the book. And hence, the beautiful Golden Hat range, which is so stunning and gorgeous and perfect for now. I mean, the colors are really festive, and so I do feel incredibly fortunate to have this level of support.
Shifting to skincare, can you tell us about your personal routine?
Well my skincare routine, as you get older, I think it has to change all the time. Based on the seasons, based on whether I’ve had enough sleep or not. What I particularly love about the Renergie line is that it does actually work and it does right away.
What's the one product you rely on if you don't have a lot of time?
Makeup-wise, I mean, there are two products that I couldn’t live without at the moment: one of them is Hypnose mascara and the other is By Terry Baume de Rose. I'm just addicted to it and I have been for about five years. I just love it, in the tub not the gloss tube.
On to film, what was hair and makeup like on the set of "Mildred Pierce"?
Hair and makeup on “Mildred” was first of all, so much fun. When you play a character who ages, although I only age eight or nine years, it spanned over a really significant turning point in terms of fashion in history in the last 100 years. We would have conversations about things like, how many times a week did Mildred wash her hair. Water, certainly hot water, was absolutely limited. And it’s a valid point. Also, women went and got their hair set. That was what they did. I mean, actually, I remember my grandmother doing that and I didn’t grow up then, but those habits kind of stuck with her anyway.
We tried not to have anything be too fussy or overdone. Especially when you’re shooting on film these days, the resolution is so high that you can really see if an actor is wearing a lot of makeup and that type of thing can become too distracting actually.
You've worked with so many amazing people. Whose career do you admire?
Well, I mean, the staple answer to that would be Meryl Streep, but aside from Meryl, I think if I was to talk about actresses of my generation, I really do admire Michelle Williams. I really admire her, admire her choices; I really admire her commitment and dedication. You can see it in her performances. I really admire Kristin Scott Thomas, as well -- she makes a lot of French films and I just think to be able to act in a whole other language is an extraordinary feat. Emma Thompson, obviously, kind of goes without saying.
But also I do feel that I’m part of a very fortunate generation of actresses, I think. That we have been exposed to truly great, extraordinary women. And I’m very aware now of being part of a generation whose responsibility I think it is to be really setting and example to another generation below mine. And even one before that. And I really take that position actually quite seriously, because I think we do live in a world where there’s quite a lot of pressure now. I would really find it hard being as famous as I was so immediately when "Titanic" came out. If that was happening today, I really don’t know how I would cope because there’s so much media exposure and so much scrutiny. I mean, there was back then, but now it’s just a little out of control. So I do feel there’s this responsibility in myself to speak steadfast and true, at least be something that a younger generation can look up to and go, ‘Oh she’s alright,’ and, ‘She hasn’t injected her face with anything,’ and ‘She’s got a normal figure.’ It’s important.
What do you think about "Titanic" being re-released in 3-D?
You know, at the end of the day, it’s weird. It’s really weird because it’s 15 years ago and I don’t know, I feel very disconnected now from actually what was going on in my life at the time and how I felt. A lot of it, it does really feel like a distant memory, so it’s going to be quite strange to have that sort of thrusted into people’s face all over again. I’ve no idea what it’ll be like, the experience, but it’s exciting to think that a whole new generation of young men and women who, perhaps, haven’t seen it, who may have been conceived after the first date night of a couple going to see "Titanic." I mean, God knows. It does mean that a whole new generation of people will be seeing the film and that’s fantastic. That’s wonderful. And also, I’m fascinated to see it in 3-D myself, I still haven’t seen any of it. I know a couple of people who have and they’re like, ‘God, it looks amazing,’ So yeah, we’ll see.