12/04/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Kate Winslet On Exercise, Oscars And Happiness

NEW YORK, N.Y.--Actress Kate Winslet tells Vanity Fair West Coast editor Krista Smith that she never had any desire to be famous because "I was fat. I didn't know any fat famous actresses. I just did not see myself in that world at all, and I'm being very sincere. You know, once a fat kid, always a fat kid. Because you always think that you just look a little bit wrong or a little bit different from everyone else. And I still sort of have that."

Winslet tells Smith that when she walks her children (Mia, eight, and Joe, five) to school, "You know, these mothers are going to read this article and they're all absolutely great, but I know when I walk into that classroom in the morning, even if it's for a split second, at some point I'm being checked out. Some of them will even say to me, 'O.K., what's the secret with the skin?' At which point I'm like, 'Oh my God, there's no secret. I have makeup on. And by the way, since I turned 30, I've had an acne problem on my chin. I'm just like everybody else--I just know how to cover it. If you'd like me to show you how, I'd be more than happy.'"

Winslet re-unites on-screen with Leonardo DiCaprio for the first time since Titanic in the upcoming movie Revolutionary Road, directed by Winslet's husband, Sam Mendes. She tells Smith, "Leo and I were always aware that if we were going to do something together again that there would be a sense of expectation. It was going to have to be the right thing."

Winslet's longtime friendship with DiCaprio was useful in filming the movie: "We could see ourselves playing that married couple," she tells Smith. "There's an emotional shorthand that Leo and I have and a physical ease because we've known each other so long.... Leo and I, you know, are sort of kindred spirits--we're cut from the same cloth. Both of us just got lucky [at a young age], started working and kind of learned on the job. We're sort of self-educated actors in a way, and we've just been lucky to work with unbelievable directors and actors who have taught us so much. I mean, it's been spectacular."

Of his famous co-star, DiCaprio says, "Kate is the most talented actress of her generation."

Winslet is the youngest actress ever to have five Oscar nominations, but she has never won. She tells Smith that this year she hopes to be nominated and take home the trophy. "Do I want it? You bet your fucking ass I do! I think that people assume that I don't care or don't want it or don't need it or something. It's hard to be there five times, and I'm only human, you know? But I don't go home and cry, because we're all grown-ups here."

Winslet speaks on a range of topics including:

"I know that in order to do my job as truthfully as I can--because to me that's everything--you really have to not give a fuck [about what people think]. You have to be prepared to look stupid and you have to be prepared to walk around naked in front of a crew of people you've never met before and may never see again. And it is scary."

"I remember when somebody told me [about the record], I did allow myself a serious fist-punching-in-the-air moment. By myself in the apartment, you know, just leaping around and screaming and going, 'Fuck yeah!' This wasn't supposed to happen to somebody like me. I'm not the pedigree kid. I'm not classically trained. I didn't come from the fancy home, no.... I mean, I seriously struggled through, and so for me to be me in this position, having had these nominations--it doesn't happen that way, you know? It doesn't."

"Everyone can commit to 20 minutes, especially if there's a glass of Chardonnay afterwards."

"I need to be looked after. I'm not talking about diamond rings and nice restaurants and fancy stuff--in fact, that makes me uncomfortable. I didn't grow up with it and it's not me, you know. But I need someone to say to me, 'Shall I run you a bath?' or 'Let's go to the pub, just us.' I mean, the things that make me happiest in the whole world are going on the occasional picnic, either with my children or with my partner. Big family gatherings, and being able to go to the grocery store--if I can get those things in, I'm doing good."