Kate Winslet is too 'actressy' for Woody Allen
Kate Winslet felt she couldn't breathe playing character in Woody Allen movie
Kate Winslet had a hard time playing her character Ginny in Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel, which opens here tomorrow.
She felt she could not breathe.
"I kept calling it my fast breathing thing - heart's racing, I am breathing too quickly.
"It was a strange physical reaction to playing her that I sporadically had throughout that was weird. That has never happened to me, and I was almost annoyed by it because I am not a method actress."
Set in the 1950s in Coney Island, New York, the story is about Ginny, a depressed former actress now working as a waitress. Her second husband Humpty (Jim Belushi), a carousel operator, is more interested in fishing than in her.
She starts an affair with a handsome lifeguard (Justin Timberlake) who dreams of becoming a playwright. Drama ensues when Humpty's estranged daughter Carolina (Juno Temple) comes home to escape her gangster husband.
Oscar winner Winslet, 42, is outstanding in the film but was overlooked in the current awards race. Perhaps the #MeToo backlash against Allen, who wrote and directed the movie, had something to do with it.
A lot of actors who have worked with Allen in the past have apologised for doing so and donated their salaries to the movement. Since 1992, he has been accused of sexually abusing his then seven-year-old daughter Dylan Farrow.
While Winslet did speak out against Harvey Weinstein when his story broke, she has not discussed her feelings about the accusations against Allen publicly at all, nor her decision to take this job.
The English actress was willing to talk about Weinstein again at our interview at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in New York.
Said Winslet: "I put out a statement. It was hard to write, and I was angry I had to even write it. I wholeheartedly support these women. This is just disgraceful. It is disgusting. It is absolutely appalling.
"Any woman in any workplace anywhere in the world should never have to endure this level of degrading treatment."
She was not surprised by some of the terrible accounts.
"Harvey was always so impossible to deal with that it is not surprising, given the level of bullying and awful behaviour we all have experienced with Harvey.
"If anything like that had ever happened to me, I would have taken off a heel and put it right through his face. But I am one of the lucky ones. I had a career established fairly early on so I was never placed in one of these awful hotel room scenarios."
Back to Wonder Wheel and working with Allen. His idea of direction to her was to tell her not to be too "actressy".
Said Winslet: "Sometimes he would just get up in the middle of a scene, which we all think is going really rather well, and he would say, 'Oh God, I'm just so bored. I want to go home'.
"I would actually find this funny. I have been doing it for a long time. I can handle it, and I don't mind the honesty as long as someone is not mean - which of course he never is."
She worked really hard on the New York dialect.
"It was a difficult process for me partly because Woody just wanted me to show up and be great, and of course, I wanted to do that... That meant a lot of panic and preparation on my part.
"I did not want to bug him, but I did want to know if I was on the right path with the dialect. So I said, 'look, would you mind if I sent you a sample of where I'm going with it and tell me whether you love it, hate it?'"
So she sent off a recording of a scene on her iPhone and had to wait to hear from him.
"I was terrified waiting for about 48 hours. Then I finally get this e-mail just saying, 'very nice, very nice'. Phew."
Winslet said of Allen's women's roles: "I think on some level, Woody is a woman. I think he is in touch with that side of himself. On some level, he plays out aspects of his own personality through these characters that he creates.
"I always felt with Woody that he would know how to help me, and I would ask for help and I would get it. It was very much a professional relationship.
"It was not quite what I am used to in the sense that normally, I am privileged to have situations with a director... extremely talkative and collaborative and (with) lots of hugs. Not so much with Woody."