In her latest film, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," Winslet plays an eccentric woman who develops a relationship with Jim Carrey.
Offering a 20-second version of the film, Winslet tells The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm it's basically a love story.
"It's a good old-fashioned love story but the two people playing the title roles, Jim Carrey and myself, are kind of mismatched," she says. "She's very eccentric and he's very introverted. Have this tempest-with-us relationship. Clementine (Winslet) drops into a memory-erasing clinic and decides to have him wiped from her mind and all recollection of the relationship is gone. When he realizes this, to spite her, he goes and does it, too. The movie plays out in this wonderful series of erasing memories they shared together. The further back in time you go, the more you realize how in love they were."
Working with the unpredictable Carrey was not what she expected, Winslet notes. "He's playing a more shy, introverted guy, not at all what we're used to seeing him do," she says. "I thought, 'How is he going to stay serious?' Because he's such a funny guy and always out there and playing around. But, no, he was very professional and stayed in character and played around a little bit. He was great to work with."
Her character is actually the type one would expect Carrey to play: crazy, physical, and wild, which Winslet says was a lot of fun.
"Being in this film was kind of a dream project in a way," she says. "I got to play someone who was totally different than everything else I've done before. It was an enormous challenge in that way and something to really kind of look forward to and just sort of dig deep inside myself and find some new stuff I haven't necessarily been able to put in the classical period parts I played before. But the script was just so amazing and brilliantly written by Charlie Kaufman." Kaufman also wrote "Adaptation" and "Being John Malkovich."
Asked about her talent in picking such diverse roles, she says "I just really love acting so much that i never want to sort of do too much of it in a way. Which is why I choose to maybe do one thing a year and that's about it. The rest of the time, I'm just a regular mum going and doing the grocery shopping. It's difficult, especially with two kids, which I do have now. I have a new little baby boy. And I just don't want to miss any of that. I've been very lucky that the choices I've made have really been inspiring to me, even if those films, with 'Titantic' being the exception, haven't always necessarily been big box office blockbusters. I go with my instinct and hope for the best, really."
Some Facts About Kate Winslet
- Kate Elizabeth Winslet was born in Reading, England, Oct. 5, 1975.
- In 1987, Winslet appeared in British television commercials for Sugar Puffs cereal.
- In 1988, Winslet made her British television debut in "Shrinks."
- In 1991, Winslet left school to pursue career; appeared in British stage productions of "Adrian Mole," "Peter Pan" (as Wendy) and "A Game of Soldiers"; played recurring role in British sitcom "Get Back."
- In 1994, Winslet made her feature film debut as Juliet Hulme in "Heavenly Creatures," which was directed by Peter Jackson.
- In 1995, Winslet co-starred as Marianne Dashwood in "Sense and Sensibility"; she earned her first Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress.
- In 1995, Winslet played the female lead in "Jude," opposite Christopher Eccleston.
- In 1996, the actress was cast as Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh's feature version of Shakespeare's "Hamlet."
- In 1997, Winslet co-starred in James Cameron's blockbuster "Titanic"; she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.
- In 1999, Winslet starred in "Hideous Kinky," playing a hippie mother who takes her two daughters with her on a spiritual journey to Marrakech; Winslet appeared opposite Harvey Keitel in "Holy Smoke," which was directed by Jane Campion.
- In 2000, Winslet starred with Geoffrey Rush and Joaquin Phoenix in "Quills," playing a laundress who helps the incarcerated Marquis de Sade smuggle out his writings.
- In 2001, Winslet co-starred in the World War II-era spy drama "Enigma."
- In 2001, she was cast as the younger incarnation of the title character in "Iris," a film about novelist Iris Murdoch's struggle with Alzheimer's disease; she earned her third Oscar nomination, this time as Best Supporting Actress, for that role; Winslet had a top-10 single in Great Britain with the song "What If," taken from film's soundtrack