If living a fantastic life is the best revenge against your haters, then just call Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet a vengeful mastermind. That's not to say that the Dressmaker actress had an easy go of achieving her dreams and putting her childhood bullies in their place, of course. In a new speech, Winslet reveals the cruel words that could have broken her spirit. Instead, she was inspired to keep striving for what she wanted.
On Wednesday, Winslet spoke to a crowd of 12,000 people at the fourth annual WE Day UK event at the SSE Arena in Wembley, London. The topic was bullying, something that Winslet experienced before "making it big."
Most directors would give anything to book awards-darling Winslet in one of their films, but growing up, Winslet was discouraged from her stage and screen aspirations. She explained that the very thing she was so good at — acting — was once the thing she was "teased" relentlessly for.
"I was even told that I 'might be lucky with my acting, if I was happy to settle for the fat girl parts,'" said Winslet of the harsh words she received early in her career. Still, she didn't give up on her dream — even if it meant taking on roles that were nowhere near the meaty parts she'd receive as an A-list actress.
"I was always auditioning for the school plays...I didn't really get very good parts, mind you, but I didn't mind. I didn't care. I would often get cast as the crocodile, or the scarecrow, or the dark fairy, I was even a dancing frog once," jokes Winslet of a few parts that didn't earn her an Oscar nod.
"But it didn't matter. I still loved it. I loved acting. It didn't matter how big or small the parts were. I wanted to be great and I was determined to keep learning."
Winslet told the crowd that if she can do it, so can anyone — and her words don't only apply to acting. Winslet's words are an important reminder that you don't have to fit a certain mould in order to achieve greatness — even if, yes, there are certain unfortunate stigmas in the entertainment industry that make it a challenge for people to breakthrough. The important thing to take away from Winslet's speech is that, at the end of the day, other people's words are just that: words. They shouldn't break your confidence or make you give up on your long-held dreams.
I know, I know: easier said than done, right? It's nearly impossible not to take someone's words to heart, especially when they're poking at the very thing that you're already insecure about. But, difficult to accept or not, Winslet's words are also refreshingly real. Imagine what could we achieve if we didn't give a fuck what anyone thought of it.
Next time you're feeling like bailing on something important to you because someone says you don't deserve your dream, just remember that, once upon a time, a girl called "Blubber" by a bunch of bullies became one of the most celebrated actresses of a generation.