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Kate Winslet’s name is one that needs no introduction, but here’s one anyway: from the epic romance Titanic (1997) to Emmy darling Mare of Easttown (2021), she has turned the headstrong, and often flawed, female into her personal signature. Offscreen, the star has been advocating for realism in the way women are portrayed—tales of her sending back the Mare of Easttown poster twice for being too retouched have been inducted into industry lore. At 46, she is living her best life and ready to reflect that light on other women in the space.
As L’Oréal Paris completes 25 years at Festival de Cannes, the star is marking a milestone of her own by handing over the Lights On Women Award that spotlights emerging female talent in the industry. Ahead, she talks to us about what this moment means to her, the holy grail beauty must-haves that are always by her side and the yoga experience in Jaipur that transformed her life.
As the world makes a full return to physical events, how does it feel to be walking the red carpet this year?
Kate Winslet (KW): I am so glad to physically be here as I didn’t get to meet the incredible people last year due to the pandemic. But this year, I get to meet and celebrate each and every one of their films. It is really exciting to be in a place that is a celebration of the hard work and achievements of so many incredible women.
What does it mean to you to be able to shine a light on female talent within the industry with the Lights On Women Award?
KW: We need a space like this, we deserve it. It’s important for me that by creating a space like this one, we are not only celebrating the work of individual women but also uniting the experiences of such diverse cultures. It is an opportunity for women to share their culture, their experiences, tell their stories and feel equally supported by an exciting environment that shines a light on their work.
Indians will always think fondly of your trip to the country a few decades ago. What was your favourite memory from the visit?
KW: I will always remember learning yoga for the first time when I was in Jaipur. I was taught by an 88-year-old woman who could hold a headstand for one hour. It was an absolutely incredible experience and that woman lived to be 108 years. Every morning at 7am, before it got too hot, she taught me yoga under a beautiful tree in a garden, and I really treasure that experience.
With eyes of the world on you at Cannes, what does your pre-red carpet routine look like?
KW: I always ensure that I get as much sleep as I can and I drink a lot of water. Beyond trying to stay hydrated, rested and calm, I have an incredible makeup artist who I can rely on to make my skin look good and make everything come together.
What does your post-red carpet routine look like after long hours of wearing makeup?
KW: I always take off my makeup, no matter how tired I am. Once I have cleaned my face properly, it is sleep, sleep, sleep.
What is the one beauty product that has been by your side since your Titanic days?
KW: It has to be the iconic L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray that I have been using since I used to steal it from my mother as a child. I have used it all through Titanic, and now it reminds me not only of Christmas—because that was only when my mother used it—but also of being on set because I have used it on every single film.
And finally, the one question that refuses to die: what is your take on the whole ‘Jack could have fit on that door’ debate?
KW: Jack could have definitely fit on that door. Absolutely. [laughs]
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