Kate Winslet almost lost her Titanic audition because of this one thing

Kate Winslet has revealed that her last name made it difficult to secure auditions at the beginning of her career.

Kate Winslet has revealed her Hollywood career almost ended before it started - partially because of her initials. 

The British actress, who shot to fame after she starred in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, admitted that she struggled to secure auditions in her early years due to her last name. 

“Because my name was a W, sometimes I wouldn’t even get in the door of the audition because they’d run out of time before the Ws,” she said during a recent Los Angeles Times panel discussion. 

As well as being alphabetically disadvantaged, Kate found it difficult to impress in a world that valued a thinner body frame. 

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Winslet also got candid about the pressures of Hollywood's body image standards, adding, "I was the overweight girl who would always be at the end of the line."

While Kate is today one of Hollywood’s most esteemed talents, she wasn’t always comfortable in the cutthroat industry. The Oscar-winning actress suffered from a severe case of imposter syndrome at the beginning of her career. 

Kate Winslet, David Cameron and Leonardo DiCaprio at the 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards

(Image credit: HAL GARB/AFP via Getty Images)

"The honest answer is I was scared of Hollywood,” she said. “A big, scary place, where everyone had to be thin and look a certain way.” 

When she landed the iconic role of Rose in Titanic at the age of 19, Kate remembers feeling intimidated by her co-star Leonardo di Caprio. 

"I was playing an American for the first time. And working with Leo, who I’d seen in (What's Eating) Gilbert Grape and Basketball Diaries. So it was like, 'Oh, my God, I’m Kate from Reading.'" 

While she may have felt out of place on-set, her romantic drama performance earned her worldwide acclaim and recognition. Kate received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, a title she later went on to win for her role in the 2008 film, The Reader. 

Actress Kate Winslet poses after winning the Best Actress award for "The Reader" in the press room at the 81st Annual Academy Awards held at Kodak Theatre on February 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

(Image credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

With such a lofty reputation now attached to her name, it’s hard to imagine cinema without the iconic Kate Winslet. But the actress has revealed that she came close to quitting during her younger years after the constant rejection began to take its toll. 

“I remember having a moment where I thought to myself, ‘This is so stupid. This is just a waste of my train fare getting myself into London for auditions,’” she told People Magazine. 

Ironically, it was a rude comment from a drama teacher that motivated her to persevere. 

“When I was only 14, I was told by a drama teacher that I might do okay if I was happy to settle for the fat girl parts,” she told reporters after winning her third BAFTA award. 

The conversation seared in Kate’s brain as a constant reminder to ignore toxic words and to believe in her own ability. “I didn’t listen, and I kept ongoing, and I overcame all of my fears, and I got over a lot of insecurity.” 

Emma Dooney
Emma Dooney

Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.