One of Oprah's favorites is this year's golden girl at the Golden Globes, Kate Winslet. After seven nominations, Kate took home her first two Golden Globes in the same night—Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Reader and Best Actress for her performance in Revolutionary Road.
Despite rave reviews for both performances, Kate says she was truly surprised to have walked out with a trophy in each hand. "I've been doing this job for a great many years and have been fortunate to have been nominated in the past, but I've never won," she says. "Losing at these events is a natural state for me."
Kate says she was in shock when presenter Cameron Diaz called her name for Best Actress. "I was already out of my body," she says. "I'm still shaking!"
Though part of the movie is set in the aftermath of World War II, Kate says The Reader is not just a Holocaust movie. "For me, it was always an incredibly powerful love story between a young man and a woman twice his age," she says. "It's about how they don't choose to fall in love with each other and how you can't choose who you fall in love with."
Kate says the experience of making the film was initially overwhelming. "With Hanna, when I first read the script I was absolutely terrified," she says. "I thought, 'Well, I don't know what I have to bring to her. I cannot compare her life to my life in any way at all.' And that, I knew, would be the ultimate challenge."
Kate also felt a responsibility to protect David, who was only 18 when the scenes were shot. "He's never done scenes of that nature before, and I have been in that position," she says. "The anticipation of a scene like that is far worse than the reality."
Oprah says what she appreciated most about the love scenes is that Kate looked like a real woman. "I love that you have real breasts! In all the breast scenes, your breasts do what real breasts do," she says. "You're lying on your back, your breasts go apart. But if you look at women with not-real breasts, their breasts are sticking up—that's how you know. God bless your real breasts!"
After 11 years, Kate's finally reunited onscreen with Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, and the couple's chemistry is undeniable. But Leonardo wasn't the only man on set with whom Kate shared sparks— the film was directed by her husband, Sam Mendes. "My husband directed this film, and my best friend in the entire world played my onscreen husband," she says. "This could not have been a more fortuitous set of circumstances for me."
A couple of years ago, Kate set up a meeting for Sam and Leonardo to discuss making Revolutionary Road. "I thought, 'I just need to get [Leo] and Sam together to have a creative conversation,'" she says. "I was going to join Leo for drinks one evening, and I called him to just confirm and I said, 'Actually, you know, I just need to tell you something else. I'm not going to come. Sam's coming in my place and you guys should just talk.' And that's how it happened."
Kate knew Leonardo would make the perfect leading man in Revolutionary Road. "For me, and I think for most of us, he is the leading actor of his generation. I mean, I just think everything he does is flawless," she says. "This is a thing that you don't see as an audience member—the commitment and the hard work."
Leonardo is Skyping in to the Oprah Show studio from his Los Angeles home. He says his history with Kate, both onscreen and off, really influenced the final result of Revolutionary Road. "Kate and I have grown up in this industry together," he says. "We've been a support mechanism for each other for such a long period of time, and we've been there for each other and helped guide each other. It's amazing."
After Titanic, Leonardo says he and Kate had to be careful about shooting a second film together. "We knew that treading on any type of similar territory to Titanic would have been a mistake, so we fundamentally knew we'd have to try something different," he says. "We've always been in communication to find what that next great project was going to be."
After a decade-long absence from major films, it's hard not to notice that Mickey's real-life revival parallels the story of his character—a down-and-out wrestler who tries to turn his life around after suffering a heart attack. "I wanted to work with [director] Darren Aronofsky, and then when I read this piece it seemed a little too close to the belt," he says. Ultimately, Mickey's desire to work with the director sealed the deal for him. "I always say he's smarter than the rest of us, and he really just knows how to push those buttons and he doesn't settle for anything but the most of out an actor. I think deep down inside, that's the only thing I can respect out of a director."
To help her in the role, Meryl says she used advice from a mentor, Sister Peggy. "She was actually [director] John Patrick Shanley's first-grade teacher," she says. "She was an inspiration and made me understand a lot about being in the club of sisters."
What Meryl doesn't know is that Oprah was hoping to join the cast of Doubt as the character Mrs. Miller. Oprah tells Meryl she wanted the role for two reasons. "The first was just so that I would be able to have a scene with you in my lifetime," she says. The second reason, Oprah says, was to be able to deliver Mrs. Miller's line, "Only till June."
Oprah says she was turned down—the part was given to actress Viola Davis—but she thinks director John Patrick Shanley made the right decision. "She did such an outstanding job, I'm hoping that she'll be nominated for a Best Supporting Actress [Oscar]."
Meryl says she tries not to get caught up in the drama of jewels and dresses surrounding the award shows. "That part just kind of drives me insane," she says. "In a long career like mine, you just want to disappear into these roles, and it's harder and harder and harder. The more that you're out there, the more exposed you are for people to believe you are who you believe you are in each role."
Ron says his admiration for Frost/Nixon began after he saw the play, which the movie is based on. "I was completely enthralled and entertained, and I think that's ultimately what really hooked me," he says. "It's incredibly entertaining. Yes, it deals with history. Yes, it expresses some themes that are thought provoking, and I'm proud of those aspects of the movie. But what Peter Morgan, who is the same guy who wrote The Queen and The Last King of Scotland, does is, he gets all that right and also creates this really suspenseful, funny, entertaining story with rich characters."
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