Skip to main content

Actress Kate Winslet is recognized wherever she goes, but even in a remote mountainous region?

A scene from 1997's 'Titanic,' starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet
A scene from 1997’s ‘Titanic,’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet | CBS via Getty Images

Shortly after filming the now-iconic Titanic, Winslet, who portrayed fearless socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater in the film, discovered that the film’s fame had literally reached the ends of the earth.

Kate Winslet wasn’t prepared for the impact of ‘Titanic’

When the blockbuster film premiered in 1997, no one could have foreseen all the records it would break in ticket sales and its impact on culture. It’s still talked about and argued about and beloved, almost twenty-three years after its release.

To hear Kate Winslet tell it, the movie’s reception – and obsession – by fans was a phenomenon she was unprepared for.

Speaking at BAFTA’s “A Life in Pictures” event in 2015, the actress revealed she was never really able to savor the film’s success, due to the Titanic-mania that seemed to sweep the world.

“I remember people saying to me before the film came out, ‘How are you going to cope? How are you going to not change?’ ” she said. “I would feel almost defensive and angry and think, ‘Well of course I’m not going to change. I’m not going to change, what are you talking about?’ “

Winslet’s life changed completely after ‘Titanic’

She realized she had been wrong, that the film had taken on a life of its own and hers, in turn, transformed completely, in not always pleasant ways.

“And it truly did [change], overnight. I remember one day being able to go and buy a newspaper and a pint of milk, no problem, and the next day I actually couldn’t get out of the house because of paparazzi.”

“And that was a huge shock. I can honestly say I wasn’t able to even really enjoy the success of Titanic because it was so frantic.”

Winslet even encountered a fan in the Himalayas

The 44-year-old actress recalled the moment, about two years after the epic film was wrapped, when she was visiting the Himalayan region in India and was walking in the mountains.

” ‘Titanic’ was everywhere,” she told Candis magazine. “A couple of years after it come out, I went to India. I was walking in the foothills of the Himalayas, just me with my backpack on my back and a man came towards me with a walking stick – he must have been 85 and was blind in one eye.”

Winslet recalled the positive moment she experienced with this unlikely fan that still made her emotional, and confirmed to her the power of art and film to touch audiences everywhere, even in the most seemingly out-of-reach settings.

“He looked at me and said, ‘You – Titanic.’ I said ‘yes’ and he just put his hand on his heart and said, ‘Thank you’. I burst into tears. It really helped me understand how much that film had given to so many people.”

Read more: Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ From ‘Titanic’ Almost Didn’t Happen