David Letterman Interviewing Kate Winslet

LETTERMAN: Our first guest is a two-time academy award-nominated actress starring in a new film entitled "Holy Smoke." It opens in New York and Los Angeles on January 14. Here's the lovely Kate Winslet.

(Paul and the band play music)
(Kate Winslet comes out, shakes Dave痴 hand then sits down)

How are you?

WINSLET: I'm fine.

LETTERMAN: You know what? I was thinking about you on New Year痴 Eve because I知 watching -- they had this coverage from around the world, you know, and they showed Paris, and the Paris people, the French people, had the Eiffel tower all lit up.

WINSLET: it was amazing.

LETTERMAN: it was stunningly beautiful. And then Tony Blair, your buddy, is shooting his mouth off about -- he says, "okay, Paris, that's nothing. Wait till you see London. Plus, plus, for the kids, we're going to set fire to the Thames." and so I thought --

WINSLET: don't talk to me about the river of fire.

LETTERMAN: well, what happened?

WINSLET: I don't know. I was naked in the sea at this point, I have to say.

LETTERMAN: I知 sorry, you were what?

(Audience applauds)

Hot diggity.

WINSLET: Well, you know how much I like the cold water and everything.


WINSLET: We were down in Cornwich-- it's the west coast of England, right by the sea, it's gorgeous-- with about 12 friends.

LETTERMAN: Is this now the Atlantic Ocean we're talking about?

WINSLET: Yes, yes, indeed.


WINSLET: And it was freezing cold. We all ran into the sea, no clothes on.

LETTERMAN: So this is like --

WINSLET: That's how we saw it in.

(Audience applauds)

LETTERMAN: Wow. How about that.

WINSLET: And that is how. That's how we saw in the new millennium.

LETTERMAN: But did you ever hear any more about why they couldn't get the fire in the river going?

WINSLET: No, I didn't. Apparently, it happened, but it was very brief or something, and they --there's some aerial photo that exists that proves that it happened.

LETTERMAN: Oh, well, I would like to see that.

WINSLET: I would like to, too.

LETTERMAN: Because, you know, there again is an apology I値l have to make.

(Audience laughs)

WINSLET: We should call them up.

LETTERMAN: Tony Blair and the good people of London.

(Audience laughs)

What else is going on? I see you have your leather pants on. That's pretty nice.

WINSLET: Yes, do you like them?

(Audience applauds)

LETTERMAN: Very nice. Looks outstanding. And then, other than being naked in the Atlantic, what have you done for the New Year?

WINSLET: Well, so far, I致e been in the states, actually.


WINSLET: Sort of a few days into the New Year, it was on a plane and over here to start doing the press for "Holy Smoke" and so on. But I知 pretty happy. I've celebrated my first wedding anniversary now.

LETTERMAN: Oh, congratulations.

WINSLET: Thank you.

(Audience applauds)

LETTERMAN: How's your married life?

WINSLET: It's great. It's really -- it's wonderful, and he's wonderful.

LETTERMAN: You're married to an actor, a director, a --

WINSLET: He's a director.

LETTERMAN: A director?

WINSLET: He's a director, and he's pretty wonderful. His name's Jim.

LETTERMAN: Did you meet on a film together?

WINSLET: We met on a film. We met on "Hideous Kinky," yeah.

LETTERMAN: Oh, well, that's nice.

WINSLET: And it was pretty instant.

(Audience applauds)

No, don't go any further than that. Don't --

LETTERMAN: I don't know where to go, because I知 confused. I have no idea what's happening now. But now, in your new movie, Harvey Keitel, a fine actor, appears naked. Of course, that's standard.

(Audience laughs)

WINSLET: That's standard for Harvey, yeah.

LETTERMAN: Yeah, and also in a dress for about a half an hour.

WINSLET: He does indeed, a gorgeous red dress.

LETTERMAN: Right. Now, I saw this, and, you know, you know, sure, I値l take all of Harvey in a dress I can get, but...

(Audience laughs)

How -- what part -- I mean, how did you get him in a dress? What's that all about?

WINSLET: Well, I have to say that, I mean, Harvey is a wonderful actor, as we all know, but he is a great guy, and he is fiercely professional. And we were in costume fittings when we'd first arrived in Australia to make the movie, and I was, you know, trying on all kinds of things, and Harvey was there as well, and it was the red dress time, and he put on the red dress, and he just stood there, and he went, "okay, Kate, this is me."


WINSLET: And he had no problem with it. I have to say, he was just amazing about it, it was just another one of his costumes. He was perfectly happy in that red dress, actually.


(Audience laughs)

And had a little lipstick on at one point, too?

WINSLET: Yeah, a bit of red lippy on, you know? Little bow in his hair.

LETTERMAN: It's an unusual movie, isn't it?

WINSLET: It is an unusual movie.

LETTERMAN: Because it starts out... It's like in three parts. It starts out, and you think, oh, this is the kind of movie it's going to be, and it changes to a different kind of movie, and then you have a different

WINSLET: Something else, yeah.

LETTERMAN: Altogether different for the final third of the movie.

WINSLET: It's a bit of a -- I mean, when we were making the movie, Jane Campion would say the whole time, "you know, Kate, this is just such a special journey that we're all on, you know, this journey." and I would think, oh, please stop talking about "this journey." it started to drive me mad. And when I finally saw the movie, which is about four months ago, I just went, yeah, it really was a journey, because it just takes you to so many different places-- some places that you like to be, and others that you don't like to be. It's really crazy.

LETTERMAN: It's also beautiful. I guess the scenery is of Australia.

WINSLET: It's Australia.

(Cheers and applause)

Oh, yes! Some Aussies in the house.

LETTERMAN: Former penal colony.

(Audience laughs)

WINSLET: Don't listen to him.

LETTERMAN: And there's a scene in the -- where you're really intoxicated, you're drunk.

WINSLET: Yeah, this is true. I was drunk in the scene.

LETTERMAN: Right. You were actually drunk?


LETTERMAN: Now, is that a good idea? Is that how actors --

WINSLET: No, I would never actually do this again. But I -- yeah, we had this scene to do, and we were coming out of a pub, and there was lots of music going on and all the rest of it, and I had to be drunk for this scene. And I just thought, oh, god, what am I going to do? And so I'm sort of practicing at home with my script in my hand, banging around, hitting the furniture, and I was just the worst actor in the world. And I thought, no, I just can't do this.


WINSLET: And I'd remembered a friend of mine from England who's an actor --

LETTERMAN: Now, let me interrupt. Have you had experience in your personal life being drunk? I mean, you knew

(Audience laughs)

WINSLET: Oh, yeah.

LETTERMAN: You've been drunk, so you know what that is.

WINSLET: I know what it feels like. But, you know, but acting drunk is very difficult to do.


WINSLET: So I'd remembered this friend of mine telling me that he'd done a scene in a movie, and he needed to be drunk, and he got drunk. And I thought, I'm going to have to do it. Okay, I'm just going to have to do this. So I talked about it with Jane Campion, and she said, "yeah, okay." and so I went --

LETTERMAN: She said, "sure, it's okay for you to get drunk." Now, what time of day did they do this?

WINSLET: No, it was night.

LETTERMAN: Night, right.

WINSLET: It was a night shoot.

LETTERMAN: Now, what were you drinking to get loaded?

(Audience laughs)

WINSLET: I am not going to have the nation thinking that I'm an alcoholic.

LETTERMAN: Well, no. But it is odd that you're working on the job.

(Audience laughs)

Have you seen the pamphlet? I think that's one of the signs. Take a look at the pamphlet.

(Audience laughs)

Was it like distilled spirits? Was it wine? Was it beer?

WINSLET: It was vodka and tonic.

(Audience laughs)

LETTERMAN: Oh yeah, well, there you go. You can't go wrong. That puts you where you want to be, doesn't it?

(Audience laughs)

WINSLET: I had three, three vodka and tonics, so I wasn't at the point of where I would be sort of falling down.

LETTERMAN: Now, when you were drunk, were you still acting, or was it just you were drunk?

(Audience laughs)

WINSLET: No, I was -- he's just so nice, isn't he?

LETTERMAN: No, no, I don't know, I don't know, because you could be so drunk that you're not acting.

WINSLET: No, no, no. I could remember all my lines, thank god. No, I just had this sort of physical feeling of being a bit sort of floppy. You know how when you've had a few drinks, you just feel a bit -- you do. I mean, you do. You know, and you're not so in control of the direction in which you're walking. So I just had that sort of feeling.

LETTERMAN: And was the director, Jane, was she happy with --

WINSLET: She was thrilled.

LETTERMAN: Oh, good, good. And did you have to work more that night, or were you done for the day?

WINSLET: No, that was it. It was the last thing that I -- I mean, had it been in the middle of the day, I never would have done it, because there would have been more stuff to do, and you just can't -- you know, you just can't do that kind of thing.

LETTERMAN: And then you're also naked in the film as well. Does that bother you?

(Audience cheers and applauds)

WINSLET: This is dreadful.

LETTERMAN: Yeah. Does it bother -- as a young woman and an actress, and a married -- a newlywed, does it bother you to act --

WINSLET: It bothers me every time. You know, nude scenes, I really have to say, are awful, and they're so difficult to do, and I'm finding them harder, actually.

LETTERMAN: Are you drunk for those, mostly?

(Audience laughs and applauds)

WINSLET: No, I'm not. No, no, no, no. No, I'm fully aware of everything, with no substances taken at all.

LETTERMAN: Now, when you -- part of this was actually shot in India, is that correct?

WINSLET: That's true.

LETTERMAN: India. Shot in India.

WINSLET: India, India.

LETTERMAN: Now, did they know -- I'm sure everybody saw the "Titanic."

WINSLET: Well, this was really extraordinary, because I'd gone to India before we did the movie for two weeks, alone, to go to the rounds and things, because I just knew that I wouldn't be able to do this film unless I'd actually sort of been there and seen what it was about. And when we were back there shooting the movie. "Titanic" by that point had come out, and it really was insane. I mean, they were just desperately trying to sort of touch me, and they -- it was amazing. I really was sort of followed around everywhere.

LETTERMAN: These are just folks that you would see in the street, in the hotel?

WINSLET: Just people in the street, you know, following, running. But at the same time, I have to say that the Indian people are so warm and happy and friendly that -- and they see everything as a gift, so they were really almost thanking me for the film. And in a way, I have to say, it really helped me to finally appreciate just how much "Titanic" had done for so many people, and the sense that it sort of seems to give people a lot. And it really made me realize that in India.

LETTERMAN: Good, good. That's a nice feeling, a nice experience.

WINSLET: It was.

(Audience applauds)

LETTERMAN: Do you want to show a clip of the film here? You know what we're going to show, Kate?

WINSLET: I do know what you're going to show.

LETTERMAN: OK, why don't you tell the people what we're going to look at.

WINSLET: Well, is it the one with the Barbie doll bit in it? Is it that one?

LETTERMAN: Let me check with the staff.

WINSLET: He doesn't even know.

LETTERMAN: I ain't in the film.

(Audience laughs)

WINSLET: Well, let's watch it, and I'll explain afterwards. I don't know what clip you've chosen.

LETTERMAN: What is it?

WINSLET: It's that one.

LETTERMAN: Yeah, it's the one --

WINSLET: OK, OK, OK, everybody, what is happening here, is Harvey Keitel -- he was playing in this movie --

LETTERMAN: Oh, is Harvey in a dress in this one?

WINSLET: No, not in this scene, he's not. No, I'm sorry.


WINSLET: Sorry. No, in this scene -- he plays a religious cult exit counsellor in the movie, and in this scene, he's just starting to drive me so mad, and I'm desperately trying to pull him to pieces as much as he's trying to pull me.

LETTERMAN: He's been hired by your wacky family to retrieve you from what they believe is harm's way.

WINSLET: Yeah, exactly.

LETTERMAN: OK, here we go. Take a look, ladies and gentlemen. Kate Winslet, Harvey Keitel.

(They show a clip of the movie)

LETTERMAN: And then later, you get to see her naked and Harvey in a dress.

WINSLET: This is not the way to sell this film! It's more than this!

LETTERMAN: Yeah, but that's plenty right there.

(Audience laughs)

And it opens here in New York city. You can see it on January 14.


LETTERMAN: And then also in Los Angeles January 14.

WINSLET: Absolutely.

LETTERMAN: Hey, nice to see you again. Happy New Year.

WINSLET: You, too. Happy New Year.

LETTERMAN: Thank you very much for being here, Kate. The beautiful Kate Winslet.

(Audience applauds)

Late Show With David Letterman Webpage>
Kate Winslet
The Late Show
Home | Bio | Pictures | Baby Page | Episode Transcripts | TV Interview Transcripts | Interviews & Articles | Quotes | Wallpapers | Links
January 10th 2000
  T Bone's Late Show with David Letterman Webpage                                                                                                                                    Contact Me