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Kate Winslet opens up about feelings surrounding 'traumatic' screen debut with her two rarely-seen children

The Titanic star is a doting mom of three away from the spotlight

Kate Winslet attends the EE British Academy Film Awards at The Royal Opera House on February 14, 2016 in London, England.
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad SanwariSenior WriterNew York
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Kate Winslet is seeing her kids follow in her footsteps in front of her very eyes, as her oldest, daughter Mia Threapleton, and middle child, son Joe Mendes, venture into acting as well.

Mia, 23, has already got a few credits to her name, including the TV series Buccaneers and Dangerous Liaisons, while Joe made his screen debut alongside his mom and sister in the 2022 anthology drama I Am Ruth.

The trio acted in the almost entirely improvised ITV drama about a mother desperately trying to reconnect with her teenage daughter, who has developed an addiction to social media.

Mia in particular, who led the show with Kate, received rave reviews for her performance, and Kate, 48, opened up about acting alongside her children in a new interview with Porter Magazine.

"Luckily, they're good," she said, saying that "it felt normal" acting alongside them. "These are kids who have been testing [me] on [my] lines pretty much since they could read. They've seen me terrified beforehand. They've gone through it with me."

While none of her children have social media, Kate explained that she'd seen other moms endure the same hardships with their kids as showcased in the harrowing drama. "The number of girls I've seen go through it… My daughter's contemporaries talk to me about it." 

Kate Winslet and Mia Threapleton attend the 2023 BAFTA Television Awards together earlier this year © Getty Images
Kate gushed about working with her children in "I Am Ruth"

She continued: "The other day, a parking attendant burst into tears when she saw me and said, 'I Am Ruth'. The thing about going through something traumatic with a teenager is that it is completely automatic for any parent to feel like it is your fault. 

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"So then this strange shame comes into play – and when the shame comes in, you shut down and you don't discuss it or share it. I wanted to tell a story that created a platform for people to just have a conversation. And that part of it has been overwhelming."

Mia Threapleton and Kate Winslet smiling at each other© Getty Images
"These are kids who have been testing [me] on [my] lines pretty much since they could read. They've seen me terrified beforehand."

Kate shares Mia with her first husband, director Jim Threapleton, to whom she was married from 1998-2001. From 2003-2011, she was married to director Sam Mendes, with whom she welcomed Joe. Since 2012, she has been married to Edward Abel Smith, the nephew of Richard Branson, and they are the parents of 10-year-old son Bear.

MORE: Kate Winslet's husband: Who is Edward Abel Smith?

Further in her interview, the Titanic star reflected on her relationship with fame and achieving it at such a young age (she became a global star at 22 with the release of Titanic).

Actress Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes arrive at the 2009 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter held at the Sunset Tower on February 22, 2009 in West Hollywood, California.© Getty Images
Kate shares her son Joe with ex-husband Sam Mendes

"I felt like I had to look a certain way, or be a certain thing, and because media intrusion was so significant at that time, my life was quite unpleasant," she explained. 

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"Journalists would always say, 'After Titanic, you could have done anything and yet you chose to do these small things'… and I was like, 'Yeah, you bet your [expletive] life I did! Because, guess what, being famous was horrible.' 

Kate and Edward chatting together at the races in 2012© Getty Images
She is currently married to Edward Abel Smith, with whom she shares son Bear

"I was grateful, of course. I was in my early twenties, and I was able to get a flat. But I didn't want to be followed literally feeding the ducks."

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