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Kate Winslet Opens Up About Her Childhood Bullies: ‘They Called Me Blubber’

Getting the last laugh. Kate Winslet got candid about being bullied as a child during a talk at the fourth annual WE Day U.K. event Wednesday, March 22, telling the audience that she was called names and made fun of for her weight from an early age.

“I was always comparing myself to others,” she told the audience of approximately 12,000, including numerous youngsters. “They called me ‘Blubber’; they teased me for wanting to act. Locked me in the cupboard and would laugh at me. I wasn’t the prettiest, and I was even told that I’d be lucky in my acting if I was happy to settle for the fat girl parts. I’d never let go of that, and they’d say, ‘You’re just not what we’re looking for, Kate.’ This unkindness made me feel truly horrendous.”

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Winslet, 41, added that she always felt like she “wasn’t enough” and that she “didn’t look right.” But ultimately, she chose to ignore the negativity and worked hard to become the celebrated actress that she is today — though it was by no means an easy task.

Kate Winslet on stage at the We Day UK charity event and concert, The SSE Arena, London.
Kate Winslet on stage at the We Day U.K. charity event and concert, the SSE Arena, London. Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images

“I was always auditioning for the school plays,” she said. “I didn’t really get very good parts, mind you, but I didn’t mind. I didn’t care. I would often get cast as the crocodile, or the scarecrow, or the dark fairy. I was even a dancing frog once. But it didn’t matter. I still loved it. I loved acting. It didn’t matter how big or small the parts were. I wanted to be great, and I was determined to keep learning.”

Kate Winslet in Divergent.
Kate Winslet in ‘Divergent.’ Jaap Buitendijk

Wednesday wasn’t the first time the Dressmaker actress has spoken out about being bullied. In September, she told the Today show’s Billy Bush that she viewed her Hollywood success as the ultimate payback for all those years of teasing.

“I was kind of bullied when I was younger — for being chubby, and I had girls who were envious of me because I was acting a little bit as a teenager,” she said. “So this is my revenge. This right here. This lovely career that I have been blessed with. I have healthy children, I have a really happy life, so it’s like, ‘Look at me now, girls.’”

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