In Divergent, we see Kate Winslet as we’ve never really seen her before — playing the cold and rather ruthless antagonist Jeanine Matthews — and that’s exactly why she took the part. “I was sent a lovely letter by [director] Neil Burger,” she says. “It came with a gigantic packet of Divergent info. I hadn’t heard of the book at that point, and so I devoured it immediately. And on reading it, frankly, I wanted to play a baddie! It’s something I have never done.”
But Winslet, who gave birth to her son last December, had also never come back to set just weeks after giving birth, as the Oscar-winner did earlier this year. “Coming back to set post-baby was a little bit like wheeling a cow into a straitjacket. I felt like an obscure and absurd marshmallow with udders!” she says. “It was actually OK. Once I got over the delight that my costumes still fit — apart from the boob area, which had to be relaxed by about a meter — it was all good. And I felt alive and less foggy-brained than I had whilst we were shooting and I was pregnant. I felt as though my senses had come back to life.”
For more on Divergent, pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now.