Best Actress: Kate Winslet, ‘The Reader’

by | February 22, 2009 at 11:47 PM | 81st Academy Awards

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“OK, about that fainting thing Penelope,” said Kate Winslet, taking a deep breath as she held the Best Actress Oscar awarded for her intense role in the movie, ‘The Reader.’ “I’d be lying if I haven’t made a version of this speech before,” she continued. “I was probably eight years old and starting into the bathroom mirror.”

“And this,” she said, holding the statue, “would’ve been a shampoo bottle. It’s not shampoo bottle now. I feel very fortunate for having made it from there to here.”

Watch a trailer of The Reader.

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“I also want to acknowledge my fellow nominees, these goddesses,” she added. “I don’t think we can believe we’re in the same category as Meryl Streep!”

Later, she said, “Having been here before and lost, I can say that winning is really a lot better than losing! It really is! I’d always known it was a dream that probably would never happen.. It is just dawning on me now that I’ve won an Oscar!! Oh god!!!”

Her recent declaration that she’s done with nude scenes in movies was mentioned in the press room, and when asked which man she’d pick to succeed her as the actor who’s naked in every film, she laughed, and then honestly considered the question for a long moment before swerving and answering “Susan Sarandon.” Then, she was asked how her husband Sam Mendes handled her penchant for nudity, and once again she was candid in her response. “He’s used to it. He’d seen me naked before he met me, for god’s sake.”

When asked the inevitable question about who she was wearing, she smiled. “The fashion questions always really make me laugh. It’s Yves St. Laurant. It’s gunmetal gray. And… I just really liked it. I just thought it was really elegant. I thought my mum would think it was really pretty, and that is why that is why I wanted to wear it.”

She grew up in Reading, England, and she said she still feels like that little girl from that little town. “My mum won a pickled onion competition in the local pub just before Christmas, and you know, that was a big deal. And the Redding Evening Post sent me a picture of her holding up her jar. Well, Redding Evening Post, here’s your next Winslet picture!” she triumphantly declared, holding up her Oscar.