Photographed by: A. Arthur Fisher

Kate Winslet was awarded the prestigious Montecito Award last night for contribution to acting. The award recognizes a performer for giving outstanding performances during his or her career. No wonder Kate has been recognized twice at the Santa Barbara Film Festival for her amazing acting talents. (In 2005 she earned the Performance of the Year Award for her role in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.)

Her film career accelerated in 1994 when she starred in director Peter Jackson's critically acclaimed film Heavenly Creatures. From there she has been in approximately 25 films. Her role in Titanic rocketed her to fame in 1997. After  she says,

I realized I had the freedom to choose the roles I wished to perform in."

 

Winslet interviewed on Red Carpet
Winslet interviewed on Red Carpet

If it's a difficult part she'll more than likely want to do it. She loves a challenge and is never 100% satisfied with her work. Her father taught her to do it for the love of the work. She also realizes that acting cannot be taught. "You learn on the job", she says.

After Titanic there was no stopping her. She went on to make several films that were academy award nominations including Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Little Children, Revolutionary Road, and the most recent The Reader which she won the SAG award for Best Female Actor is a Supporting Role. In The Reader she said when she first read the script she loved it. But she also said, "I didn't think I could play the part". Obviously she did a great job in that part!

 

Winslet interviewed by Maltin
Winslet interviewed by Leonard Maltin

Ever the perfectionist Kate says she loves her job. She said this several times and it's obvious she does love her work by watching the interview given by Leonard Maltin. He made her feel at ease with his comforting demeanor as he asked her poignant questions about her life and professional work. Like many actors Kate is not comfortable looking at herself in films. Winstlet interviewed by Lenoard Maltin She also revealed that she never wants to be smug about her career and always wants to be challenged in her work.

Leonard Maltin predicts her performance in The Reader will win her the Academy Award she deserves this year.

 

After the seemingly short 2 hour interview, Kate's friend Bill Nighy presented her the

Winslet presented award by Bill Nighy
Winslet presented award by Bill Nighy

Montecito Award to a well deserved standing ovation. It was a night to remember. It never gets old listening to great actors speak about the work they choose to do. Most of the great ones are great because they put so much of themselves into their performances. It's a love of the craft that is more evident when it's heard from the actors mouth during events like these.

 

 

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