“My agent phoned me and said, ‘Woody Allen wants to talk to you, and he’s going to send you a script, and he wants you for the lead, but he wants to talk to you,'” said Kate Winslet, describing how Woody Allen approached her to play the leading role in his latest film “Wonder Wheel,” which premiered as the closing night film at the 2017 New York Film Festival (watch above).
“I immediately went into a stage of panic, but incredible excitement, fear, trepidation, anticipation, and all those things you’d feel if someone told you Woody Allen was about to phone you up.” Winslet explained about the prospect of just being offered the role. She was flustered when he called, even though the Oscar winning actress presumably already had the part. “He said these extraordinary things,” she said before launching into her Woody Allen impression: “‘Well I have this script I wrote and I very much thought of you. You’re probably gonna hate it, but if you don’t want to do it you can go on and have a more fulfilling life.'”
But once she read the script another wave of doubt came on. “I just sat there. I was really so stunned by this character and this incredible film that he had written, and I promise you I said out loud, ‘I can’t do that,’ Winslet said. “She felt so far out of my grasp, so far away … I thought to myself, I don’t know where to begin. And then I looked myself in the mirror and just went, oh for fuck’s sake, get your act together, of course you’ve got to do it.”
The rest is history. Winslet plays Ginny, a down-on-her-luck waitress on Coney Island who is married to a carousel operator (Jim Belushi) and crosses paths with his estranged daughter (Juno Temple) as well as a charming beach lifeguard (Justin Timberlake). It’s a larger-than-life role not unlike Cate Blanchett‘s Oscar winning turn in “Blue Jasmine,” with shades of “Mildred Pierce” and a hint of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Watch more of Winslet above, and join the discussion on this and more with your fellow movie fans in our forums.
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