Kate Winslet: 'I wish I'd had help dealing with fame'

Kate Winslet on playing a villain in Divergent: "A good few days went by when they really were scared of me"

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Kate Winslet says she wishes she had been given more support to help her cope with the pressures of early fame.

The Oscar-winning actress admitted her experience of Hollywood had been "one shock after another".

"It isn't easy going through that level of exposure so quickly," she told the BBC News website.

Winslet's latest film role sees her playing the villain Jeanine Matthews in dystopian sci-fi film Divergent.

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It's like having 55 babies naturally in quick succession”

End Quote Kate Winslet on the pressures of sudden fame

The film, based on the best-selling novel by Veronica Roth, stars Shailene Woodley as the young heroine, Tris Prior.

Set in futuristic Chicago, the story imagines a society divided into five factions. Those who don't fit in - "divergents" - are seen as a threat to the system.

Winslet made her breakthrough film debut - aged 17 - in 1994's Heavenly Creatures.

After roles in Sense and Sensibility, Jude and Hamlet, she shot to global stardom in James Cameron's 1997 disaster epic Titanic.

Speaking to the BBC on Wednesday, Winslet said she would have been "really terrified" if she had known then what she knows now about the film industry.

"What I do wish is that I had had more support going through those early days. It's genuinely difficult," she said.

"I was living in my lovely little two-bedroom flat in north London... and suddenly I couldn't just walk down the street and buy a pint of milk."

She added: "With things changing overnight, I wish I had known people who could have said 'this is what's going to happen'. I wish I'd known more people who had actually gone through that.

"It's a shocker, that one. It's like having 55 babies naturally in quick succession."

Winslet, 38, who won an Oscar for her role in 2008's The Reader, said she thought 22-year-old Woodley would cope well with her fame.

"She's had much more experience of working as an actress than I had had when I became famous.

"She lives in California so her experience of the Hollywood machine is much more day-to-day present for her - for me it was just one shock after another.

"She's a very graceful, gracious humble person and she's very settled in herself probably more than I was when I was going through it. She's going to be just fine."

Divergent is out in the UK on Friday.

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