Cover Girl: Kate Winslet for Vanity Fair Italia

Posted on May 31, 2012

Since we happened to catch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind the other night for the 30th time, and since it’s one of our favorite movies and possibly our favorite romantic movie ever, we feel it’s time to revisit that controversial thing we once said about Kate that got a lot of people yelling at us. We’re naughty that way.


Kate Winslet covers the latest issue of Vanity Fair Italia magazine photographed by Rafael Stahelin.


Gorgeous, right? Not a thing to be said in criticism. But you know us, we’re always game to give it a try.

The thing is, we really miss the Kate who was quirky and a little messy and had a couple (literally) extra pounds on her and got ruddy-cheeked when she got emotional, which was often. Ever since she made it her business to get that Oscar (and then got it), she’s been working such a look of sandblasted perfection and it’s getting really old. Come back to us, Kate. You don’t have to be a goddess. It took Nicole about a decade to figure that one out and now she can move her face again. Not that we’re talking about cosmetic procedures; just the idea that she has to be some sort of porcelain movie star now. If anything, that’s what killed Mildred Pierce. She’s become so mannered now. We’re all about a lady getting in touch with her inner diva, but we’re ready for Super-Glam Kate to take a rest for a while so we can see the return of the Kate who said things like “womb ferret” in a nun’s habit or had really sloppy sex on a washing machine. She’s so much more fun.

Okay, yell at us.

[Photo Credit: Rafel Stahelin for]

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  • Adrianna Grężak

    “You don’t have to be a goddess. It took Nicole about a decade to figure that one out and now she can move her face again. ”


    • Elizabeth H. Crane

      take her out for girl talk over 3 olive martinis &

    • lilazander

      Oh God, I guess I met a fellow Polack I agree with. Pozdrawiam serdecznie.

  • Michelle

    No disagreements here.

    • AudreysMom

       Nope, no need to yell. We agree completely (and with your love for ESOTSM).

  • Carla Axtman

    I honestly kind of worry about her getting all Demi Moore on us at some point.  Kate is beautiful–more beautiful with those few extra lbs and that real woman vulnerability that makes her special. 

    Right now I’d like to take her out for girl talk over 3 olive martinis & fillets.

  • Judy_J

    I miss the old Kate.

  • charlotte

    Yeah, come back. It is a little bit as if she were character photoshopped in real life as much as her face is photoshopped on the magazine cover (on which she looks fierce, though). If that makes any sense to you.

  • Sara__B

    She hasn’t just been sandblasted to perfection, she’s had the Kate blasted right out of her. The woman on that cover could be any generic model. I would not have guessed Kate Winslet.

    • Laurie Bergman


    • crush on you

      That dress does look fab though!

  • hughman

    Two words : Madge.

    • TieDye64

      Oh, ouch. But true. 

      • hughman

        “Oh, ouch” = favorite reply ever. 

  • Jessica | Surely Sonsy

    i shan’t yell at you. i couldn’t agree more!

  • terpsichory

    I completely agree about ESotSM. Love that movie!

    As to Ms Kate, I think there is still too much cursing, bad hair and sheer life in there. It’ll spill back out eventually. 

    • Jessica TallGirl Freeman

      Isn’t her boyfriend’s name Rock ‘N Roll or something?  She’s in there, she’s just working too hard on an image that isn’t her….

  • Lindsey Romain

    I agree. She’s still fun in interviews, but she does give way more clipped performances these days. Eternal Sunshine is my favorite movie of all time, and I owe that almost completely to her performance, but every time I watch it anymore I get sad because I doubt she’ll ever play a total balls-to-the-wall character like that again. Now she’s dating male models and wearing designer duds everywhere. Which is totally standard lady star material, but the reason everyone fell in love with Kate is because she repelled that image for so long. I personally prefer Kate to Meryl in terms of both acting and career choices, but the thing I respect most about Meryl is that she never seemed to let Hollywood delude her. I don’t get the same impression with Kate. Not anymore at least. 

    I still love her unconditionally, though. I just hope she re-discovers her looseness and takes on some wacky role again. (Though, to be fair, she has been playing the semi-stiff English rose for most of her career, but she at least balanced those parts with the meatier fun stuff.)

    • Carleenml

       the Meryl comparison is perfect. why *don’t* these other young actresses – really great ones – see that you don’t have to go the celebrity goddess way – you can go the really fabulous actress way – and have a long, brilliant career? It’s frustrating to watch. The pressure getting sucked into that category must be overwhelming and very hard to fight.

      • shirab

        You can go the really fabulous actress way if you are a really fabulous actress, like Meryl. If you aren’t, as is the case with most of the ladystars, I guess you need to sell yourself more.

        • HobbitGirl

          See, I don’t see Meryl Streep as a “really fabulous actress.” She always seems extremely mannered to me, like the performances are a collection of gestures and accents without anything under them. Very similar to Nouveau Kate, actually.

          • Lindsey Romain

            I think it depends on the role for both of them. I feel like Meryl has gotten that way as time goes on because she’s essentially riffing on herself at this point. Almost all of her movies start with a pan-up shot and a “TADA!” moment when it reaches her face these days. Like, the movies are pandering to her as their lead and nothing else matters. But back in the day, she gave some really powerful performances (I’m thinking Kramer Vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice, etc.).

            The same can sort of be said with Kate. She’s not there YET, but it’s bound to happen. But where I feel like Meryl only had a handful of truly great roles, Kate’s had a bounty of them (Heavenly Creatures, Quills, Eternal Sunshine, Holy Smokes, Little Children, hell even her part in The Holiday was better acted than most crap you see in standard rom com fare). It’ll be interesting to see how she proceeds from here on out. 

            No matter what, I doubt any performance will ever top Clementine in Eternal Sunshine. To this day, it’s my favorite performance by any actress ever. She breathes such life into that role, it’s hard to believe it’s a character, not a fully realized human being. 

          • Laura King

            OMG I know this is the lamest reply ever, but I freaking LOVE The Holiday. People can call it a stupid romcom all they want, but it’s what romcoms are meant to be. Totally one of my favorite movies, and she is SO GOOD in it.
            Sorry, I just got out of a twelve hour rehearsal, so my control of the caps lock is a little lacking…

          • Ogden1990

            Meryl? A handful? It’s all a matter of personal taste, and I’m a bigger Kate fan than a Meryl fan, but sheesh – “The Deer Hunter” “Out of Africa” “Silkwood” “Defending Your Life” (LOVED that movie) even “The Bridges of Madison County” (there, not too proud to put down one of the cheesiest, weepiest flicks based on a cheesy weepy novel) – def. more than a handful. 

          • Lindsey Romain

            I guess I meant a handful when you compare it to the landscape of her entire career. Because those roles are all fantastic, but for each of them, there are at least five stinkers. Whereas I think Kate’s parts have been more consistently good. But again, matter of personal taste. 

  • NurseEllen

    Sure would love to see the rest of the photos in that spread! 

  • schadenfreudelicious

    you wont get any arguments from me, i too always loved her ruddy cheeked emotion especially when she cried out for Willoughby….

    • momogus

      Total agreement!!!!

    • girliecue

      Yes! That will always be the quintessential Kate Winslet for me.

    • Adriana_Paula

      …and when she said,”You will not stay away long?” to Brandon.  Sigh.

    • Adriana_Paula

      …and when she said,”You will not stay away long?” to Brandon.  Sigh.

      • schadenfreudelicious

         Colonel Brandon…swoon….

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          OMG- one of my all time favorite adaptations of Jane Austen!  Kate standing in the rain, reciting Shakespeare, sobbing “Willoughby” and she lands the one and only Alan Rickman!!!!

          • schadenfreudelicious

            Alan Rickman literally makes me weak in the knees as Colonel Brandon, almost as much as he did as Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply….i feel a Sense and Sensibility re-watch on Netflix in….:)

  • mountainFashionista

    Oh, I used to adore Kate Winslet, but like you, her serious Oscar bid really diminished her in my eyes.

    It’s always seemed strange to me that more people didn’t comment on the completely trite/predictable/manipulative role that won her said Oscar. 

    Wayne’s World pointed out that illiteracy = Oscar bait in the early ’90s (See also: Tropic Thunder). 
    The Extras episode that you linked to (which came out a couple of years before The Reader) made it explicit that Nazis = Oscar bait. 

    • Sara Munoz

      Right. First she parodied the Oscar grab… then lived it. Irony at its finest.

  • Jessica TallGirl Freeman

    I fully concur.  Except I don’t love that cover shot for the very reason your critique of her new ways of handling fame.  This just isn’t the Kate I fell in love with years ago.  It’s too Posh Spice for my liking.

  • Julie Fountain

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting someone to be themselves, guys, no yelling from my corner.  I miss the old Kate, too!

  • susu11

    No yelling on my end guys, I totally agree. I miss that quirky Kate too. Not to say that I haven’t enjoyed some of her glam, bombshell outings lately, it’s just that she seems so conscious about maintaining an ‘image’ now than she did before.

    I also don’t really love the cover shot. Her eyes look a bit wonky. That dress (or top?) is fab though. 

  • myblackfriendsays

    love me some Kate Winslet. 

  • Jen Alien-Spouse

    I have to agree with you – Personally I’m hoping it’s a phase that she’ll grow out of soon, but it is starting to wear a bit. Do you think this is what it’s like to have a teenage daughter?

  • MilaXX

    Nope, totally agree. I miss the Kate who blasted the mags for Photoshopping her into the very look she now cultivates.

    • Fionnuala Barrett

      An excellent point — she has come a long way from the time when she was calling GQ out on their excessive retouching; it’s nearly ten years ago now that she was saying that “I do not look like that and more importantly I don’t desire to look like that”.  Quite a change.

  • afabulous50

    I like both Kates – but I’m a Gemini.

    • LesYeuxHiboux


    • Sara

       Haha! My son’s a Gemini and this made me lol!

  • Synnamin

    not at all – fully in agreement. I love my badass Kate, who didn’t really give a crust about Hollywood cookie cutter actresses. But she is doing that airbrushed thing that makes her like everyone else.

  • kvlm

    It’s like Sharon Stone and Madonna had a baby.  A baby Winslet.  And I am not a fan.  I miss her normalcy. 

  • sunandmoon24


  • jessicasac


  • Katie Armstrong

    Yes! Exactly. 

  • rissa42210

    She’s probably one of the most breathtaking women I can think of.  There isn’t much to criticize.  BUT, I agree.  I miss the less angular, more authentic (but still impossibly beautiful) Kate.

  • Coleen

    Oh, I agree with you completely. I miss Original Recipe Kate so much.

  • BrooklynBomber

    I don’t think anyone would yell at you for that. I just think that it is no longer possible for leading ladies (in Hollywood) to be anything but thin and goddessy. The women of Meryl Streep’s and Barbara Hershey’s generation could be real, but those days are over. 

    • Adriana_Paula

      And don’t forget that Barbara Hershey did some horrifying things to her lovely face, too.

      • BrooklynBomber

        Oh, I guess you’re right. I was thinking before that, though, when for a few women being in your 40s and looking it didn’t mean no more leading lady roles.

        • another_laura

          Reminds me of a great line that I think a few actresses have repeated: the three phases of a movie actress’s career:  ingenue, district attorney and Driving Miss Daisy.

          • mountainFashionista

             I’m really encouraged by the widespread release (hell, the fact that they even bothered to MAKE) the “Marigold Hotel” movie that’s out this weekend. 

            The script isn’t getting good reviews, but everyone says the actors are all spot on, esp. Dame Judi!  Also starring other beloved favorites Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy…

            Go Team Old Folks!

        • another_laura

          Reminds me of a great line that I think a few actresses have repeated: the three phases of a movie actress’s career:  ingenue, district attorney and Driving Miss Daisy.

    • Adriana_Paula

      And don’t forget that Barbara Hershey did some horrifying things to her lovely face, too.

  • girliecue

    I really hope she reads your post, T Lo. She needs to hear this.

  • Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

    AMEN! Testify, TLo!

  • Alisa Rivera

    Agree with everything you said and I’ll add that I hate her eye makeup in that photo. So there.

    (ESOTSM is also one of my favorite movies ever)

  • Judy_S

    “Real women don’t wear size 38!”

    • sharonimus

      Seriously? Is that what it says under her name in Italian? SO DISAPPOINTING. 

      • susu11

        UGH. That’s awful. I had to put that sentence in Google Translate cause I didn’t want to believe it actually said that. Weight is not a barometer for measuring what makes women real or not.

    • turtleemily

      While I appreciate that Vanity Fair Italia recognizes that not all women in the world are stick thin, as a stick thin person with no curves, I’m getting sick of being constantly referred to as not a “real woman.”

      • susu11

        thank you! I was a very skinny child and developed kind of late. I put on some more weight but I’m still considered pretty thin for my height. I don’t considered myself more or less real as a result. It’s frustrating to see how grown women get reduced to their body type by lady mags.

  • Qitkat

    That video link is a scream.

    Nother vote here for the awesomeness of ESOTSM.

  • Sophie Collier

    All I’m going to say is I don’t like how they did her eyeshadow.  

  • marlie

    I’m with you 100%. The old Kate was someone I could see myself being friends with. 

  • Kate_Zara

    I disagree.  Let her do/say/act/look however she wants.  I think it’s awful to say you liked ‘another version’ of a person better.

  • minnye

    Agree, totally… and that cover rocks.

  • Jessi03

    I miss that Kate, too!

  • judith traherne

    I’d like to see original Kate do “The Postman Always Rings Twice”.

  • Jessica Brams-Miller

    PREACH!  She was such a role model for me growing up — healthy and normal and gorgeous.  Now I look at her and feel bad about myself and my lack of perfect makeup.  *le sigh*

  •!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

    Why should we yell? When you’re right, you’re right.

  • unbornfawn

    I can’t yell out you. I heartily agree.

  • lifetime_student

    No yelling here. I agree 100%.

  • mjude

    agree.  its just not the same any more :(

  • fungstyle

    no arguments from me, i used to love her and now find her quite boring. bring back the quirky kate! 

  • Andrea Rossillon

    two words: Hideous Kinky.

    God, she was beautiful. I don’t even go that way, but I wanted to get her naked so bad.

  • Kallie Markle

    Coming this Fall….Kate Winslet IS “Charlize Theron”. …except we already have a Charlize Theron. Well now. That’s a pickle. 

  • Adriana_Paula

    Hear hear!

  • Adriana_Paula

    Hear hear!

  • Sara

    No yelling here. I agree 100%. She’s gorgeous and getting more so as she ages. But I miss the “realness”of her earlier beauty.

  • Corsetmaker

    Completely agree (and I also loved Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and it’s also the only film I can bear Jim Carrey in).

    Hollywood has got to her. Yes, she’s still ‘her’ in interviews but it’s all too polished. The same thing happened to Kate Beckinsale on a slightly smaller scale. All the quirkiness and approachability disappears. I wish she’d come home for a couple of years, it might bring her back down to earth.

  • Veronica1022

    Yeah-she’s lost a bit of her fun.  I always rate stars and their hold on real life by debating if I would invite them to my house for a bbq (TLo-you guys are totally invited, even if you will mock my mompri’s)  Old Kate would have been making margaritas in the kitchen and refereing the water ballon fight.  New Kate, not so much

  • EEKstl

    OMG YES!! I miss the Old Kate too – I didn’t even realize it until reading your post.  

  • alyce1213

    No yelling at you today.  I miss Old Kate.  She’s barely recognizable on this cover.

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    dreadful sorry, clementine…  :-(

  • amanda lynn


  • Cassie

    I agree with you guys a hundred percent. She’s one of my very favorite actors, but part of what made her so great was her lack of vanity and self-consciousness in her roles. She was so open and vulnerable and incredibly bold, with no fear of getting messy or things getting unpleasant. (See: Little Children, in which she is fucking outstanding.) And that has changed so much more than I’d like. 

    Also, Eternal Sunshine might be my favorite movie of all time.

    • mountainFashionista

       Your post reminded me of her role in Jude.  Did you see that one?  Wow, talk about lack of vanity!

  • LittleKarnak

    No yelling here, I totally agree with everything you said. Bring back Sense and Sensibility Kate!!!!

  • CarolinLA

    Speaking of Mildred Pierce:  I found it abysmal and bad.  When Kate speaks in an American dialect, her characters flatten as well as her speech.  I really love her work – give me the Kate of Sense and Sensibility over the formulaic Oscar bait The Reader.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    I miss the pre-Oscar winning Kate, too. She was more fun.  I don’t begrudge Kate her toned and hot self, I’d just like to see her relax and belch occasionally.

  • Marian Humin

    I totally agree with you both. I’m bored with Kate and she’s been looking a little manly to me.

    • DonnaL

       Kate Winslet?  “Manly”?  What world do you live in?

  • another_laura

    I’m with ya, TLo!

  • Anathema_Device

    No yelling here. I absolutely, totally agree with you on that one. For all her great big-screen work, her role in Extras might just be my favorite.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      Kate was an absolute hoot in Extras…and also prophetic about the Oscars.

  • Lina_bee

    What a weird shot. Head-on portraits nearly always look weird — and this makeup (and photoshop) manages to shift the shape of her face enough so she doesn’t even look like herself. That said, I did like her better when she seemed more ebullient and silly and guileless.  I hope someone offers her an action movie.  I’d like to see her do some action adventure.

  • E_bee

    I’m sorry, but does nobody else think she looks like young Eddie Izzard in this picture?

  • E_bee

    I’m sorry, but does nobody else think she looks like young Eddie Izzard in this picture?

  • Isana Leshchinskaya

    i agree :)

  • quiltrx

    I think that Golden Goddess thing just needs to be in your trick bag…you can pull it out and werq it when you need it, but it should NOT be your everyday schtick.  I love her, period, but it all began with those quirky and ‘raw’ portrayals.

  • Verascity

    I miss Titanic Kate. Come at me, haters.

  • TieDye64

    This is one of the rare occasions I honestly didn’t recognize the person on the cover. Pretty, but generic. You guys really hit the nail on the head and there’s no way I could say it better. Bring back the ruddy-cheeked Kate we all know and love.

  • guest2visits

    So far I just see the pleasure of playing different looks, having others dress her up in ways that most of her roles don’t do.
    And she’s a beautiful woman; as a debutante, a bohemian spirit, a house wife,.. or any number of unglamorous parts she’s played.
    Besides, a woman’s body, temperment, and wants are going to change and evolve… just like everyone’s.  No yelling involved.  


  • slightlybitterkitten

    Nope.  I will not.  Instead, I agree with you, TLo.

  • slightlybitterkitten

    Nope.  I will not.  Instead, I agree with you, TLo.

  • ccm800

    She truly has abandoned all that was special about her as an actress and got in line now with a litany of pedestrian albeit beautiful actresses (for lack of abetter term). She looks to me now like a Sharon Stone impersonator, well now as in for a few years.   

  • RzYoung

    I agree with you TLO,  I stopped buying her ‘i’m just like you’ schtick a long time ago. She’s lost touch.

  • Sara Munoz

    Great clip, TLo! I loved her on “Extras”!

  • Maddie_Faddenoid

    I like the angle the photo’s been taken at. It’s one that would be unflattering on almost anybody in real life.

  • Beardslee

    I couldn’t agree more!  It is nice to see Nicole Kidman apparently happier and more more comfortable in her own skin and is a little distressing to see Kate Winslet, of all people, sandblasting herself as you so eloquently put it.

  • aimee_parrott

    No argument here, I miss the old Kate.  I love Eternal Sunshine and have seen it many more than 30 times :)  The thing that made Clementine such an irresistible character was Kate’s complete surrender to being her, messiness and all. 

  • howdoilook

    <3 <3 <3 Eternal Sunshine! #1 movie for life. 

  • Deborah Lipp

    100% agree about the Kate criticism. Every fucking word.

  • Bob Sponge

    “Come back to us, Kate.”
    I sort of picture this line with the scene in Titanic, where Rose lies on the piece of wood, calling feebly to the rescue boat to come back. I really wish she could come back to us. I loved her in Eternal Sunshine.

  • Vanessak69

    I shall not yell. First, I love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Like love it so much I could burst into tears talking about it (and this is from someone with a cinderblock heart who spits on romantic comedies typically.)

    Secondly, I miss that Kate too. 

    Also, an Extras shoutout too? How much do I love you guys? That was one of their funniest episodes. “I’m fudding myself stupid and I’m bloody loving it.”

  • Ass Kicking Adviser

    Amen! I’m with ya’!

  • Nicole Renee

    I’m with you guys! Eternal Sunshine is a top pick of mine for sure!

  • Call me Bee

    KW is one of my favorites, and she looks ah-maze-zing on this cover.  Love! 

  • How to Faint

    Okay. I’ll yell at you. Here goes: I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU, UNCLES T AND LO. 😀

  • Alloy Jane

    I love ESotSM too.  It’d be nice to have Romance and Cigarettes Kate back, that is the last new movie I saw of hers.  Not sure if that came before or after the Holiday, which I also love.

  • murt

    I wish she’d go back to being a redhead – I always thought she looks horrible as a blonde, especially with the dark eyebrows and roots.

  • PeaceBang

    Yes, yes, yes. I am right there with you and most of the Bitter Kittens on this one. Kate was so special! Who else could have given us that performance in “Heavenly Creatures!?” I loved her, I always got in line for whatever she was doing next, and now I see only Hollywood Goddess. Come back, Kate! 

  • Thombeau

    “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is one of my favorite movies ever. Though I will always love Kate and her Winslets, I quite agree with T.Lo, and yearn of the earthy, edgy woman who starred in “Holy Smoke” and “Hideous Kinky”.

    Everyone acts out of their own personal issues, and the fact that she allows herself to be presented as she has been in recent years speaks volumes about hers. Oh, Kate, you are beautiful without even trying, and that’s why people love you!