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Kate Winslet

  1. Imogen Stubbs, Sense and Sensibility, 1995.    Auditioned and lost Jane Austen's Lucy Steele...  Instead, Kate became Marianne Dashwood, earning a bucketful of awards and an Oscar nomination.She finally picked up an Oscar in 2009 for The Reader, 2008.
  2. Helena Bonham Carter, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, 1994.     The star and director Kenneth Branagh met his future Ophelia when she auditioned for Elizabeth at 18. He “felt in the presence of a star” (he also felt she was 30!).“  She’s just bloody good at what she does.” Strangely enough, however, the part went to his current lover.
  3. Claire Danes, Romeo + Juliet, 1997.       Very nearly won Juliet, despite being 22.
  4. Robin Tunney, Niagara, Niagara, 1997.   Both Kate and Jennifer Lewis refused Marcy, theTourette's syndromevictim befriended by Henry (ET) Thomas.
  5. Winona Ryder, Celebrity, 1997.     When Drew Barrymore fell out to make her (favourite movie) Ever After: A Cinderella Story, Winlset was up for Nola, before Woody Allen chose Ryder for the actress surviving as a waitress. Kate’s Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio was already in the film.
  6. Minnie Driver, Good Will Hunting, 1997.     Kate was among five nearly-Skylars from the UK: Gabrielle Anwar, Helena Bonham Carter, Julia Ormond. On the 1998 Oscarnight, when Minnie Driver’s name was translated, on French TV asbeaucoup de chauffeurs - Kate was nominated for the little number she had preferred to make. Titanic.
  7. Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare In Love, 1998.     For her first post-Titanic ride, Kate preferred Hideous Kinky- which is how she met herfirst husband (1998-2001), assistant director, James Theapleton. Kate sold her London house to Gwyneth.
  8. Jodie Foster, Anna The King, 1999.    Preferred pissing down her legs for Australian director Jane Campion in Holy Smoke. “I absolutely believe in exposing myself.  There's not an awful lot that embarrasses me.”
  9. Robin Tunney, End of Days, 1999.      Aw c’mon! Last place you’d expect to find our Kate- as Satan’s intended bridein an Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner...
  10. Kelly Rutherford, Scream 3, 2000.     ...or in a Wes Craven horror.

  11. Diane Lane, Unfaithful, 2001. For his passionate US update of Madame Bovary, UK director Adrian Lyne had six potential husbands, three lovers… And as many as 15 cheating wives: Lane, Winslet, Josie Davis, Kristin Davis, Portia de Rossi, Jodie Foster, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jennifer Lopez, Alyssa Milano, Meg Ryan, Kyra Sedgwick, Brooke Shields, Tori Spelling, Hilary Swank.
  12. Renée Zelleger, Bridget Jones' Diary, 2001.      The absolutely perfect #1 Bridget was plump indeed. Pregnant with daughter Mia.
  13. Miranda Otto,The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 2001-2003.
  14. Renée Zellweger, Chicago, 2001
  15. Samantha Morton, In America, 2003.     Irish film-maker Jim Sheridan’s right footed casting was Kate and Ewan McGregor as his Irish immigrants in New York. Things change...
  16. Emmy Rossum, The Phantom of the Opera, 2003.     Divorce!  Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1990 plan for Joel Schumacher directing the original West End stars blew up when the composer divorced Sarah Brightman and the returns for Evita were non-ecstatic. Winslet, Charlotte Church, Anne Hathaway, Katie Holmes, Keira Knightley and Catherine Zeta-Jones were also short-listed listed for Christine Daaé.
  17. Claire Danes, Stage Beauty, 2004.        A fascinating treatise on stage acting, old and new, from UK stage-screen director Richard Eyre. Danes was quite brilliant,matched by Billy Crudup as her mentor. Indeed, they have never been better.
  18. Scarlett Johansson, Match Point, 2004.    Sadly, her time was already committed to promoting Neverland and the new film of her second husband, the British stage-screen director Sam Mendes - and she wanted to be with her young family. (Daughter Mia now had a brother, Joe Alfie Winslet Mendes). Woody Allen was so impressed with Scarlett, he immediately (re)wrote his next film for her.Scoop.
  19. Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener, 2005.    Brazilian helmer Fernando Meirelles tossed out Nicole Kidman - too old. Kate was younger but busy Finding Neverland at her then highest salary: $6m. Weisz was older - and won an Oscar!(Kate is the youngest actress to have won four nominations).
  20. Naomi Watts, King Kong, 2005.     Back in 1998, New Zealand movie god Peter Jackson had first planned his Ann Darrow to be Kate (who debuted in his Heavenly Creatures, 1994) when Naomi was still, basically, unknown.

  21. Tilda Swinton, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 2005.     Auditioned for The White Witch but  Tilda nailed it.
  22. Paris Hilton, House of Wax, 2005.   Paris Hilton instead of Kate...!!!  But then, both Kate and Jennifer Connelly also  turned down the remake of the 1953 horror classic. With good reason. Hilton, of course, didn’t know any better.
  23. Vera Farmiga, The Departed, 2006. Kate, Jennifer Aniston, Emily Blunt or double-Oscar--winner Hilary Swank..? Director Martin Scorsese  (finally headed  for his long overdue Oscar!) wanted a star  before feeling an unknown Madolyn would work better.  And  be cheaper in an already star-stuffed budget: Matt Damon, Leonardo  DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg. And a producer called Brad Pitt! 
  24. Helena Bonham Carter, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 2006.     Nicole Kidman, Bernadette Peters and great Brits Winslet and Imelda Staunton were seen for Mrs Lovett, selling the worst meat pies in olde London (until Todd came around). They all lacked one essential. They were not the director Tim Burton’s lady! And pregnant to underline it.
  25. Anne Hathaway, Becoming Jane, 2006.   Too old - like Keira Knightley, Natalie Portman- for the pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman.
  26. Emily Blunt, Gnomeo and Juliet, 2008.    Due to scheduling conflicts in 2006, Kate had to give up voicing Juliet - to Jamws McAvoy's Gnomeo - in Sir Elton John’s animated Shakespeare. With garden gnomes.
  27. Alex Kingston, Doctor Who #195: Silence in the Library & Forest of the Dead,TV, 2008.       Two episodes after The Doctor’s Daughter, we met the Doctor’s wife… “Sort of,” said producer Russell T Davies.He aimed (high) for Kate. He knew her -Kate’s second TV job was in his 1991 BBC script Dark Season. Now she was too busy winning Oscars and Baftas. Hence, the archaeologist Professor River Song became Alex Kingston.  “I bloody love her!” declared Davies. So much so, he brought her back, still opposite Doc10 David Tennant, for a dozen more adventures until #230: The Angels Take Manhattan, which proved to be the entire Season 23 in 2012.
  28. Cate Blanchett, Robin Hood, 2009.     As directors changed from Sam Raimi to Bryan Singer to Jon Turtletaub, there was a moment when the Nottingham reboot has Kate as Maid Marian. However, Sir Ridley Scott selected Cate - well, her Robin was Russell Crowe. Sherwood with a strine!
  29. Marion Cotillard, Inception, 2009.    UK director Christopher Nolan’s plan totried reunite the Titanic’s Kate and Leonardo DiCaprio was thwarted by Kateapologising: she just couldn’t see herself as Mal, within the architecture of the mind.
  30. Kelly Macdonald, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, 2010.    Agents..! Katenever saw the offer to play Helena Ravcenclaw inthe eighth and last trip to planet Potter. Her agent threw it out, assuming Kate wouldn’t want to follow the rush of top Brits. Into the franchise. But they had little choice. From the way JK Rowling wrote, she almost created her adults for... Kenneth Branagh, Helena Bonham Carter, John Cleese, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Francs de la Tour, Ralph Fiennes, Ian Hart, John Hurt, Rhys Ifans, Jeremy Isaacs, Peter Mullan, Billy Nighy, Gary Oldman, Miranda Richardson, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall, Imelda Staunton, David Thewlis, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters.

  31. Emily Bluint, Gnomeo & Juliet, 2010.     Ewan McGregor was nearly Gnomeo in this first toon from Elton John’s Rocket Pictures… opposite Winslet’s nearly Juliet in this first toon from Elton John’s Rocket Pictures. The two garden gnomes lived in the properties of the Montagues and Capulets.
  32. Marion Cotillard, The Dark Knight Rises, 2011.
  33. Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables, 2012.    Kate was among the potential Fantines - Amy Adams, Jessica Biel, Emily Blunt, Marion Cotillard, Rebecca Hall - until Hathaway’s auditon left everyone in tears.  And the Oscar goes to...
  34. Mireille Enos, The Gangster Squad, 2012.     Kate (and Amy Adams) were high in the frame for Connie O’Mara - until Mireille hit TV with the US version of The Killing.
  35. Elizabeth Olsen, In Secret, 2012.       Actor and stage director Charlie Stratton spent years - “decades” - preparing his film directing debut  (after shorts and TV work), his version of Emile Zola’s 1867 classic, Thérèse Raquin.  Kate was set for the lead for a long time, until she could wait no more.  Jessica Biel was next in line. When she also left in 2011, Olsen, younger sister of the once infamous Olsen TV twins, became Tom Felton’s wife and Oscar Isaac’s lover. 
  36. Rebecca Hall, Transcendence, 2013.     Christopher Nolan’s usual cinematographer Wally Pfister  was spoilt for choice of stars eager for his directing debut. Winslet and Emily Blunt  were keen on Evelyn,  plus both girls with the dragon tattoo: Rooney Mara and Noomi Rapace.  Result: Another gigantic flop for Johnny Depp!
  37. Meryl Streep, Into The Woods, 2013.  
  38. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite, 2017.   After the series about Queens Victoria and Elizabeth II, royal drama reverted to the 18th Century court of Queen Anne for Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos‘ second film wigth OIivia Colman and Weisz - as Anne and her confidante, adviser, lover - Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough - in what was pitched as “a bawdy, acerbic tale of royal intrigue, passion, envy and betrayal.”
  39. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite,2017.   Winslet was first choice for (not the) Sarah Churchill  before Weisz took on her second film by  Yorgos Lanthimos She was  the confidant of the 18th Century Queen Anne - Olivia Colman, also with Weisz in the Greek director’s dystopian dating satire,The Lobster.


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