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.  Also in the mix were:  Charisma Carpenter, Jennifer Connelly, Shannen Doherty, Kate Hudson, Alyssa Milano, Denise Richards, Keri Russell, Rachel True and Liv Tyler.

  11. Nicole Kidman, Moulin Rouge!, 1999.   “Ah,” said Courtney Love.  “The one that got away,… which I am still not completely over.”  Particularly after director Baz Luhrmnann told her she was “a great representation of tragedy.”  Then again, Baz got what he wanted. – permissions to use to use Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit in the opening. Love agreed, although rarely allowing movie use of her late husband Kurt Cobain’s music. Nicole’s other rivals for Satine had been Drew Barrymore, Sophie Ellis-Baxter, Natalie Mendoza, Sharleen Spiten Hilary Swank,  Kate Winslet, Renee Zellweger, and – opposite Heath Ledger – Catherine Zeta-Jones.“They didn’t have to be big singers,”  Baz explained,  “but they had to be able to move you emotionally. Basically, Ewan [McGregor] and Nicole were the best for the job. That’s the bottom line of it.”  

  12. Lucy Liu, Charlie’s Angels, 2000.  Tele-tycoon Aaron Spelling decided to put Aaron’s angels on the big screen  (to help generate a new series on the small). His first new  trio: MTV discovery Jenny McCarthy, ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and 007’s Hong Kong martial arts superstar. Then, Drew Barrymore showed him how to do it. with the  third  of her numerous (canny) productions. Just look at the 25 girls she shuffled to find the right  angel Alex Munday: Aaliyah (“too young”), Jennifer Aniston, Asia Argento, Halle Berry, Lara Flynn Boyle, Helena Bonham Carter, Penélope Cruz, Kristin Davis, Jodie Foster, Angie Harmon (stuck on Law & Order),  Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nia Long, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tiffani Thiessen, Uma Thurman, Liv Tyler, Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, Robin Wright, Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones… And two singers: Lauryn Hill and another  Spice Girl: Victoria Beckham.

  13.  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.
  14. Renée Zelleger, Bridget Jones’ Diary, 2001.      The absolutely perfect #1 Bridget was plump indeed. Pregnant with daughter Mia.
  15. Miranda Otto,The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 2001-2003
  16. Renée Zellweger, Chicago, 2001
  17. 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…
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.

  21. 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).
  22. 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.
  23. Tilda Swinton, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 2005.     Auditioned for The White Witch but  Tilda nailed it.  Also in the cauldron:  Nicole Kidman and  Michelle Pfeiffer.
  24. 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.
  25. 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!  
  26. 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.
  27. Anne Hathaway, Becoming Jane, 2006.  Despite their differing ages, Hathaway, 24, Knightley, 21, Natalie Portman, 25 and Kate Winslet, 31, were up for the 20-year-old  heroine of the (mainly fictional) biopic based upon Jane Austen’s…  letters! James McAvoy was her penniless Irish lover and  obvious model for her future creation, Mr Darcy.
  28. 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.
  29. Cate Blanchett, Robin Hood, 2009.    Well, Robin was an Aussie, too – Russell Crowe. Sienna Miller won the maid, er widow Marion (sic)  from several candidates: AScarlett, Emily Blunt, Zooey Deschanel, Scarlett Johnansson, Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, Saoirse Ronan. Then, Sienna dropped out and a whole new search began… among Blanchett, Rachel Weisz and Kate Winslet.  Director Ridley Scott said the only good Sherwood movie was made by … Mel Brooks!
  30. 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.

  31. 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.
  32. Emily Blunt, Gnomeo and Juliet,2008.   When first announced, Ewan McGregor  and Kate Winslet were set for the titular couple. But they finally became James McAvoy and Emily Blunt in this this red vbvlue garden gnomes’ take on Shakespeare  (voiced by Patrick Stewart)  with, of course, producer Elton John’s songbok – Benny and the Jets, Rocketman, Your Song, et al. Bard jokes included  houses numbered 2B and Not 2B and  the Rosencrantz  & Guildenstern moving company.
  33. Marion Cotillard, The Dark Knight Rises, 2011.

  34. Mireille Enos, The Gangster Squad, 2011.     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. 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…

  36. 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. Back in the 90s, it had been due for Nathasha Richardson and her husband, Liam Neeson.
  37. 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!
  38. Meryl Streep, Into The Woods, 2013.  
  39. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite, 2017.   Busier than Springtime, Winslet had to give up her half of the title, Lady Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough – Emma Stone was Queen Anne’s other lover in an All About Eve, circa 1708.   No surprise that Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos made Weisz a lady – she’d co-starred with his Queen,  Oscar-winning Olivia Colman,  in his dystopian dating satire, The Lobster, 2014. 
  40. Rachel Weisz, The Mercy,  2017.    Kate & Rachel, Part Two. (Three, actually;  check out #20).  Winslet won another  sea drama as the wife of amateur sailor  attempting a solo  circumnavigation of the world. When she had to withdraw, Rachel  wed  fellow Oscar-winner Colin Firth…as Donald Crowhurst.
  41. Lily James,The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, 2017.  Has to be British with a title like that…  Candidates for the Juliet Ashton inlcuded Michelle Dockery and Rebecca Ferguson – and Kate Winslet when Kenneth Branagh was due to direct. Kate was replaced by Rosamund Pike, who quit during more production delays.  As well as Lily James,  director Mike Newell used other  actoers – and one location – from Downton Abbey.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  41