At long last, Kate Winslet has done a 180 on supporting Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. In the past, Kate’s response to working with Woody and Roman ranged from vague statements about, “regrets” with unnamed individuals to saying, “Errr…next question.” That’s all in the past. 2020 Kate Winslet has burned both of those bridges and isn’t going back.
Kate worked with Woody Allen on 2017’s Wonder Wheel and Roman Polanski on 2011’s Carnage. The allegations against both Woody and Roman have been around for what feels like forever, and I’m pretty sure that at this point, you’d be hard-pressed to find a person who isn’t familiar with their reputations. There are dust mites that hatched six seconds ago that probably already know Roman Polanski is a rapist. Kate sort of acknowledged she fully knew about Dylan Farrow’s longstanding allegations against Woody, when she signed on to do Wonder Wheel. And at one point in time (right smack-dab in the middle of the #MeToo reckoning mind you), Kate was singing Woody’s praises as a director (something Dylan personally called her out for).
She wasn’t as vocal about Roman Polanski. Kate didn’t sign the pro-Roman letter from back in the day like so many other actors did. Which is kind of wild, considering how quick and loud she was at publicly dragging Harvey Weinstein.
The closest we got to hearing Kate admit she maybe shouldn’t have taken those jobs was at the London Critic’s Circle Awards in January 2018, when she said:
“I realized that I wouldn’t be able to stand here this evening and keep to myself some bitter regrets that I have about poor decisions to work with individuals with whom I wish I had not.”
She’s now naming names. Vanity Fair spoke to Kate about her upcoming movie, Ammonite. Kate was asked if the #MeToo movement played any part in how she portrayed her character’s relationship arc in Ammonite (as in, if she approached it differently than how she might approach a hetero on-screen pairing). Kate said the film made her want to “honor” how women want to be portrayed on film more in a post-#MeToo world. Which led her to admit she wants to do better when it comes to the type of people she works with.
“Life is fucking short and I’d like to do my best when it comes to setting a decent example to younger women. We’re handing them a pretty fucked up world, so I’d like to do my bit in having some proper integrity.
It’s like, what the fuck was I doing working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski? It’s unbelievable to me now how those men were held in such high regard, so widely in the film industry and for as long as they were. It’s fucking disgraceful. And I have to take responsibility for the fact that I worked with them both. I can’t turn back the clock. I’m grappling with those regrets but what do we have if we aren’t able to just be fucking truthful about all of it?”
It is disgraceful how celebrated they have been! I recall a very famous actor once described Woody Allen’s script for the 31% rotten Wonder Wheel as, “completely brilliant.” Rats, if I could only remember who said it.
Kate’s acknowledgment is a “better late than never” situation, so congratulations to her for finally admitting the obvious. Although asking what the fuck she was doing working with them is a bit redundant. She obviously did it because she was getting paid and she thought the work was good and was maybe secretly hoping she wasn’t going to get thrown too many side-eyes for her choice. But it’s good she finally got around to it. Sure, it happened long after less-important public apologies, like admitting she was wrong for hogging the whole door from Jack, but sometimes your a-ha moment takes a while.