Kate Winslet's role in 'Labor Day' sees her as Adele, a single mother whose life is turned upside down when Frank (Josh Brolin), a desperate man on the run from jail, encounters her son in a local market and grabs his chance to take cover in their house. What unfolds is a complex but moving exploration of comradeship and even love in the most surprising of circumstances. Below, Kate Winslet talks about her role...
Q: Did you read the “Labor Day” book or the screenplay first?
WINSLET: I didn’t read the book first. I didn’t want to. I like the element of not knowing. It’s a very emotional story, a very real story. And in reality we don’t always get the answers we want. I think that’s what makes this story so relatable to the audience.
Q: How did you approach your character for this movie?
WINSLET: I wanted to play her very honest. I knew there was a lot of tension and fear, especially how Adele and Henry feel at the beginning. So, I didn’t think it was right to add to that tension. I wanted to find a balance, and honesty always helps to balance things out.
Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin star in 'Labor Day' - an unlikely love story
Q: The scene in the grocery store, when she meets Frank for the first time was pretty scary. What would you do if you saw a stranger talking to your son?
WINSLET: It’s a question all mothers can relate to. What would any woman do? There is a strange man standing by her son. A man that is injured and looks threatening. I can tell you this much: I would not scream and run away.
Q: It’s interesting to see you playing the part of a fragile woman like Adele. You never strike us a fragile woman. Was it a big challenge?
WINSLET: It was a great challenge for me. She seems to be fragile on the surface, but there is a strength underneath that is very beautiful. It’s the strength of a mother. I could definitely relate to that.
Adele meets Frank (Josh Brolin) in unfavourable circumstances in 'Labor Day'
Q: How would you describe Adele?
WINSLET: As I said, she’s got an inner strength that I really admire. She has a big heart and a great capacity to love and to be passionate. There is a lot to play with here. She might have forgotten what passion feels like, but it’s still there, buried under sorrow and fear. She’s a great, complex character.
Q: When you play a single mother, does it change your perspective on motherhood?
WINSLET: Look, I have the deepest admiration for mothers everywhere. It’s a tough, tough job. Same goes for fathers by the way. Motherhood will transform your life. Your children are the number one priority in your life.
'Fragile, but with a burning passion underneath'
Q: Your son in this film is a little older than your own children. Did it make it easier or more difficult to have a kid in this film that is older than your own children?
WINSLET: First of, let me tell you that Gattlin was incredible. My daughter is 12 and my son is 9 years old. Gattlin gave me a great insight of how you develop a friendship with your kids, as they are growing older. Gattlin is a very mature young man, and he really is incredible in this film. He brings a certain sensibility and strength to his character that makes him very believable.
Q: This movie is homage to the old-fashioned romantic drama. Do you agree?
WINSLET: Yes, I do. I love the ending of this film. It felt so unexpected. Who doesn’t love to be surprised? Can a relationship blossom in such a short amount of time? – I think so. I don’t think time matters that much. It’s what you feel, what is in your heart that matters most.
Q: How do you pick your projects these days?
WINSLET: I like being busy. I do believe I am a little bit of a workaholic. I have trouble just relaxing for a while. I did a love story after this. It’s taking place during Louie XIVs’ reign right before he is moving into Versailles. The movie is called “A Little Chaos”. I hadn’t played an English person for a while, and I really enjoyed it. And I am part of “Divergent” where I play a very evil person. That was a lot of fun for me as well.
'Labor Day' is out on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD now. Watch the trailer below...