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You might expect an Academy Award winner to give their coveted statue pride of place at home. But Kate Winslet certainly had different ideas when she was finally crowned Best Actress in 2009 after five previous Oscar nods. Here’s why you won’t find the much-loved Brit’s biggest accolade sitting pretty on the mantelpiece.

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Winslet first enjoyed awards attention for a role she wasn’t even supposed to be up for. That’s because the actress picked up a BAFTA and nods at the Golden Globes and Oscars for her supporting performance as Marianne Dashwood in period drama Sense and Sensibility. But Winslet had initially auditioned for the smaller part of Lucy Steele, before bosses decided to give her much more screen time.

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You might just have heard of the modest little film that Winslet next earned massive critical acclaim for. Indeed, by reaching the $2 billion mark in ticket sales, James Cameron’s disaster epic Titanic was once the highest-grossing movie in Hollywood history. Winslet picked up her first Best Actress nomination at the Oscars for her portrayal of Rose DeWitt Bukater.

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But Winslet’s first victory at one of the four award ceremonies considered the most prestigious in the entertainment industry came not at the Emmys, Academy Awards or Tonys but at the Grammys. Yes, in 1999 she won the Best Spoken Word Album for Children category for her narration of The Face in the Lake, a short story featured in Listen to the Storyteller. And Winslet’s path to possible EGOT glory – receiving an Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony award – began.

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But it was at the Oscars, BAFTAs and Golden Globes where Winslet’s name continued to crop up. In 2001 she received nominations at all three for her portrayal of Iris Murdoch in the biopic Iris. Winslet played the younger version of the novelist, while Judi Dench, no stranger to the Academy Awards herself, played Murdoch in her later years.

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Winslet then took a leftfield turn in 2004, starring in Michel Gondry’s weird and wonderful Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The actress played Clementine, the free-spirited lost love of Jim Carrey’s shy Joel Barish. And she received a fourth Academy Award nomination for her efforts. in the cult sci-fi romance.

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With four Oscar nominations but zero victories to her name, Winslet was fast becoming known as the nearly woman of Hollywood’s biggest night. But admirably, the actress was able to see the funny side. Indeed, in 2005 she played herself, albeit a highly exaggerated version, in Ricky Gervais’ showbiz satire Extras.

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In the episode, a surprisingly foul-mouthed Winslet admits to taking the part of a nun in a movie about the Holocaust, simply to get her hands on an Academy Award. Ironically, the actress did earn awards attention for her performance in the sitcom. But it was at the Emmys where she was recognized, and specifically in the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series category.

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Winslet then made it five Oscar nominations without a win for her performance in 2007’s Little Children. The star picked up a Best Actress nod for her role as adulterous housewife Sara Pierce in the adaptation of the same-named novel, but once again went home empty-handed. However, she may have taken some solace from the fact that this made her the youngest ever five-time Academy Award nominee.

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The star then broke her own record at the age of 33, when she became the youngest name to pick up six Oscar nominations. Thankfully, this sixth nod gave Winslet the chance to finally make an acceptance speech. In fact, the only real question at the time was which movie would she win Best Actress for?

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Indeed, Winslet had earned huge critical acclaim for her leading performances in both marital drama Revolutionary Road and post-war Germany tale The Reader. In fact, she had won awards for both performances at the Golden Globes, Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama with the former and Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture with the latter. This made Winslet only the third ever double winner at the same Golden Globes ceremony.

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However, it was Winslet’s turn in The Reader that impressed Academy Awards voters the most. The star was nominated in the Best Actress category for her portrayal of Nazi concentration camp guard Hanna Schmitz. And 13 years after her first Oscar nod, her name was finally read out as a winner.

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And Winslet sure had to beat some pretty stiff competition to get her hands on the award. Indeed, she didn’t only thwart Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married), Melissa Leo (Frozen River) and Angelina Jolie (Changeling). She also shut out the ultimate Oscars darling, Meryl Streep for her performance in The Devil Wears Prada.

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Rather refreshingly, Winslet had previously admitted that she desperately wanted an Oscar. She told Vanity Fair in 2008, “Do I want it? You bet your f***ing ass I do! I think that people assume that I don’t care or don’t want it or don’t need it or something. It’s hard to be there five times, and I’m only human, you know?”

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As you’d expect, Winslet was overcome with emotion when she made her acceptance speech. She said, according to The Telegraph, “To the Academy, thank you so much. My God. I’d be lying if I [said I hadn’t] made a version of this speech before. I think I was probably eight years old and staring into the bathroom mirror and this would have been a shampoo bottle.”

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“It’s not a shampoo bottle now,” Winslet then joked. “I feel very fortunate to have made it all the way from there to here and I’d like to thank some of the people along the way who had faith in me.” She then asked her father, sitting in the audience, to whistle to her so she could thank him face-to-face.

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Winslet also paid tribute to her husband and two children during her speech for “letting me do what I love and who love me just the way that I am.” Winslet’s husband at the time was Sam Mendes, the director who had won an Oscar himself back in 2000 for American Beauty. Sadly, the pair divorced in 2011.

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Meanwhile, Winslet went on to thank several names who had played a pivotal role in her career. These included Peter Jackson, who directed her big screen debut, Heavenly Creatures, and Emma Thompson, the writer of Sense and Sensibility. She also paid tribute to talent agents Hylda Queally and Dallas Smith, along with the late publicist Robert Garlock.

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Winslet also referenced her fellow nominees, and the most celebrated one in particular. She joked, “I think we all can’t believe we’re in a category with Meryl Streep at all. I’m sorry, Meryl, but you have to just suck that up! And, just to the Academy, thank you so much, my God! Thank you!”

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However, there was one notable name that Winslet didn’t mention during her long-overdue appearance at the Oscars podium. And that was the man who helped to finance and distribute The Reader, Harvey Weinstein. And in the wake of the disturbing allegations surrounding the movie mogul in 2017, Winslet revealed why she had omitted him from her speech.

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Indeed, Winslet spoke about her snub in a 2017 interview with the Los Angeles Times. She said, “That was deliberate. That was absolutely deliberate. I remember being told. ‘Make sure you thank Harvey if you win.’ And I remember turning around and saying, ‘No, I won’t. No, I won’t.’ And it was nothing to do with not being grateful. If people aren’t well-behaved, why would I thank him?”

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Winslet then described being relieved that her working relationship with the disgraced industry boss was permanently over. She continued, “The fact that I’m never going to have to deal with Harvey Weinstein again as long as I live is one of the best things that’s ever happened. And I’m sure the feeling is universal.”

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“For my whole career, Harvey Weinstein, whenever I’ve bumped into him, he’d grab my arm and say, ‘Don’t forget who gave you your first movie.’ Like I owe him everything,” Winslet continued. “Then later, with The Reader, same thing, ‘I’m gonna get you that Oscar nomination, I’m gonna get you a win, I’m gonna win for you.’”

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Winslet also told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017 that she was upset about Weinstein’s tactics during her Oscar-winning campaign. The star claimed that the movie mogul had deliberately pitted Revolutionary Road, directed by her then partner Sam Mendes, against The Reader to ensure maximum publicity. According to Winslet, the latter was originally only supposed to hit cinemas 12 months later.

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Winslet added, “He was just so horrible to deal with. I was one of the ones he would label ‘difficult’ because I wouldn’t do the things he would ask for me to do on a business-level… These were ridiculous requests… He didn’t like me because I wouldn’t be bullied by him.”

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Of course, The Reader wasn’t the end of Winslet’s awards glory. In 2011 she starred as the titular divorcee in HBO’s five-part Great Depression drama Mildred Pierce. Winslet later picked up her first Primetime Emmy Award for her performance in the Outstanding Lead Actress category. This meant Winslet was just one Tony Award away from becoming an EGOT.

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In 2014 Winslet got a nomination at the Golden Globes for the tenth time in her career. Indeed, although Labor Day was largely slated by the press, Winslet’s leading performance certainly wasn’t. Two years later she picked up her seventh Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Steve Jobs’ marketing chief Joanna Hoffman in the biopic of the tech genius. She also won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for the same role.

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And it was while promoting Steve Jobs that Winslet made a surprising confession about her Academy Award. Indeed, whereas for most winners no doubt their statue takes pride of place on the mantelpiece or in a cabinet display, Winslet decided to show off hers in slightly less glamorous surroundings. Yes, the star keeps her Best Actress Oscar in the bathroom.

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Winslet told the Wall Street Journal in 2015 that there was method to her madness. She said, “The whole point is for everybody to pick it up and go, ‘I’d like to thank my son and my dad.’ And you can always tell when someone has, because they’re in there a little bit longer after they flushed.”

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Winslet then admitted that she takes pleasure from finding out her guests have used her unusual choice of bathroom ornament in the way that she intended. She said, “They’ll come out looking slightly pink-cheeked. It’s hysterical.” And her Wall Street Journal interview isn’t the only time she’s talked about the issue.

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Indeed, later that same year Winslet appeared alongside Steve Jobs co-star Michael Fassbender on BBC’s The Graham Norton Show. There she once again discussed her Oscar’s unorthodox location. The actress told the host, “Everyone wants to have a hold, of course, and wants to stand up and go, ‘I’d like to thank my primary school teachers and my mom and dad.’”

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Winslet continued, “So the best place, really, for [the] Oscar is actually the loo. Because then when everyone goes in for a wee or a poo, they can really take their time in front of the mirror with Oscar. And you can always tell, because they flush and there’s another five minutes.”

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And the much-loved British actress also talked about the moment that she heard her name read out as the winner at the Oscars ceremony itself. Winslet told Norton, “When I did win, it was a really fantastic moment. It was a personal, fist-pumping moment. The biggest of my whole life.”

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In fact, Winslet couldn’t stop talking about the Oscar in her bathroom during the promotional trail for Steve Jobs. She also brought up the subject while appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers. She told the host, “Most people I know have made a version of a fantasy acceptance speech whether it’s with a hairspray, a Barbie doll, shampoo bottle, so there’s nothing like the real thing.”

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Winslet then referred to the red-faced look visitors to her home have on leaving the bathroom. Host Meyers then suggested how the star could give guests the full Oscar experience. He came up with the idea of installing a button which after two minutes plays music to soundtrack their exit.

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Meanwhile, Winslet continued to rack up the screen credits following all the Oscar bathroom talk. She appeared as Myrtle ‘Tilly’ Dunnage in period piece The Dressmaker, Irina Vaslov in action thriller Triple 9 and Claire Wilson in the ensemble drama Collateral Beauty. She then narrated short film The Lost Letter.

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In 2017 Winslet starred alongside fellow British actor Idris Elba in the adaptation of same-named novel The Mountain Between Us. She also appeared as Ginny in Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel. A year later she voiced Madame Mumblechook in the English dubbing of anime Mary and the Witch’s Flower. But, sadly, she failed to add to her awards haul with any of these performances.

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Winslet then signed up for several projects which had better awards potential. She was cast alongside Mia Wakowski and Susan Sarandon in a Hollywood remake of Danish drama Silent Heart. She then worked with critical darling Wes Anderson on the star-studded The French Dispatch. And HBO then announced that she would take the leading detective role in miniseries Mare of Easttown.

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But Winslet also ensured that she had several other box office hits in the bag, too. She even learned how to freedive and hold her breath for seven minutes underwater while filming eagerly awaited sequel Avatar 2. And she lent her British tones to the big screen adaptation of children’s series The Moomins.

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Winslet’s other accolades include an Honorary Cesar Award, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Modern Master Award and an SAG-AFTRA Actors Inspiration Award. She’s also been recognized by the American Library Association, Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Golden Hat Foundation. And in 2012 she was made a CBE for her services to the acting profession. However, it’s not known whether she keeps these accolades in her bathroom, too.

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