OSCAR-WINNING actress Kate Winslet has admitted she felt nervous playing the role of Lyme Regis’ famous fossil hunter Mary Anning for upcoming movie ‘Ammonite’.
In a virtual interview, along with co-star Saoirse Ronan and director Francis Lee, which was recently screened at the Toronto Film Festival, Winslet said she tried to get into the everyday routine of the 19th century palaeontologist to help her play the role.
Speaking during the interview about her admiration for Mary Anning, Winslet said: “The thing I admire most about her is that she’s entirely authentic to her true self. Women of that time really had no purpose at all; they were meant to get married to a man in order to have a life and livelihood.
“Mary had absolutely nothing and and yet she didn’t marry a man in order to lift herself out of poverty, she continued to do the thing she loved and believed in and there was something so enormously gratifying and challenging about that.”
Kate said she spent a month working with palaeontologist in Lyme Regis and “became as obsessed about scouring the sand and stones as Mary was”. She also received art training as Mary drew all her finds and voice training to perfect the Dorset accent.
In the interview she added that she deliberately kept herself separate from the rest of the cast and crew, staying outside of Lyme Regis where everyone else was living.
“I’d go home, I’d make soup, I’d sit, write, work on scenes for the next day, go to bed, get up and do the same thing,” she commented.
“I tried to adopt the anchoring routine Mary had to her day to day existence. It helped me stay rooted in her and helped me feel less anxious because I was quite nervous playing the part.”
The much-anticipated ‘Ammonite’ will be released on November 13 but film buffs were given a preview at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival where it was met with rave reviews.
Winslet plays the working class palaeontologist Mary Anning and Ronan plays geologist Charlotte Murchison, a privileged young woman sent to convalesce by the sea by her husband.
Directed by Francis Lee, best known for his acclaimed debut ‘God’s Own Country’, the movie will explore the themes of class and same sex relationships with the two women developing an intense bond.
Watch the full interview below…