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Kate Winslet Overcame Drama Teacher’s Advice to “Settle for the Fat Girl Parts”

February 27, 2016

Good thing Kate Winslet didn’t listen to her drama teacher as a teenager. The instructor told her that if she continued to be overweight, she was likely to only get roles for “cute, fat best friend role or the ugly sister parts,” she recently revealed to People. Instead of absorbing the criticism and allowing it to shape her expectations, Kate thought, “Oh, you’re so wrong!” and used the drama teacher’s words to motivate her.

Furthermore, Winslet shared with the mag that there were times she considered giving up on her acting aspirations altogether. “I was always the kid at the end of the line because my name began with W, and I always had big feet, and I was always wearing the wrong thing. I remember having a moment where I thought to myself, ‘This is so stupid. This is just a waste of my train fare getting myself into London for auditions.'” But then her inner convictions would chime in: “You’ve just got to keep going for it.”

In this video, Winslet continues to refer to her ever-so-memorable drama teacher from her teens. Just after winning her third BAFTA award for her performance as Apple executive Joanna Hoffman in Steve Jobs, Kate dedicated the moment to “all those young women who doubt themselves.” Speaking before cameras backstage, she gave the following inspiring advice:

“When I was only 14, I was told by a drama teacher that I might do okay if I was happy to settle for the fat girl parts. Look at me now! Look at me now! And so what I feel like saying in those moments is to any young woman who has ever been put down by a teacher, or a friend, or even a parent–just don’t listen to any of it because that’s what I did. I didn’t listen, and I kept on going, and I overcame all of my fears and I got over a lot of insecurity. And just keep doing it. And keep believing in yourself.”

Kate urged young women to stop doubting themselves, saying, “…You shouldn’t be doubting; you should be going for it.”

Has anyone ever discouraged you in your acting aspirations, and you too knew they were “so wrong”? Please share.

Jack Black Thanks the Teacher Who Inspired His Acting Career

March 8, 2015

When you think of Jack Black, what do you immediately think of? His enormous zeal for life? Are you awestruck that he’s one of the few who found a way to succeed as an adult by basically always remaining a kid? Yes, he is a Golden Globe-nominated actor, a producer, comedian, and singer; but, he’s also a poster child for the word passion, and weaves it into all he does in his career.

But things weren’t always looking so great for Jack. His parents had divorced when he was ten, and his dog died of parvovirus soon afterwards. During his middle school years he was enrolled in an alternative school specifically designed for struggling students who were falling into destructive life habits. Indeed, when he entered into Debbie Devine’s drama class, he appeared to be somewhat of a misanthrope. But much to her surprise, he kept returning to her class for inspiration and a blossoming appreciation for drama and improv. Devine’s zest for the material revived Black’s spirits, and ultimately profoundly transformed the direction of his life.

“I came to you at a very dark time in my youth…and I came to your class and I was inspired. It was the first time that I had actually enjoyed going to school and learning,” Jack told his beloved teacher. He says he remembers feeling “intense joy” while in her drama class.

At the age of 13, Black acted in a TV commercial for the video game Pitfall!. Then his acting career kicked off with roles in primetime TV shows like The X-Files, and Northern Exposure. From there, he landed small roles in films including The Cable Guy, and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. His breakout performance was playing a wild record store employee in High Fidelity. Soon afterwards he landed leading parts in films like Shallow Hal, School of Rock, and Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.

Every actor has a unique story about what or whom ignited their passion for the craft of acting. Did you have an extraordinary teacher that turned you onto the endless possibilities of acting? Please share!