Kate Winslet's Passion Project
Connecting with Moms
You and Margret seem to have a deep bond. Do you think there's a universal connection all moms have?
What connects us as mothers? It's true, when I met Margret there was this Moms on a Mission feeling between us [Winslet also has an 8-year-old son, Joe]. Like Margret, I am not a pushy mother in the day-to-day sense, but I would stop at nothing to do whatever I needed to do for the sake of my child. For me, motherhood is not about signing the check to get your kids into the best school; it's about giving them the freedom to be who they are.
Have you ever worked with disabled children before?
Yes, I was a spare pair of hands at a summer camp for disabled children when I was a teenager and there were kids there of varying disabilities. There was this beautiful tall young man there who was 20 or 21. I won't say he was treated unfairly, but because he didn't speak, moved slowly, and had significant sensory issues, nobody knew how to handle him. So it was a case of just managing his day. But there were moments when I would look him in the eye, and he would look at me, and I knew there was somebody in there. And I never forgot that experience. In retrospect, he was probably autistic.
How did the idea for the self-portraits in the hat come about?
I thought about the need to connect the nonverbal world with the world of people who'd done well for themselves through their ability to communicate. So one night I was brushing my teeth and I came up with this idea -- I would get this hat I had to all these people in the public eye and have them take a self-portrait wearing the hat. But I'm not the chick who's friends with famous people. I'm friends with mums on the playground. So then I thought, sh--, how am I going to do this?