Kate Winslet in Mare Of Easttown

Kate Winslet’s best roles, from Mare Of Easttown to Heavenly Creatures

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Can’t get enough of Kate Winslet after watching her in Sky Atlantic’s Mare Of Easttown? Take your pick from this list of the actor’s best roles so far.

If you’re yet to see Kate Winslet take to the screen as the indomitable Mare Sheehan in Sky Atlantic’s new crime drama Mare Of Easttown, it’s about time you got around to it.

From her convincing ‘Delco’ accent (short for Delaware County in Pennsylvania, where the show is set), to her no-nonsense persona and authentic on-screen relationship with her mother (played by the similarly incredible Jean Smart), Winslet’s return to TV after 10 long years has, unsurprisingly, gone down a treat.

You see, while Mare Of Easttown marks new territory for the actor – she’s mainly stuck to film roles throughout her career – it’s a well-known fact that, as Stylist’s Kayleigh Dray aptly put it, “everything Kate Winslet touches turns to gold”.  

There’s a reason why she’s won and been nominated for so many big awards over the course of her career – whether she’s playing a frustrated 1950s housewife or a bigshot marketing executive, Winslet brings her all to every role.

So, to mark the final episode of Mare Of Easttown this week, we’ve taken the opportunity to look back at some of the iconic characters and performances from throughout Winslet’s career. Let’s dive straight in.

  • Juliet Hulme in Heavenly Creatures (1994)

    Way back at the beginning of her career Winslet starred as Juliet Hulme in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures, which tells the true story of the 1954 Parker-Hulme murder case in Christchurch, New Zealand.

    While the film is known for its impressive use of visual effects to create the imagined world Juliet and her friend Pauline (played by Melanie Lynskey) make up together, Winslet’s performance (in her first full-length feature film, no less) is also stand-out.

    Heavenly Creatures is available to rent or buy on Google Play

  • Marianne Dashwood in Sense And Sensibility (1995)

    Whether or not you’re a big fan of Jane Austen, it’s hard not to fall in love with Winslet’s performance as Marianne alongside Emma Thompson as her older sister, Elinor.

    The film, which also stars Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant as Colonel Brandon and Edward Ferrars respectively, saw Winslet win her first Bafta for Best Film Actress in a Supporting Role. She was also nominated for her first Academy Award for the performance, too.

    Sense And Sensibility is available to rent or buy on Amazon

  • Ophelia in Hamlet (1996)

    Kate Winslet as Ophelia in Hamlet (1996).
    Kate Winslet as Ophelia in Hamlet.

    Sense And Sensibility wasn’t the only literary adaptation Winslet took on in her early career; in 1996, she appeared in an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet as Ophelia alongside Kenneth Branagh, who also adapted and directed the film.

    It may not be her most notable performance, but it’s still a good’un. However, if you want to see Winslet in action, be prepared for a big commitment – the film constitutes the first unabridged theatrical film version of the play, and as such runs for a rather impressive four hours.  

    Hamlet is available to rent or buy on Amazon

  • Rose DeWitt Bukater in Titanic (1997)

    Undeniably one of her most, if not the most, defining role of Winslet’s career saw her star as 17-year-old socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater opposite Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson in James Cameron’s Titanic.

    The debate about whether or not Jack could have squeezed onto that door aside (*cough* he could have made it *cough*), Titanic is a simultaneously beautiful and haunting film made all the better thanks to Winslet’s Oscar-nominated performance.  

    Titanic is available to stream on NOW

  • Young Iris Murdoch in Iris (2001)

    Winslet received yet another Oscar nomination for her performance as the famous British writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch in this film based on her life.

    She shared the role with Dame Judi Dench, playing Iris during her younger years when she was an academic at Oxford and fell in love with fellow professor John Bayley (Hugh Bonneville), who later became her husband.

    Iris is available to rent or buy on Amazon  

  • Clementine Kruczynski in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)

    Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind has attracted a cult following since it was first released back in 2004, and it’s not hard to see why.

    In the film, which brings together aspects of sci-fi, drama and, of course, romance, Winslet plays Clementine Kruczynski, a young woman who opts to have her memories of her boyfriend Joel Barish (played by Jim Carrey) erased after they have a big fight.

    Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind is available to rent or buy on Amazon

  • Kate Winslet in Extras (2005)

    Okay, so it’s not exactly a ‘role’ per se, but Winslet’s appearance in Ricky Gervais’ comedy about an actor trying to make it big are, to put it simply, iconic.

    Check out the clip above and you’ll see what we mean. 

    Extras is available to stream on Netflix

  • Iris Simpkins in The Holiday (2006)

    It may not be her most ‘award-worthy’ role, but it’s hard not to fall in love with Winslet (and the rest of the cast, for that matter) in this festive romantic comedy. It follows the story of Iris and Amanda (Cameron Diaz), two women who swap lives for the holidays and end up falling in love.

    Heartwarming, easy-to-watch and filled with character, in this writer’s humble opinion, it’s the perfect Christmas film. 

    The Holiday is available to stream on Netflix

  • Hanna Schmitz in The Reader (2008)

    Winslet won her first and (for the time being) only Oscar for this film, in which she plays Hanna Schmitz, the defendant in a Nazi war crime trial whose secret past could hold the key to her defence. She stars alongside Ralph Fiennes who plays Michael Berg, a German lawyer whose past relationship with Hanna draws him to the case.

    The film was nominated for multiple Academy Awards alongside Winslet’s, including Best Director and Best Picture.

    The Reader is available to rent or buy on Amazon

  • April Wheeler in Revolutionary Road (2008)

    Not long after Winslet’s performance in The Reader came Revolutionary Road, which saw the actor join forces with her Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio once again.

    The adaptation of Richard Yates’ debut novel of the same name sees Winslet star as April Wheeler, a frustrated housewife and mother of two who attempts to save her marriage with DiCaprio’s Frank by suggesting the couple move to Paris. However, the couple are forced to reconsider when things begin to fall apart.

    Revolutionary Road is available to stream on Netflix  

  • Dr. Erin Mears in Contagion (2011)

    Again, Winslet’s performance in Contagion may not be as ‘award-worthy’ as some of her other, more standout roles, but thanks to the film’s surge in popularity over the last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, we couldn’t leave it off the list.

    Alongside an all-star cast including Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon, Winslet plays Dr. Erin Mears, an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer who works to encourage local government leaders to provide resources for a public health response after the outbreak of a mysterious new virus.

    Contagion is available to rent or buy on Amazon

  • Joanna Hoffman in Steve Jobs (2015)

    In yet another Oscar-nominated performance for Winslet the actor plays Joanna Hoffman, a marketing executive who was one of the original members of the Apple Computer Macintosh and NeXT team.

    Her authentic and powerful performance as Hoffman is no surprise – to prepare for the role, Winslet spent a considerable amount of time with the woman herself.

    Steve Jobs is available to stream on Netflix  

  • Mary Anning in Ammonite (2020)

    Set in 1840s Lyme Regis, Ammonite reimagines the relationship between Winslet’s character, the pioneering paleontologist Mary Anning, and geologist Charlotte Murchison, played by Saoirse Ronan.

    While the film was (rightly) criticised for casting two heterosexual actors in a queer love story, Winslet and Ronan’s performances remain distinctly powerful.

    As Stylist contributor Emily Gargan put it: “[If] you want to watch amazing actors set the screen on fire with just a few meaningful glances, then Ammonite is well worth your consideration.”

    Ammonite is currently available to pre-order on Amazon, and is showing in select cinemas across the UK

  • Mare Sheehan in Mare Of Easttown (2021)

    Last but by no means least, Winslet’s most recent role as a no-nonsense, small-town detective in Sky Atlantic’s Mare Of Easttown is definitely worth a watch.

    The mystery at the heart of the plot may make for an intriguing watch, but Winslet’s authentic and raw performance takes this series to a whole other level.  

    Mare Of Easttown is available to stream on NOW

The final episode of Mare Of Easttown airs tonight (31 May) on Sky Atlantic at 9pm

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and women’s issues. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.