Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet, after finding out that her ancestors were peasants, reacted in rather leftist fashion, opining that she would have been “upset and disgusted” if they had been wealthy, boasting proudly, “My roots are socialist, working class …”
Winslet’s comments came after she asked to be featured on the BBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” program in order to ascertain what kind of ancestry she had. Winslet discovered her maternal great-great-grandfather emigrated to the United Kingdom from Sweden, enabling her to state, “basically means I’m an immigrant. It really made me think about this world we live in. Refugees, immigrants — we’re going to have to stop using these words, as if those people are subhuman."
The Telegraph reported, “The most heartbreaking discovery for Winslet was that her great-great-great-great-grandfather, Anders Jonsson, was imprisoned in Sweden for stealing potatoes and honey to feed his family; one of his five children died from malnutrition. He died in prison from typhoid. He was kept as a ‘slave’ in Sweden, where he worked as a groom and was paid not in money but in tokens which could only be exchanged on the estate owned by his employer.”
Winslet told Radio Times she “would have been upset and disgusted if I had come from wealth or royalty … my roots are socialist, working class and, in a funny way, my parents frowned upon the wealthy. Mum and Dad went to Oxford for their honeymoon and we always had holidays out of the back of the van with a tent. We had wonderful times camping in Cornwall and France. We never went anywhere as a family that involved getting on a plane, ever, ever, ever."
Winslet added, “I come from a long line of impoverished people on both sides of my family, which perhaps explains why I’ve tried to instill my parents’ values into my kids. People never believe me, but my children aren’t over-privileged. We just don’t live like that. They are very balanced. Humble.”
Winslet will join her sister in annually celebrating “Anders Day” on the anniversary of Anders Jonsson’s death.
Meaww noted that Winslet lives “in a £4.1 million ($5.1m) Sussex mansion” and is “worth an estimated £62 million ($77m) herself.”
Winslet, who has three children from three different marriages, does have some odd theories; in 2015, as The Independent reported, she told Harper’s Bazaar UK magazine that she would not want to change anything that had happened to her in the past, including her two divorces, saying, “I think it’s very important to teach your children to struggle on some level … I would honestly say that I wouldn’t change a thing. Even all the bad bits. It doesn’t matter how ***** times have been, they all matter, because those things shape who you are. And if you don’t like who you are, well, then you’re ****** really, aren’t you?”
Winslet was the youngest actor (at age 29) to garner four Academy Award nominations; she has been nominated for an Oscar seven times, winning the Best Actress award in 2008 for “The Reader.”