The great Kateaway

Movie-making is competing with being a mother for actress Kate Winslet, who finds it strange to spend even three days away from her kids to attend the Toronto film festival.­

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Published: Sun 17 Sep 2006, 11:02 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:55 PM

Winslet, who plays key roles in two of the festival's most talked-about movies, described balancing motherhood and work as her biggest achievement of the year.­

"It is a lot to pull off, keep everybody settled and do my job as well as I can, but most importantly being the best parent that I can," Winslet, who has a 2-year old son and a 6-year old daughter, told Reuters in an interview.­

"We go everywhere together with the kids and I am very rarely away from them. Even to be here for three nights, it's weird because I just don't do that."­

Winslet plays a southern belle who has an affair with the Louisiana governor in Steven Zaillian's new movie, 'All the King's Men'.­

In 'Little Children', directed by Todd Field, she plays a suburban mom, Sarah, who also has an affair as she tries desperately to find happiness and herself.­

"It was very, very challenging and hard for me to separate myself from my own life and my own feelings as a mother and my own instincts as a parent and to be this character here, who isn't a good mother at all, and quite selfish in a way," she said of the 'Little Children' role.­

"On the surface she is quite weak-willed too, which I am not, I am quite strong."­

Her pointy black boots were cast aside and the drapes in the hotel room closed as she took on countless interviews.­

The two movies are a departure from Winslet's previous roles as a 'period babe' in movies like 'Sense and Sensibility' and 'Hamlet' as well as her role as Rose in 'Titanic'.­

She said she considers herself very lucky not to have to work 48 weeks a year.­

"I am taking a year off now, just to see the children and I am going to do that more and more now, so I do have very big gaps in my working schedule, where I switch off and I am just a parent," she said.­

"My husband and I, we take it in turns to work, we're not in a situation where he is on one part of the world and I am on the other with the kids."

Winslet is married to director Sam Mendes.­

Field said editing scenes from the film where Winslet gives her movie daughter the brush-off had made him think about his own three children.­

"I thought, I have been sitting here working on this movie for almost two years, I have been doing the same thing to my children at home," he said.­

"I am a hypocrite, I am doing a movie about somebody struggling with their identity and trying to figure out how to be a parent and I have no interest, and I am doing to same thing myself... I guess you could call it cathartic."

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