Focus Features There are plenty of people who will always associate Kate Winslet with the role of Rose DeWitt Bukater in Titanic. But film buffs and critics know that the English actress is a true indie-lover at heart, having spent much of her career bringing some of the quirkiest, darkest stories to life. Kate has plenty going on right now—newly married to Ned Rocknroll (yes, that is his last name), and pregnant with her third child, we’ll be seeing plenty of her as she promotes two new films —Labor Day, and the highly anticipated adaptation of the YA novels Divergent. Before she gives us any more performances to fawn over — and she will — let’s look back at five of her best indie movie roles.
Sarah Pierce, Little Children
If you don’t know the power of a little red swimsuit, then you’ve missed a hugely important life lesson, brought to us by Sarah Pierce. Winslet takes on the epic cliché — a sexually and intellectually bored, suburban housewife — but this character comes to life in unimaginable, unforgettable ways through Winslet’s performance.
Clementine Kruczynski, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Everyone’s favorite Charlie Kaufman script would not have played as brilliantly with another actress in the lead. The ultimate quirk, Clementine made us all want to dye our hair orange and fall crazy in love on a beach in Montauk.
Nancy Cowan, Carnage
Teaming up with Roman Polanski, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly, Winslet as Nancy Cowan was the drunk, well-to-do Brooklyn mother of our dreams. You simply have not lived until you’ve seen her projectile vomit onto a collection of fine art books.
April Wheeler, Revolutionary Road
In one of her darkest, most compelling performances (and one that paired her up with Leonardo DiCaprio for the first time since Titanic) Winslet stunned audiences with another portrayal of a woman struggling against the clichés of American life.
Hanna Schmitz, The Reader
Nominated for an Oscar more times than anyone else at age 33, it was this controversial performance of an illiterate Nazi officer (who was also a teenage boy’s lover) that earned Winslet her first Academy Award.