Kate Winslet, worth $77 million, says she would be 'upset' and 'disgusted' if her ancestors were rich or royal
Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet said she would be "upset" and "disgusted" if she found her ancestors had been rich or royal, despite living in a £4.1 million ($5.1m) Sussex mansion and being worth an estimated £62 million ($77m) herself.
After tracing family tree for the new series of BBC's 'Who Do You Think You Are?', the 43-year-old Titanic star revealed how her "socialist" parents "frowned upon the wealthy," Daily Mail reports.
"I would have been upset and disgusted if I had come from wealth or royalty," she told the Radio Times. "There was never any money in our family, but I always felt very fortunate because I came from a lovely, wonderful, loving family. My roots are socialist, working-class and, in a funny way, my parents frowned upon the wealthy."
Growing up, Kate lived with her mother Sally, a nanny and waitress, and father Roger, a jobbing actor, in Reading.
She attended Redroofs Theatre School but had to leave after writing her GCSEs as her family was unable to afford the fees.
"Mum and Dad went to Oxford for their honeymoon and we always had holidays out of the back of the van with a tent," she said. "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."
The UK Film Council calculated a decade ago that Kate had earned at least £20 million ($25m) from her acting roles since 1995. Aside from that, she makes money via several high profile endorsement deals.
But according to Kate, discussing money is "vulgar" and not "a very nice conversation to have publicly at all."
Speaking to Radio Times, the Hollywood star explained how she was prompted to investigate her ancestry on the show after her mother's death from ovarian cancer two years ago. "When Mum died, it was like the North Star just dropped out of the sky... it was the hardest part of making [the show]," she said. "Mum would absolutely have come with me on the journey – she loved traveling when I was in a position to send her and Dad to nice places."
Her mother reportedly told her the possibility of coming from Swedish ancestry before she died.
Winslet visited the country on the BBC show and learned that her great-great-great-great-grandfather, Anders Jonsson, was a stable groom. The actress said she was "sobbing her heart out" after learning he and his family lived in poverty and that their son died of malnutrition aged 3.
She felt a "really profound blood connection to these people", she said.
Winslet then understood her Swedish great-great-grandfather moved to London in 1884 before becoming a tailor, adding that it "basically means I’m an immigrant."
She said: "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."
Winslet children include Mia, 18, with her first husband Jim Threapleton, son Joe, 15, with her second husband Sam Mendes and five-year-old Bear with her current husband Edward Abel Smith, previously known as Ned Rocknroll, according to Daily Mail.
Kate claims that descending from a "long line of impoverished people on both sides of my family", she has "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," she said. "My ancestors were impoverished but they would do anything for their kids and I’m exactly the same."