A very pregnant Kate Winslet turned up at a press conference Saturday to promote her new movie, Labor Day.
(Not that kind of labour.)
Winslet, 37, is expecting her third child (her first with third husband Ned Rocknroll), and in the course of conversation joked that she was grateful to have been let on a plane to come to TIFF.
Labor Day is an intense drama/love story about a single mother who crosses paths with an escaped convict (Josh Brolin); while he hides out with her and her son (Gattlin Griffith) at their house, relationships change.
Director Jason Reitman says there was no other actress he wanted in the role, so when Winslet was unavailable for a year, filming waited for her.
"I was very very lucky Jason waited for me," says Winslet. "I don't think that's every happened to me before."
Winslet's character, a faded woman named Adele, was a challenging part to play.
"On the surface she's fragile and romantic," says Winslet, "and she has this blistered past, but at the same time there's a strength in her that never wavers, and it's her strength as a mother. I was able to hang onto that."
What was important about Adele, says the actress, is that fragmented though she might have been, she kept it together.
"She wasn't the type to turn to prozac and gin by three in the afternoon -- she wasn't that woman. She raised her son and he's a good child, entirely because of her."
Winslet continues, "I have admiration for mothers everywhere, single or not, and for fathers too. It turns you inside out. It transforms your life and your children are your absolute everything."
Both Winslet and Josh Brolin seem to have developed a strong relationship with Gattlin Griffith, the young actor who plays Winslet's son. She says it helped her as a mom to work with him, "Because my children are younger than Gattlin, so I got a little bit of insight into what it might be like a couple of years from now -- my daughter is 12 and my son is nine."
Speaking of Brolin, Winslet says her co-star became obsessive about baking pies in order to be prepared for a particular scene in the film.
"He would get up at four in the morning to bake and he'd come to work with a box," says Winslet. "In the beginning, you'd be like, 'You brought me a pie?!!!'
"By nine weeks later, it was like -- 'You brought me pie.'" She grimaces, joking.
"So Josh got into his character, and I can say he's an excellent baker. We lived on pie. Me. The teamsters. Hair and makeup. For nine weeks."
Asked if she identified at all with her character in Labor Day, Winslet reiterates that she connected with Adele's strength of conviction as a parent.
"And also with her ability to love and be loved. The fact that she had really lost the ability to do that, had forgotten how, and then rediscovered that and let it come back into her life -- it's so pure and simple."