Kate Winslet

The Life of David Gale

Interviewed by Alana Lee

She's still only 28, but three-time Oscar nominee Kate Winslet has already generated thousands of tabloid column inches. Now the Berkshire-born actress is making the headlines for another reason, playing journalist Bitsey Bloom in Alan Parker's death row thriller, "The Life of David Gale".

Why were you so keen to be in this film?

I came across this script and I just thought it was brilliant. It's such a clever story. It's really a thriller, and I just loved this part of Bitsey Bloom. She's a very headstrong, feisty New York journalist, and she's asked to write a story in the three days prior to David Gale's execution. She wanted that story, and I wanted that part!

What about working for Alan Parker?

I really wanted to work with Alan Parker. I've been a fan of his work for years, ever since "Bugsy Malone". And he's a Brit. I was so lucky that he asked me to work with him.

And Kevin Spacey?

Well, it was strange. We shot all our scenes in two weeks, and all the scenes are when he's in prison. We do all our scenes talking to each other through a pane of glass. We had to focus on each other's eyes the whole time. There was no physical contact. Then after that, it was the Bitsey Bloom show! So it really was a film made in two parts, in a way, which was good for me. When David Gale is describing things that have gone before, then that's very new to me, because I wasn't there for that part of the shoot, although of course I knew the script very well. But it was helpful to me that the shooting schedule was done in that way.

Bitsey is really at the heart of this movie, isn't she...

To me, the inspiring thing is that she goes on this incredible journey. Bitsey at the end of the movie is a vulnerable mushy mess compared to the hardnosed bitch she is at the beginning. I mean, she even changes physically. And I just couldn't believe this journey that she goes on.

Were you concerned at all about the subject matter?

The death penalty is something people are always questioning, and there's no way people can walk home after this movie and not think about what their opinion is with regard to it. But I don't think the film is specifically about the death penalty. Obviously it comes into play because David Gale is on death row and before that he had campaigned against the death penalty. But the film is really a thriller, and it's about Bitsey's quest to prove David Gale is innocent, even though everyone else is convinced he's guilty.