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Golden Globes: Kate Winslet on why she threw her wig into the ring for 'Steve Jobs'

Golden Globes: Kate Winslet on why she threw her wig into the ring for 'Steve Jobs'
Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman in "Steve Jobs." (Francois Duhamel / Universal Pictures/Associated Press)

Kate Winslet takes technological innovation in stride as Joanna Hoffman, Steve Jobs' Polish Armenian marketing matriarch at Apple, in Danny Boyle's "Steve Jobs." But in real life, the British actress had wanted to ditch her smartphone Thursday morning, to avoid the onslaught of awards buzz on social media. Because even Oscar-winning actresses get nervous about these sorts of things.

Where are we catching you this morning?

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I'm at home in England right now -- I'm just sooo excited, it's just fantastic. I could not be more thrilled. I was up early taking my children to school. It's 3 p.m. here. I was trying not to think about it and go about my day. I was going to give my phone to my husband -- because I was just feeling so tense about the whole thing -- and then the announcement came out. It was such a lovely surprise.

Really? Yesterday's SAG Award nomination wasn't a tip-off? You've gotten such a response from this performance ….

I tried very, very hard not to pay too much attention to the buzz and who the front-runners were. All of that does make you more nervous. So I've really been trying to keep my head down and just talk about the film, stay focused. And this moment just feels fantastic. It's an unbelievably packed year in this category, some amazing women, and not just five, so many.

Do actors of your caliber still get nervous about award announcements -- even after, in your case, having been nominated 10 times -- and that's just the Golden Globes!

Listen honey, I'm human …. Yes, we get nervous. I wonder if that will ever change. I almost feel more nervous now than I did when I was 20 because I didn't really understand how hard the competition was back in those days. I barely had a mobile phone, let alone an email address and Internet.

That's interesting, given Apple's role in forwarding technology and social media, which is partly what the movie is about. Now you're on the receiving end of all that in real life.

It's true! These are such big things that make us so much more aware -- and nervous around awards. You just know about so much more.

You fought for the role of Joanna Hoffman. You donned a black wig and emailed a photo of yourself to producer Scott Rudin. What drew you so to the role?

Sometimes you just have a feeling about something, a hunch. When the film was described to me, the concept -- that it was written in three acts and rehearsed like a play, that it wasn't a huge cast, who the director was -- I couldn't come up with any more boxes to click! It just sounded so irresistible. I knew the role hadn't been cast. I thought: 'I'd looove to play the role.' What a terrifying -- but extraordinary -- experience. So I threw my hat -- my wig -- into the ring. I was so very lucky.

Had you heard of Joanna Hoffman before?

No, I hadn't. Someone described her to me. As soon as I heard 'Polish Armenian," I was like, 'Let's go!' It was so different than me and I hadn't done anything like that before. I knew I'd be pushed and challenged. I was also so excited by the rehearsal period -- we had two weeks of rehearsal for each act, and we got to spend so much collaborative time together. And that was so unusual and special.

Will you have any time to celebrate today, or is it back to the kids?

I'm going to pick up my kids, but I'm sure I'll have a glass of something bubbly today. I just feel so proud to be in this film. When I first saw it, I was overwhelmed by how strong the script and the performances were.

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Follow me on Twitter: @debvankin

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