Kate Winslet teams up with renowned director of photography Ellen Kuras to portray the tale of Lee Miller, a former model who rose to prominence as one of America’s most significant photographers on the front lines of World War II. Winslet didn’t hesitate to get her hands dirty in order to portray Miller and the atrocities she documented, but her contribution to the movie extended much beyond that. Winslet was heavily involved in the commercial and creative sides of the movie as a producer, according to “Lee” producer Kate Solomon in a recent interview with Vogue (the same publication that ran several of Miller’s images). The profile disclosed that Winslet individually paid the crew’s wages for two weeks during the production in addition to aiding with the film’s finances.
Solomon remarked, “Kate held the film in her. If you spoke to her about any aspect of it, she knew what her opinion was. And when you have that, you can galvanize everyone behind that person. It looks effortless, but having lived with her, you can say: My God, it is a lot of work to get to that point.”
Winslet was a very involved producer who was essential to the casting process, according to Kuras, who acknowledged this in a recent interview with IndieWire at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Kuras claimed of Winslet, “She was very involved in the film from A to Z. From all the research to us having extensive conversations about who we wanted to cast, talking about who could be in different roles.” While reviews of the entire movie have been varied, many have applauded Winslet’s performance for having a particularly theatrical screen persona.
Natalia Winkelman penned a review of the movie for IndieWire. She stated, “If there were an award for the most cinematic cigarette-sucking on film, ‘Lee’ would be a shoo-in. Over the course of the nearly two-hour biopic, Kate Winslet, who stars as the war photographer Lee Miller, is consistently depicted amid a cloud of smoke, satisfying her oral fixation. Sometimes she puffs urgently, seeking to ease her jittery anxiety. In other scenes, she takes her time, her dramatic drags and pregnant pauses signaling that this lady has seen some things, kept some secrets, and survived it all.”