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Page last updated at 15:27 GMT, Thursday, 24 February 2011
Reading charity celebrates birthday with Winslet film
By Emma Midgley
BBC Berkshire Reporter

Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet reveals all about her early acting career

A Reading theatre company which helps young people get into acting has released video footage featuring famous former member Kate Winslet.

The interview with the actress was released to coincide with the anniversary of Starmaker theatre company at the weekend.

In the video, the actress talks about growing up and being passed over for roles after being told she was too fat.

As a teenager Kate Winslet spent her free time acting at Starmakers.

She returned for a visit in 2009, acting with star struck youngsters at the youth theatre company, which is based at Blessed Hugh Faringdon School.

Talking on the video clip, which is now posted on the Starmaker website as well as popular video-sharing site YouTube, Ms Winslet said: "I was the fat kid who was pushed to the back and never got the leading parts.

Big feet

"I was never the one who would get picked to go for the film auditions because I was always a bit overweight and always looked a bit wrong and had big feet".

The Oscar-winning star spent her formative years at the Reading-based acting school.

She was picked for three principal roles, and took part in many more productions in the chorus.

Dave Savage, chairman of Starmaker, said he had decided to make the video footage public to gage reaction prior to putting together a documentary about the youth theatre.

"We've got 26 hours of film which we are now contemplating putting together into a documentary all about Starmaker," he said.

Kate Winslet with her parents
Kate Winslet's parents still live in Reading

"A lot of people have gone on from here to become very successful, and not just in the acting industry.

"We've got lots of nice stories to tell. Because it's a charity, we were told we should be thinking about doing something a bit special.

"We've got a 45 minute interview with Kate Winslet at my home."

Mr Savage plans to release a further three short videos on different themes to test the waters before proceeding with his documentary.

He said: "We want to raise our profile and make people aware of what we do."

As well as Kate Winslet, Starmakers has also seen X-Factor contestant Danyl Johnson, musical director Andy Smith (We Will Rock You) and West End actor Stephen McGlynn (Mamma Mia and Mary Poppins) pass through its doors.

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