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Actor Hugh Grant recently teamed up with Oscar-winner Kate Winslet for HBO’s limited series The Regime. At times, Winslet’s performance could be the scariest part of the show.

How Hugh Grant felt about working with Kate Winslet after all these years

Kate Winslet posing while wearing a white blazer at the premiere of 'The Regime'.
Kate Winslet | CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/Getty Images

Grant had a few reasons to be nervous when working alongside Winslet on The Regime, as the actor portrayed a very intimidating character. The limited series saw her playing powerful dictator Chancellor Elena Vernham whose mental health led to the fracture of her country.

It was a much different character than Winslet played when she first worked with Grant. The two originally teamed up for the 1995 flick Sense and Sensibility. It would also see her team up with stars like Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. Winslet looked forward to reuniting with Grant after three decades apart.

“It was honestly amazing because I haven’t really seen him since Sense and Sensibility, and as you say, it’s a very, very long time — three decades,” she recently told Entertainment Tonight. “I just was excited to get in a room and play with him in this kind of more grown-up version of myself.”

Hugh Grant shared the same sentiment. But he admitted that it was a bit intimidating acting alongside a more seasoned Winslet.

“I’ve barely seen her for 30 years since Sense and Sensibility, and I was a bit frightened of her now,” Grant told IndieWire. “I mean, God almighty, she’s got about 400 Oscars and is revered. It was a bit like doing Florence Foster Jenkins with Meryl or even The Undoing with Nicole. I’m quite frightened of these women. So it was just a question of trying to keep my end up. She was very kind to me.”

Kate Winslet saw a neuroscientist for her role in ‘The Regime’

One of the reasons Winslet was drawn to The Regime was its script. The Titanic star found herself immediately curious about the story and her character. She asserted that both were unlike anything she’d ever done before.

“I had never come across a character quite like her,” she said in a separate IndieWire interview. “And I knew that, as a role for me, I had never played anything like her before — and I wanted to do comedy. I loved the fact that, yes, it’s about a dictator, but she’s also a female dictator. It’s not a male dictator. And I knew the nuances and the feminine fragility that I could explore behind that mask.”

Although the show was treated as a comedy and satire, at times, it could be far from lighthearted. Especially when it came down to Winslet immersing herself in her troubled ruler. To make sure she did the role justice, Winslet visited a professional to tap into the character’s trauma.

“I did actually work with a neuroscientist and a psychotherapist to try and understand trauma a bit better and how that can manifest itself in people’s bodies and lives and how they move and how they speak. Because I wanted to make sure that I was rooting her in some kind of reality,” Winslet said. “It’s really looking at her childhood, where her trauma began, and how that has stayed with her and how it absolutely impacts every single one of her close personal relationships.”

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The same reason Winslet picked the role was why she found it difficult to do. The actor starred in movies like The Holiday and others that she considered tough. And she ranked The Regime up there as one of the toughest.

“I was so terrified because it was a very daunting task, and so much dialogue,” Winslet said. “But honestly, the work and the prep that had been done by the creative team of writers was so phenomenal that as long as I was with that script and I was reading it over and over and over and over, and more and more, and deeper and deeper, I found that that was the best way for it to sink into my bones.”

However, she also found being able to live up the challenge rewarding.

“I knew that putting her together was going to be really challenging, and it was,” she added. “But then ultimately playing her, once I’d done all the groundwork, I knew it would be a lot of fun — and it really was.”