March 18, 2014 at 10:22 AM ET
Oscar winner Kate Winslet is a consummate professional in every movie she works on. But when she was called back to the "Divergent" set for reshoots just six weeks after giving birth to her third child in December, the request took her by surprise.
"I said, 'Are you high?'" she laughed during an interview for TODAY with E's Jason Kennedy. "How am I going to do this?"
But she took care of business. "I would feed, and shoot, and nurse ... there's actually something really empowering about going, 'Hell, I can do this. I can do all this,' " the actress, who just received her Hollywood Walk of Fame star Monday. "And that's the wonderful thing about mothers is that you can, because you must and you just do."
It must have almost been a whiplash-inducing changeover, to go from doting mother to villain Jeanine Matthews in the film. Winslet has had some experience as a bad guy — she won her 2009 Oscar for playing a concentration camp guard in "The Reader," and in one of her earliest roles (1994's "Heavenly Creatures") she helped bludgeon her best friend's mom. But this was different, she said.
"It just seemed like such an exciting challenge to me to play my first real baddie in a futuristic piece," she said. "I loved it. I really did."
And she was able to empathize with the young actors she was working alongside in "Divergent," remembering how, when she was younger herself, a major blockbuster motion picture changed everything for her.
"I like ... that there's a lot of newcomers playing some of these roles," she said. "It's just great. You know, when I did 'Titanic,' I still wasn't really that very well known. And 'Titanic' changed everything in my life. It's just great to see the film industry embracing newcomers in that way."
"Divergent" opens March 21.