By and  on November 16, 2007

Some actors draw the line at mixing art and commerce, but Kate Winslet isn't one of them.

"In the last few years, there don't seem to be any rules around it anymore," said Winslet during an interview about her role as the new face of Lancôme's venerable Trésor franchise, her first beauty deal. "I remember five or six years ago, it was really a big deal to be the face of a campaign or a spokesperson for a particular brand name. Now, it just doesn't seem to matter so much."

Not that Winslet would particularly care if it did. Like many of the characters she has portrayed, Winslet is fiercely independent and marches to the beat of her own drummer — she has even recorded a duet with Weird Al Yankovic entitled "I Need a Nap."

Still, she doesn't take her status for granted. "I do feel unbelievably privileged that I'm in a place where I get to choose," she said. "It's a position that people dream of being in, and I don't take it lightly."

What she cares most about: "As an individual, to hang on to some sense of mystery — which in this world that we live in now that is so obsessed with celebrity, I think it's harder to hang on to who you really are," she said.

And Winslet has a sensible way for avoiding that type of neurosis: She refuses to read anything written about her. "First of all, I don't really know what's written about me because I don't look at any of it," she said. "I don't read reviews or other things. How would you survive in this crazy world if you read everything that's written about you? I'm blissfully unaware. Maybe I'd be a different person if I did listen to what they were saying."

That conviction has made it easy to say that a Kate Winslet-branded fragrance is highly unlikely. "I wouldn't like to have a Kate Winslet fragrance, no. It's just not my style. It's not my thing," she said.

"As an actor, it's an enormous privilege to be asked to be a part of things like [the Trésor campaign], and I guess it just felt like the right time for me," said Winslet. Print advertising began running in September books; a TV campaign will follow for the holiday season. Sources say Trésor's business has risen 20 percent since Winslet's ads began appearing. Trésor's sales in the U.S. have been estimated at $40 million retail for this year. None of the executives would discuss what Winslet is being paid for the campaign or what Lancôme is spending to place it, but industry sources estimated that Winslet is being paid at least $5 million over three years for her work on the campaign, and that Lancôme is spending upward of $10 million to place it in the U.S. alone.

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