PHOTO: Kate Winslet Channels Elizabeth Taylor, Talks Sex Scenes

The 'Contagion' star pays homage to the screen icon with a glamorous photo shoot, and dishes on why she hates nude scenes

Glamour like the late Elizabeth Taylor's doesn't come along every day, but in a photo shoot in the October issue of V magazine, Oscar-winner Kate Winslet does a fantastic job channeling the violet-eyed legend, pearls and all (see photo above). For good measure, in the accompanying interview, Winslet talks about her career, her standards of beauty and, oh yeah, those clothes-doffing sex scenes she's famous for.

But first: Winslet's thoughts on Taylor. "There was a real fearlessness in her," the Titanic actress, 35, says of the late screen icon. "Back then, there didn’t seem to be a rule book, and there was some expectation in terms of how glamorous a woman should look. There is sort of a coolness and aloofness to the way (Taylor) would look in posed photographs. In candid snapshots she was really quite soft, and she would really screw up her face. I do that as well."

And the similarities don't end there. "She was very strong in her head and in her heart, not just in the exterior... To me, she hid vulnerability fairly successfully, and I do that too," Winslet adds. "We all have vulnerable sides. I think for a long time I pretended I didn't have one, and I definitely do. The last couple of years, I really had to pay attention to that. The great thing about acting is you can fling it all into the mix of the part."

One thing the actress has never hid from audiences is her body. While there are no nude scenes in Winslet's latest film, the virus-outbreak thriller Contagion (in theaters Sept. 9) -- merely talking to someone can mean death, so having sex is a big no-no), the Kate certainly has been called upon to bare all for the sake of her art. But despite her willingness to do so, Winslet doesn't exactly relish the experience.

"I hate it!" Winslet laughs. "Listen, make no mistake, I just get on it. I just go in and say 'Oh f***, let's do it.' And boom. If you complain about it or procrastinate it's not going to go away. Its a profoundly bizarre thing to do."

But just because it's bizarre doesn't mean Winslet and her costars pretend like it isn't happening. "As actors you talk about it all the time. You can literally be tangled in sheets, and you turn to the other actor and say 'What the f*** are we doing?'" she says. "Dear Mum, at work today I had so-and-so's left nut sack pressed against my cheek. It's sort of unethical if you think about it in those terms."

As for that famous -- and oft naked -- body of hers, Winslet insists that she's never had Botox or any other cosmetic surgery procedures. Of course, the tabloids like to suggest otherwise. Winslet says she Googled herself one day to see if there were pictures of her kids online, but that's not what she found. "And up popped this whole article: 'I'm sick of Kate Winslet's lies about weight loss and Botox.'" the actress -- who is so anti-plastic surgery that she a fellow British actresses Rachel Weisz and Emma Thompson have formed an unofficial Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League -- recalls. "Please look at my face. Please study it. Look! Look!" she implores.

We believe you, Kate.

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