Kate Winslet was reduced to tears in Monday’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? after discovering her ancestors’ tragic past – but some viewers accused the Titanic actress of ‘overacting’.
Winslet went into the BBC One factual series hoping to learn more about her family’s Scandinavian roots, which she only discovered two years ago before her mother died.
However, she was soon shocked to find that her four-times great-grandfather Anders' family suffered from extreme famine.
She was told that their three-year-old child died of starvation, which prompted the actress to gasp in horror.
Winslet then broke into tears after learning that Anders was arrested and sentenced to 35 lashes for stealing potatoes and honey to feed his family.
Despite her shocking discovery, viewers weren’t entirely convinced by her reactions, with many claiming she was ‘overacting’.
One viewer tweeted: “And this year’s Oscar for ‘overacting when really unnecessary’ goes to Kate Winslet for her role in #WhoDoYouThinkYouAre.”
While another wrote: “And the Best Female Overacting Oscar goes to Kate Winslet in.. #WhoDoYouThinkYouAre.”
After travelling to the castle where her ancestor was held prisoner, Winslet discovered that he never received his 35 lashes, because he died in prison of typhus.
Things only got more traumatic for the actress as she later learnt that her great-grandfather on her dad’s side served in the army at the age of 11, and was forced to give out lashes and similar punishments to thieves and deserters.
Speaking about her experience on the show, Winslet said: “I strive to remain grounded and pass that onto my kids. But maybe because I come from such beginnings, that’s part of my DNA.”