Kate Winslet drops in on Masterton
Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet dropped in on Masterton yesterday - along with Sir Peter Jackson - but sleepy locals hardly blinked at the star turn.
The English actress was seen walking along Queen St with her new husband Ned Rocknroll, the nephew of Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, Jackson and his daughter Katie.
It isn't clear if the British couple were visiting for business or pleasure after tying the knot in a private ceremony in New York in December.
While the ladies shopped, the blokes went to a nearby cafe all the while remaining largely inconspicuous.
The 37-year-old Titanic star was seen carrying a shopping bag from women's clothing store Pagani and was dressed casually in a white sundress and jandals.
Pagani saleswoman India Kawana took a second glance at Winslet when she walked in, but then said to herself "no way, it can't be - this is Masterton".
Winslet tried on a few things and was perfectly friendly to staff before settling on a couple of dresses, two short-sleeved blazers, some jewellery and a pair of sunglasses, spending more than $300.
"She didn't even try the sunglasses on," Ms Kawana said.
"I wish I'd realised it was her, I so should have got her autograph."
Winslet was photographed wearing her wedding ring, which she debuted in public for the first time last week while out grocery shopping in Hampshire, England where she shares a home with Rocknroll.
She made her film debut in Jackson's 1994 film Heavenly Creatures as a 19-year-old, and made her name in James Cameron's blockbuster Titanic, before starring in a string of arthouse and low budget films.
Masterton photographer Phil Brazier, who spotted the stars, said Jackson and Rocknroll went into cafe Iberia for "what looked like a coffee and a chat".
"Initially I only saw Peter and Ned, but the ladies - Kate and Peter's daughter - joined them. They then all walked down the street to a car together."
While a couple of people stopped Jackson in the cafe for photos, nobody seemed to pick up on the movie star in their midst, Brazier said.
"It was pretty quiet . . . She wasn't obvious, dressed pretty casually.
"I think Peter and his bare feet were noticed a bit more."
Iberia owner Wayne Dellabarca said he did not see Winslet take a seat inside the cafe, but said Jackson ordered a green tea.
Despite Jackson owning a multi-million-dollar mansion in Masterton, complete with a 100-seat cinema, castle, lake and railway, he was not a regular at the shops, Mr Dellabarca said.
"I've been running cafes in Masterton for quite a while and have never seen Peter Jackson around before. He doesn't really wander around town too often."
Winslet has recently appeared in this year's headline-attracting Movie 43, a black comedy which has been panned by critics worldwide, including being described as one of the worst films ever made.
She's been tipped to appear in action sci-fi film Divergent, which is due to begin filming in Chicago in March.
A mother of two, Winslet's marriage to Rocknroll is her third, following a three-year marriage to director Jim Threapleton and a seven-year marriage to director Sam Mendes.
Jackson's spokesman did not return calls.
The Dominion Post