Kate Winslet went to put on bra before saving Richard Branson's mom
Kate Winslet opened up about her recent heroic fire rescue, where the actress saved Richard Branson's mother and joked that her first instinct in the disaster was surprising even to her.
"I ran into the bedroom and put on a bra," Winslet said on "The Graham Norton Show," in an episode which airs on BBC America on October 29 at 10 p.m.. "In disastrous moments like that, you do the strangest things. I started to put on a bra and thought 'No, that's going to take me too long,' so off came the bra, on came the t-shirt, I grabbed the children and I picked up Granny."
Winslet, her former boyfriend Louis Dowler, and her two children -- Mia, 10, and Joe, 7 -- were forced to evacuate along with 16 guests from the eight-bedroom home on a private Caribbean island owned by Virgin Group billionaire Richard Branson at the British Virgin Islands.
"It was genuinely very scary. We woke up at 4:30 in the morning to yelling that there was a fire," Winslet said.
The 36-year-old actress made headlines for saving Branson's 90-year-old mother, but Winslet was modest about the act, insisting, "I didn't save her life... I carried her down the stairs is the truth of it."
"We were all at the top of some very slippery stone steps and in the middle of a hurricane -- it was so dramatic, there was lashing rain and it really did feel like being in a movie," Winslet continued. "In truth, I carried Eve Branson down the stairs -- bra-less... I have to say Eve Branson is an extraordinary stoic, powerful lady and she could have totally made it out on her own... I just helped that tiny little bit."
The fire reportedly broke out around 4 a.m. during a wind and lightning storm. Branson was staying in another property around 100 yards away with his wife Joan, son Sam, 25, and daughter Holly, 29.
"Kate Winslet, her boyfriend and her family were there and Holly and some of her friends were also staying," Branson told the Associated Press at the time. "My mother was there and they managed to get her out and she is fine."
"Many thanks to Kate Winslet for helping to carry my 90 year mum out of the main house to safety - she was wondering when a Director was going to shout CUT," Branson wrote on his personal blog.
Winslet's spokeswoman confirmed to the Associated Press that the actress was unharmed.
Branson said the house was "completely destroyed" and the fire was not entirely out Monday. The cause of the fire was still being investigated but lightning is seen as the likely cause. Branson, 60, bought the island in the early 1980s and began building the "Great House" in 1982.
Following the incident, it was reported that Winslet had broken up with Louis Dowler. The actress has since been romantically linked to Branson's nephew, Ned Rocknroll (nee Abel Smith). According to Yahoo, the 33-year-old works for the space travel branch of the Virgin empire and brought Winslet to a launch of a runway at Branson's spaceport in Las Cruces, New Mexico this week.
Winslet rose to fame with the 1997 film "Titanic" and won her first Oscar for her role in the 2008 movie "The Reader." Her two children are from marriages to directors Jim Threapleton and Sam Mendes. Winslet and Mendes separated in March 2010.
Watch a clip from Kate Winslet's appearance on "The Graham Norton Show" below.