Kate Winslet's Weird Mouth Movements In The Regime Explained

By Klein Felt Posted:
The Regime Kate Winslet, arrow pointing to her mouth

Audiences are wondering what exactly is up with Kate Winslet's unique mouth movements in The Regime on HBO. 

The political drama from Succession writer Will Tracy has gripped fans on HBO and Max, following the fall of an autocratic regime in a fictional European nation. 

Winslet stars as Elena Vernham, the authoritarian Chancellor at the heart of the miniseries, who witnesses her empire crumbling around her in real time. 

[ Full Cast of The Regime on HBO - Every Main Character & Actor In Kate Winslet Show (Photos) ]

Kate Winslet's Bizarre The Regime Mouth Movements

Kate Winslet as Elena in The Regime

Fans are scratching their heads over some peculiar mouth movements from Kate Winslet's character in the new HBO series The Regime

Winslet's Chancellor Elena Vernham can be seen throughout the series speaking in her native British accent; however, she does so with an impediment, working a lisp into her traditional way of speaking and a droop on the left side of her mouth. 

It has made for a unique viewing experience for some as audiences react to Winslet's facial ticks seen in the series. 

Viewers have compared Winslet's mouth movements in the series to other actresses who naturally talk out of the side of their mouths like Drew Barrymore and Alicia Silverstone, while some have gone as far as to say the choice is "distracting" (via Katie Bienvenue on X [formerly Twitter]):

"Just finished the Ep 1 of 'The Regime' and I am very interested in seeing where this goes! Kate Winslet has made a choice with this character’s voice by upping her Mouth Acting game (which does become distracting… at least a little) I am curious to see where this show goes."

Kate Winslet as Elena in The Regime

This was a deliberate acting choice on the part of Winslet, reflecting her unstable nature and that of the nation she rules over. 

The New York Times' profile of Winslet for The Regime pointed this out, describing the moves she makes with her mouth as a facsimile of "the body politic deformed," with her face reflecting her feeble grip on the political situation in her country:

"Elena has the slightest of speech impediments, a strange move she makes with her mouth, a hand that flies to her cheek when she is under real stress — those tells are her answer to King Richard’s hump, the body politic deformed."

This seems to become most pronounced when the character is dealing with immense stress (which is more and more often as the series goes on)

While not revealed to be the result of any major medical episodes, some have speculated this droop in the lip could be evidence of a stroke the character suffered at one point, something both she and her co-conspirators are hiding from the public.

What To Expect in the Rest of The Regime

As of writing, there is still plenty of The Regime and Kate Winslet's Chancellor Elena Vernham to come. 

The HBO miniseries will have six episodes by the time it ends, putting the final nail in the coffin of Vernham's authoritarian rule. 

Thus far, audiences have seen the first few dominos start to fall in the dismantling of the Vernham government. 

And despite the seeds of doubt being laid, Winslet's character remains headstrong and ready to weather the storm. 

However, this heels-dug-in strategy will almost surely not work. 

Since the beginning, The Regime has been branded as a satirical look into the fall of an empire. That likely means Winslet's character may not be around long. 

Whether that means she makes it out of the series alive remains to be seen, but it would not be surprising if she has to face the consequences of her 'ruling with an iron fist' mentality in some form. 

As the weeks go on, audiences will surely see public revolt as unrest rises amongst Vernham's constituents. 

The Regime continues with new episodes coming to HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.  

- In This Article: The Regime
Release Date
March 03, 2024
Andrea Riseborough
Kate Winslet
Matthias Schoenaerts
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.