January 9, 2008 / 1:54 AM / 10 years ago

Winslet expected to replace Kidman in "The Reader"

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Kate Winslet is near a deal to step into the film role just vacated by the newly pregnant Nicole Kidman as a woman who has an affair with a teenage boy in “The Reader,” Winslet’s publicist said on Tuesday.

Winslet, 32, a five-time Oscar nominee, was originally offered the part but had to turn it down at the time because of a scheduling conflict, her spokeswoman told Reuters.

The film is based on German author Bernhard Schlink’s 1995 bestseller, which Oprah Winfrey also picked for her book club. The novel, set in post-war Germany, involves a woman who carries on a love affair with a 15-year-old boy. Years later he learns she is a defendant in a Holocaust war crimes trial.

The movie adaptation is to be directed by Stephen Daldry, who directed Kidman on her way to an Oscar-winning performance as author Virginia Woolf in “The Hours.”

Kidman, 40, announced through her publicist on Monday that she is expecting a baby, her first child with country music star husband Keith Urban, and was dropping out of “The Reader” as a result of the pregnancy.

Winslet earned her latest Academy Award nomination for her performance in the 2006 drama “Little Children” as a woman caught in a loveless marriage.


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