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Kate Winslet: Why We Named Our Son Bear Blaze

03/18/2014 at 11:00 AM ET

Kate Winslet drew on her own history — long past and recent past — in choosing the name Bear Blaze for her now 3-month-old son.

“We settled on Bear quite early on,” the Oscar-winning actress, 38, says in an interview airing Tuesday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, explaining that her older kids, Mia, 13, and Joe, 10, all but insisted on picking a name well before the birth.

The name Bear goes back to her youth. “A friend of mine when I was younger was nicknamed Bear, and I just had always really loved it,” says the Divergent star. “He was very much a bear. He was everyone’s shoulder to cry on, he was a big bear hug, he was just this great figure in my life, and I just always remembered him.”

Kate Winslet Ellen DeGeneres
Michael Rozman/ Warner Bros.

Her son’s middle name, Blaze, is a reference to the house fire Winslet escaped in August 2011 while on vacation in the Caribbean. That was the weekend she met her husband, Ned Rocknroll.

“The house burned down and we survived,” she says. “But we wanted something of the fire, and so Blaze was the name that we came up with.”

Bear’s last name is Winslet, however. Asked why it isn’t Rocknroll like his dad’s, Winslet replies: “Why do you think, Ellen?”

Being a new mom again has its challenges, of course, as Winslet was reminded early Monday morning, when she happened to be pumping milk as a small earthquake hit Los Angeles.

“I’m pumping, staring at my beautiful picture of my beautiful baby boy, and my husband’s on the other line, and the room starts to shake,” says Winslet.

She and a friend ran to a doorframe to take cover, but Winslet says she never stopped pumping.

“You know us girls, we just do it, don’t we?” she says. “When you do it, you just do it.”

– Tim Nudd

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Showing 51 comments

klutzy_girl on

If you’re going to name your son Bear Blaze, you might as well go for the trifecta and give him the last name Rocknroll. LOL.

Ivixen on

It’s not Rocknroll because as she’s made perfectly clear at other times, if her marriage doesn’t work out, she plans to keep full/sole custody of the child, and she wants all of her children to have the same last name. I guess she has experience with that.

whateva on

naming your kid after an animal is stupid, because it leaves too much expectation. what if the kid is actually super shy and timid, then the name bear will feel totally off. dumb.

Jennifer on

I love her! And I love the significance of her son’s name. She looks fabulous, too. Plus, LOL about the keep on pumping bit. I totally know what she means. I pumped under the most insane circumstances, but as a mother, that’s just one of those things you do for your child. :D

Lisa on

While I understand her sentiments, I personally find it insensitive to give a child those names. He’ll be made fun of his entire life. There are many other ways to pay tribute to loved ones and memories of tragic events without having to saddle a child with a nonsensical name.

Sorry, but that’s just my opinion. Other than that, I really like Kate Winslet. She’s a good actress.

Gina on

The name is almost as bad as North…

Jules on

I can understand why she likes Bear as a name. But that name came to her old friend because of his personality.

You don’t know how your baby’s personality is going to play out. Maybe this little boy is going to be shy and sensitive and “Bear” will just not fit.

Babies bring their own personalities. A name shouldn’t try to stick a personality to them.

JD on

Lvixen,
Her kids don’t all have the same last name though. Her daughter’s last name is Threapleton, and I think Joe has his father’s last name as well. Guess she didn’t feel Rocknroll was up to her standards lol.

Hea on

whateva – You should come over here to Scandinavia where names after animals go way back to ancient viking days and tell us how stupid we are for naming our kids Björn, Ulf, Lo, Varg…

SenorPlaid on

Because even Kate realized that her kid was going to suffer enough abuse already thanks to his youneek first and middle name

Carrie on

Would any of you honestly give your child the last name Rocknroll? I think not lol, hush with your ‘not up to her standards’.

Ceeteefeebs on

A name can very much shape who a person becomes. I don’t see it as any different than naming your child after a relative you loved and hope they’ll emulate. Parents set standards for their children every day (or at least they should), and I think it’s ridiculous to insinuate that Winslet’s standard is destructive to her child.

As for getting made fun of by other children. Perhaps this would be true if one of us middle-class nobodies did it. But the fact of the matter is that his parents are rich and famous, and don’t think for a second that other children won’t treat him like royalty for it.

No, what we have here is a bunch of sour grapes housewives and overworked moms who feel the need to shame and judge other women for their decisions. Get over yourselves.

Marcia on

I’m a big Kate fan but that name is awful. Dr. Bear? Judge Bear? And as someone said up thread, what if he turns out to be quiet and non-bearish? Stupid.

Anonymous on

I love her.

As for the kid’s name, his mother is Kate Winslet and dad is Ned Rocknroll…he won’t be picked on.

Ellie r on

She has a kid with almost every guy she goes out with. This marriage wont last and then she’ll be pregnant again with some other guys kid and giving him or her a ridiculous name.

Katie on

She looks absolutely fabulous and so happy! I love her. It’s sad so many people are hating on her. So she had kids with different men. So what! At least she’s blessed to be able to conceive.

Guest on

It’s like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland’s ‘mad watch’ scene : “Bear!! Yes, that’s fine. Blaze!! Why of course, I never thought of that. Rock’n’roll!! Rock’n’Roll?? Don’t let’s be silly!”. Kate Winslet has gone mad.

Alissa on

Love Kate and the name Bear. I actually know a guy named Bear and it is great. He isn’t super huge or tough, just normal and down to earth. It’s just a name, something to call someone and can mean what you want.

I would personally rather see Dr. Bear Winslet than Dr. John Smith, but that is me. Having a unique name does give a person a perspective that an ordinary named person will just never have and I quite like that perspective.

Kim on

Bear can fit even if he’s sensitive because it will just make people think of a nice soft teddy bear… However I still wouldn’t name my child a name like that. My daughters name is Aspen. I thought it was unique (I don’t like plain names) but still at least a bit normal. My cousin named her daughter dream which to me is a little out there too… Dictionary words don’t make great names lol

Lala on

I actually don’t mind the name Bear, probably because I know someone with the name, and there’s also Bear Grylls (though it’s a nickname for him).

Blaze, I find interesting. Especially teamed up with Bear.

And to the comment stating none of us mothers would give out kids the last name Rocknroll – umm, I would TOTALLY give my kids that last name, if it was their fathers name, or my last name. I think it’s an awesome last name! Sure beats Whitehead, Ho, or Hyman.

Lacey Few on

Youneek……really??? Try UNIQUE……

Jac on

She’s quite the role model. Three kids with three men. And, to top all of that off, she doesn’t let her two oldest stay with their fathers. That came out of her mouth. She’s quite the winner. (rolls eyes)

Kim on

Why all the dismay over her sons name? He’s not the ONLY person in the world named Bear. There are actually some fairly famous folk with that name. My own husband was known as Bear his entire life, even though it was a nickname. Don’t like it? Fine, don’t name YOUR child that.

KP on

um…Ivixen – all three of her children have different last names. Mia has her first husbands last name -Mia Honey Threapleton , Joe has Sam Mendes last name. I’m sure she chose Winslet for the baby because Rocknroll is ridiculous.

oqueeupensosobre on

I think the name is awful!!! Why not give a regular name and nicknamed him Bear? So easier, cute and sensitive…. And after the baby has Bear Blaze as names, RocknRoll is nothing.

El J on

“Why do you think, Ellen?” What a vacuous POS.

Carolyn on

Stupid names, both Bear and Rocknroll.

dennybug on

she is naming her son – Bear Blaze is he any relation to Smokey the Bear? Just wondering.

Tara on

I suppose she could have named her son the given name of her childhood friend instead. And as time goes on, if the nickname fit, they could call him Bear and tell him the reason behind it. Just thinking that neither Bear nor Blaze are job appropriate names.

Lamobydick on

I’m not a fan of Bear as a name BUT I respect that she chose to name him like this. Don’t understand all the fuss with you guys. Don’t remember Alicia Silverstone getting such a backlash when she named her son Bear Blu !

And for the person who said her daughter’s name is Aspen and her cousin’s Dream, let me tell you both name seems as weird to me. Everyone has its own standards but I respect both name and would never pick on any child for his name !

happy on

She gives every man she’s with a child. Who will be next?

Kimberly on

I love Kate Winslet. When you consider the fact that Little Bear will be attending school with other similar named children, I doubt he will be made fun of. In Hollywood it’s the norm to pick these off the wall names, so what it’s her child and her choice. She is an amazing actress!!!

Ashlynn on

Marcia, generally a doctor or judge is referred to by their surname so I think I would rather be Dr Winslet than Dr Rocknroll.

Ladies, it doesn’t affect your life if she names her kid Bear!! Everyone calm down.

#stillbetterthanNorthWest

Tay on

Bear is a nice name for a boy, see so many people don’t like this name, nothing wrong it! This name gives you some distinction from so many common names.

Rachael on

Nicknames are meant to be that – cute names we give each other, certainly not names we expect our children to go through life with, good grief. Someone needs to wake these “celebrities” up, I wouldn’t wish that name on anyone, let alone a child or adult

cypresstex on

Well of course , like apple honor mowli rainbow scarecrow : Kmart blue-light was already taken

debbie on

My Nephew’s name is Bear. His real name is Walter but everyone that knows him even his teachers and now employers only know him as Bear. If you ask anyone what his name is no one knows that it is Walter!!!

Anonymous on

Anonymous- You’re seriously comparing Honor to Apple, Rainbow (I happen to think the latter is actually a cute name, but I can understand why someone might consider it wacky!), etc.? It’s a legitmite name that’s been around for ages. Granted, it’s a bit old-fashioned sounding and not used very much these days (just like most other virtue names, such as Charity), but I still don’t see how it qualifies as off-the-wall!

Anyway, I don’t quite get the criticism of Kate. I mean, she was MARRIED to each of her fathers (it’s not like her kids were concieved as the result of one-night stands or something)! And why should someone be denied the chance to have a child just because their spouse already has one (or more)?

Anonymous on

Okay, I obviously meant to say that Kate was/is married to each of THEIR (her children’s) fathers. Last time I checked, Kate herself has only one father and isn’t into incest! Whoops!

Denise on

For those saying they know others named “Bear”, so what’s wrong with it but then stating it’s a nickname ….WELL, that’s the point. It’s a nickname. Why give your kid a nickname? I have a friend who is named Kathy. Not Kathleen, not Katherine, etc.. but Kathy. She hates it. She says it’s a damn nickname.

I don’t care how rich or famous you are. If you give your kid a stupid name just so it can be unique, you’re an idiot. Don’t try and cover up your stupidity by claiming it is honoring a friend.. (a friend’s nickname).

Ashlynn on

I have never once been called by the name on my birth certificate. Everyone calls me Luna. Because mom didn’t make it to the hospital & had me in the car on the way there at 3am, in the moonlight.

My actual given name is Eve :)

My daughters names are LaLa & Mini and they’re 7 & 3.5. No one calls them by their given names either (Ebony & Charlize). So what’s wrong with with Bear? Nothing.

I’m due with a son any day and we are going to call him Bear. His name will be Oliver but we are going to call him Bear. And so will everyone else :)

maryhelenc on

I always feel guilty commenting on baby names because the parents likely put a lot of thought into it & such but you named the kid Bear Blaze & then pooh pooh Rocknroll as the last name? Really? THAT was the deal breaker? That made me giggle.

I think using one or both as a middle name would have been better, like how Tom Delonge of Blink 182 called his son Rocket in the womb and when his older daughter thought that was his name at birth, gave it to him as a middle name. It’s still kooky, but has a cute story & his first name is Jonas, so no one will have to know but people who see his ID.

Burn on

She could have given him the name Phoenix,has a great meaning behind it and it suits the situation they have been in somewhat. There are so many names out there that mean fire for example Aiden but I guess that’s too “normal”. I don’t mind Blaze too much but Bear :s

Anonymous on

Jac- To be fair, Kate never said that her two older children see their fathers. She said they live with her. That doesn’t mean they don’t VISIT their fathers from time to time (or that their fathers don’t visit them)!

Tay on

She could just name her son Fire, that’s refreshing LOL

Hea on

Lacey Few and El J – Try sarcasm..?

leothelion on

If she was going to pick a horse’s name like “Blaze” for the middle name, then why not do it with a little panache?…go with Secretariat or Sea Biscuit, because the kid is going to be made fun of as it is. Or, maybe she could’ve combined those names and gotten “Sea Bear” or “Bear Biscuit” or “Secrebeariat”? If the kid is going to get his ass kicked, then might as well get a little mileage out of it and make it a memorable experience.

Niko on

Bear Blaze RocknRoll…….Nice!

Tay on

Great actress, love her, but she named her son Bear sounds too nickname, not good when he is adult.

soph on

“It’s not Rocknroll because as she’s made perfectly clear at other times, if her marriage doesn’t work out, she plans to keep full/sole custody of the child, and she wants all of her children to have the same last name. I guess she has experience with that.”

When has she made that perfectly clear? And her other kids are not Mia Winslet and Joe Winslet.

Guest on

So Rocknroll as a last name was unacceptable, but naming the boy Bear Blaze was fine and dandy? Rather contradictory.

I won’t even go into naming a child after a house fire …

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