Now here is a little celebrity test for you. Can you guess who it is appearing under the hat in the above picture? I’ll give you a clue, he is a Hollywood super star A Lister, best chums with Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, and has gorgeous grey hair. Any ideas? Of course it is George Clooney! And he is one of the stars who appear in Oscar winning actress’ Kate Winslet’s book about autism. The book features many of Kate’s celebrity friends in show business, all wearing this ubiquitous trilby hat, and includes the likes of Leonardo Di Caprio, Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie, Jude Law, Ben Stiller, British actress Emily Blunt, the US editor of Vogue magazine and even Sir Richard Branson.
Kate Winslet first got involved in raising money for autism after working on a documentary in 2009 ‘A Mother’s Courage’, about a young boy called Keli Dagmar, who has a severe form of non-verbal autism. The book, published last week, took its title from a poem by Keli in which he has a magical hat that allows him to speak. Kate explains that, “In the poem, a magical golden hat enables him to speak when he wears it.” In the book, called ‘The Golden Hat’, celebrities were asked to snap their own self portraits, wearing Kate’s favourite trilby, and then to answer the question – ‘If you couldn’t speak but this hat enabled you to do so, what would you like to say?’ Gorgeous George Clooney replies to the question, “I’m sorry about Batman And Robin” – a reference to the 1997 film he made that flopped at the box office and was voted the worst-ever by Empire magazine. Actress Marion Cotillard says her words would be, ‘Silence is an energy; silence tells something; silence is a part of the world.’ Angelina Jolie says she would like her first words to be, ‘Eat vegetables’.
The mother of Keli – Margret, who had been advised that as her son was so severely disabled by his autism, he should be placed in an institution, wrote to Kate Winslet and asked her for help to make the documentary about what the family were going through. Kate agreed and gave her services for free and whilst they were working together, the two women became firm friends and founded the charity The Golden Hat Foundation. Kate, always the oddball, says that the inspiration for the book came to her one morning as she was brushing her teeth, not quite sure how that works! She describes the photographs in the book as ‘an intimate glimpse into the real world of these people lending their voices to those without’ and added, ‘I am hoping to raise awareness about the challenges facing children with autism.’ All proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Golden Hat Foundation.
“The Golden Hat: Talking Back To Autism” Book – by Kate Winslet – $29.95
Thank you for taking this journey with us. We hope this book brings a new awareness of the opportunity we have to help those with autism learn to communicate and realize their ambitions. People with autism have the potential to achieve great things, but only when given the appropriate support and education. This is why the Golden Hat Foundation was formed. All author proceeds from this book go directly to the Golden Hat Foundation. With your help, we can change the world for people with autism.