Kate Winslet needed to be told to have a good cry following her split from husband Sam Mendes.

The Oscar winner separated from the movie director in March 2010 and she admits she wrongly bottled up her feelings in a bid to protect her children - Mia, 11, her daughter with first husband Jim Threapleton, and seven-year-old Joe, her son with Sam.

In an interview with the November issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine, she said: "As a woman, especially when you have children, one gets so good at soldiering on - almost too good. Because you know what it's like - as soon as you open that can of worms, it's so f***ing big, you wish you'd never taken the goddamn lid off.

"I've had to remind myself to have those moments of being able to have a f***ing good cry, but it did take someone putting their hand on me - a gay male friend, actually, who put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'It's OK, you can cry about this, and maybe you should.' "

Despite the pain she has suffered in the wake of the split, Kate accepts it has been just as difficult for Sam - who she was in a relationship with for almost seven years - and she insists both have acted like "grown-ups" following the end of their marriage.

She added: "One thing I will say about me and Sam is that it's fine, it's really fine. We're grown-ups at the end of the day, and however hard it's been for me, it's been equally hard for him."

The 35-year-actress has regrets about the end of both of her marriages but she is determined that her mistakes won't affect her children.

Kate - who is now believed to be dating Sir Richard Branson's nephew Ned Rocknroll - said: "There's no way that I'm going to allow my children to be f***ed up because my marriages haven't worked out. I so wish that that wasn't the case, that that hadn't happened in my life, but it has. So I will make the best of it."