Kate Winslet aims to support autism awareness and outreach with a book featuring self-portraits of celebrities and other well-known figures wearing a special hat with “magical” powers.
The Golden Hat, scheduled for publication in November, was inspired by a poem written by Keli Ericsdottir, a boy suffering from a severe non-verbal form of autism. In the poem (below), a magical hat enables a boy with autism to talk and it is this hat that celebrities wear in their self-portraits (a representation of the hat, anwyay) Each star also reflects on what he or she would say if suddenly granted the ability to speak after years of silence.
In addition to celebrity photos, Winslet’s book will include other writings and poems by Keli as well the story of the actress’s friendship with the family. Winslet met the Ericsdottirs while narrating the documentary A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism. Soon after the meeting, Kate set up The Golden Hat Foundation.
Celebrities featured in The Golden Hat include Anna Wintour, Ben Stiller, Brigitte Lacombe, Christina Aguilera, David Souffan, Demi Moore, Don Cheadle, Elijah Wood, Ellen Page, Javier Bardem, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jude Law, Julianne Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Laura Dern, Live Schreiber, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Maria Sharapova, Marion Cottillard, Meryl Streep, Michael Kors, Naomi Watts, Pedro Almodovar, Peter Sarsgaard, Ricky Gervais and more.
Here is the poem that is the inspiration for it all.
This boy had a golden hat.
The hat was magical. It could talk.
The boy did not have any voice. He had autism.
His hat was always with him.
His hat was lost one day.
Now he had no way of telling them his stories.
His mom and dad became sad.
They taught him spelling on a letterboard.
It was hard.