“So his birth name is Abel Smith,” the Oscar winner said. “And as time went by and Ned became Ned—who is quite an original personality—he just decided at one point in his life to just change his name to Rocknroll. Ned Rocknroll. So when I met him, his name was Ned Rocknroll. This is completely true.”
However, not everyone took kindly to the decision. Winslet noted the name was well-received in America, but in England, “not so much.”
“When he changed his name to Rocknroll, I don’t think he had anticipated what might happen if he should have a girlfriend whose name was Kate Winslet and who was quite well-known and therefore the press might kind of not react so well to the fact that she had this boyfriend called then Rocknroll,” she recalled. “So, it was a little tricky.”
“I got to the point where I’m like, you know, I’m filling in doctors’ forms and it says ‘ mother’s name’ and ‘father’s name’, and I’m like, ‘Honey…are we going to keep going?'” she said. “And he’s like, ‘Yeah, you’re right. I’ll just change it back.’ So, he changed it back.”
Winslet noted Smith’s father was quite “pleased” to have the birth name back.