Kate Winslet once said Titanic director James Cameron, adding in that same interview that she would only work with the famed filmmaker “for a lot of money.”
The two reunited, however, for this week’s highly anticipated sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water. Winslet, co-star of Cameron’s famed 1997 romance blockbuster, joined the cast of the follow-up to Cameron’s famed 2009 sci-fi blockbuster Avatar as the oceanic Na’vi warrior Ronal.
Winslet told in a new interview “Creatively, hopefully, I’ve gone away and learned a lot of things and he has, for sure, evolved enormously as a director and as a person.”
In the film, Winslet’s Ronal and husband Tonowari (Cliff Curtis), leaders of the green-hued, seafaring Na’vi clan called the Metkayina, take in Jake (Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and their family as refugees.
Ronal is expecting during the film, which Winslet describes as being a hugely important facet of the character.
With Winslet’s previous work for Cameron also being water-based, her role in the Avatar sequel raises the specter of a certain ocean scene from 1997 — and a notorious chunk of door.
“It’s funny, the door seems to have had a resurgence over the last few years. I don’t know why,” said Winslet, says of the scene’s famous ending in which Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) sacrifices himself so that Rose could survive by floating alone on a dislodged door. Fans have long debated whether both could have made it.
“People seem to be doing all kinds of experiments as to whether or not they could’ve really fit on the door,” Winslet says. “It’s hilarious. It’s one of those unanswerable questions. We’ll have to just go back there again and see if we could really both get on that door eventually.”
Working on Way of Water, Winslet’s underwater survival skills became legendary. During one sequence, she held her breath underwater for seven minutes and 14 seconds, breaking a record set by Tom Cruise.
Winslet explained that she was “surprised at how well I could actually do it,” but always thought it was a skill she could learn given the chance.