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Kate Winslet In The Titanic

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In 1997, the world fell in love with Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio in James Cameron's epic disaster movie, Titanic.


Related Article: The Titanic Movie


Kate Winslet in the Movie Titanic

Famous Scene From The Titanic Movie

Kate Winslet plays Rose DeWitt Bukater, a seventeen year old Philadelphia girl who is pressured by her family to marry a man she despises, a steel fortune heir by the name of Caledon Nathan Hockley (played by actor Billy Zane). Rose's father passed away, leaving her family deep in debt, and Rose feels an obligation to help her family by accepting Cal's hand in marriage. Rose's life seems to be over until she meets Jack (Dicaprio) and falls madly in love, creating a cinematic affair that will go down in pop culture history.


Although she had already acted in Sense and Sensibility and Heavenly Creatures, and was initially introduced to Cameron by the casting director Mali Finn, Kate had to fight for the role of Rose. Although the role was turned down by Gabrielle Anwar (from Scent of a Woman), Claire Danes and Gwyneth Paltrow, James Cameron was unsure about Winslet, who was 22 years old at the time. Kate screen tested, and still Cameron balked, despite being pleased with the results. After imploring Cameron for the part through letters and phone calls, the elite director finally gave in, realizing that Kate possessed a certain quality that audiences would fall head over heels for.


Kate Winslet In Interviews

In a 1998 interview with ABC's Good Morning America, Kate talks about how impressed she was by Cameron's attention to detail:

"Well, it's -- I mean, it's -- it is, it was all so extraordinary, really, to shoot everything, because everything that we were doing and every scene, every environment, every wall, every piece of cutlery was exactly what would have been on the ship itself, complete replicas."


Kate Winslet's favorite scene

Kate Winslet's favorite scene

Kate went on to say that her favorite scene in the movie was the steerage party, where she and co-star (and close friend) Dicaprio danced and laughed and flung each other around to the tune of an Irish band.

Dispelling the rumor that she almost drowned on set, Kate assured Gibson that she was never in any real danger, and that despite the panic instilled by the close quarters and claustrophobic underwater conditions, she always had complete trust in Cameron's professional attitude and small army of safety divers.

Charles Gibson mentioned to Kate that she really did look cold in the water at the end of the film, and Kate agreed, explaining how the cold water helped her get into the proper frame of mind for the tragic scene, and that she asked Cameron to not heat the water. Kate said that the cold temperature helped her relate to how the actual passengers must have felt on the Titanic when the ship began to sink.


Here's a video of another interview where Kate talks about the Titanic movie:



Personal Tragedy

Sadly, personal tragedy dampened Kate's joy of watching the newly released Titanic receive overwhelming critical accolades and monumental success at the box office, for it was around this time that Kate's love, the writer and actor Stephen Tredre died of bone cancer at age 34.

"It was unbelievably heartbreaking," Winslet told Good Housekeeping's Liz Smith during an interview. "All I have left is that we remained very close until the end."


Kate Winslet's Titanic Diary

Kate Winslet during the shooting of The Titanic

Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio and James Cameron

In 1997, Australian Vogue printed excerpts of Kate Winslet's diary from the filming of Titanic. Kate writes of her first meeting with James Cameron - he showed her a model of the Titanic and demonstrated how many special effects shots could be captured using a tiny camera with the model. She then goes on to express her admiration for two of Cameron's other films, True Lies and the Abyss, exclaiming at the end of the entry that, after reading the treatment for Titanic, she very much wants to play Rose.

In the next entry, Kate writes of her very first proper Hollywood screen test - it took all day, and was complete with full costumes, makeup, and hair design. Kate then crosses her fingers "very tightly" in the hopes she will receive the part. Kate got the acceptance call on her mobile phone for her role as Rose in Titanic on March 19th at 5am, and was so excited that her screams of joy woke up everybody else in the place she was staying. Cameron explained to Kate that, due to the long and strenuous shoot ahead, she should get into an eating and exercise routine. In response, Kate writes that she began "cycling my buns off" and "exercising like a freak".

The rest of the entries are quite interesting, describing being hooked into a safety harness high in the air with Dicaprio, being covered in bruises from doing some of her own stunts, freezing in the water, and letting frustration and weariness reduce her to a night of good crying. Overall though, Kate's attitude is optimistic, and her self confidence grows each day as she turns in one excellent performance after another. Her spirits return in full force after a visit from her mom and some home cooked food (scrambled eggs).


Kate Winslet's Titanic Movie Dress

One of the movie dresses

Kate Winslet as Rose wore an array of alluring movie dresses during the film, from the black dress (kimono) during the famous naked drawing scene (which turned into one of the most memorable love scenes in movie history) to a deck dress, tea gown, and boarding suit. It seemed as though Kate changed clothes in the movie just to ride the elevator, much to the delight of female viewers worldwide.


To the millions of movie lovers who adore Titanic, Kate Winslet's role as Rose DeWitt Bukater will never be forgotten. Kate's natural acting abilities and innocent yet sophisticated personality added the romantic spark needed to push the movie across the line from a big budget disaster flick to an enduring, heart breaking romance. To modern audiences, Jack and Rose have become the new Romeo and Juliet, which is fitting, as Dicaprio played the star crossed lover in the popular William Shakespeare adaptation, and Cameron's pitch to the movie studio for his epic blockbuster was, "Romeo and Juliet on the Titanic".



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