“I would probably do the same thing”: James Cameron Has No Regrets for Nearly Getting Kate Winslet Killed in $2.2B Titanic Only to Ask Her to Repeat Again

James Cameron Has No Regrets for Nearly Getting Kate Winslet Killed in $2.2B Titanic Only to Ask Her to Repeat Again
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James Cameron’s Titanic remains one of the best movies of all time, surpassing other romantic and tragic stories with its unforgettable plot, star-studded cast, and timeless appeal to audiences. Titanic, along with Avatar films, ranks high among the top-grossing movies of all time, proving Cameron’s superb creative direction.

Kate Winslet Titanic
Kate Winslet

Filming for Titanic was not easy-peasy since it involved a lot of scenes surrounding water. Mishaps are quite common, and unforeseeable events could happen despite meticulous preparation. Kate Winslet, who played the female lead, Rose, reveals her harrowing experience working on the set.

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Kate Winslet Recalls Nearly Drowning While Filming Titanic

In an interview with Los Angeles Times, Labor Day star Kate Winslet recalled her brutal experience while playing Rose on the set of James Cameron’s Titanic. The actress nearly drowned, caught hypothermia, and suffered a lot of gashes:

I chipped a small bone in my elbow, and at one point, I had deep bruises all over my arms. I looked like a battered wife. I just slipped on the deck.”

She revealed that shooting sometimes lasted for about 20 hours a day. She said the experience was “disorienting” as sometimes she had to sleep during the day and have “lunch at 2 a.m. or breakfast at 4 p.m.

Winslet described Cameron as very strict and driven to achieve the result he has in mind no matter the circumstances:


He’s a nice guy, but the problem was that his vision for the film was as clear as it was. He has a temper like you wouldn’t believe. I think Jim knew he couldn’t shout at us the way he did to his crew because our performances would be no good.”

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Titanic James Cameron
Titanic (1997)

The Dressmaker star recollected the time she had nearly drowned due to a mistake on the set. Winslet and co-star Leonardo DiCaprio were running along the deck of the ship. They were followed by a giant wave and got trapped by a closed gate. They tried to open it, but her long, heavy coat snagged on the gate, submerging her beneath the rising water.

I had to sort of shimmy out of the coat to get free. I had no breath left. I thought I’d burst. And Jim just said, ‘OK, let’s go again.’ That was his attitude. I didn’t want to be a wimp so I didn’t complain.”

James Cameron agreed that Winslet never complained despite her near-death experience. The director wanted to make everything look and feel real on the set so it would translate smoothly onto the final picture.


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James Cameron Remained Passive Despite Kate Winslet Almost Dying On Set

James Cameron
James Cameron

James Cameron believed that Kate Winslet handled the arduous scene very well. He admitted that it took him about 10 minutes to notice that the lead star was traumatized. He justified it by claiming the actress usually reacts that way after a big emotional scene, and she would cry for about an hour just to process her emotions. Cameron noted that Winslet was never in physical danger. He added:

If you have a spill on a horse, you just get right back on the horse; this was [a close-up shot and] not a situation where she could be doubled. If I had it to do over again, I would probably do the same thing.”

Winslet regretted allowing Cameron to get her weighted down 12 feet underwater. She had problems with the air regulator, causing her to swallow mouthfuls of water. After three takes, she admitted not being able to continue anymore.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet

The actress also pointed out that she was never asked if she could swim. Winslet is a strong swimmer, but she believed she ought to have been asked before. Cameron defended his side and retorted:

It would be odd for someone who couldn’t swim to go into this shoot of six months in the water. In fact, she has to do very little swimming in the film. And the fact is that she is a strong swimmer. I have to let actors who are adults take a certain responsibility for their preparation.”

It seems like James Cameron expected a lot of physical and mental preparation from the actors, including exercising precautions and taking responsibility for themselves while performing dangerous scenes.

Titanic is available on Prime Video, Apple TV, and Netflix.


Source: Los Angeles Times

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 2141

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.