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Kate Winslet is surprised but ‘proud’ to learn she bested Tom Cruise’s underwater filming record

Kate Winslet was honored to find out that her recent disclosure that she had held her breath for seven minutes meant she had beaten Tom Cruise’s previous underwater filming record.

But the 45-year-old Oscar winner didn’t even realize she’d bested the action star, who had previously topped out at six minutes underwater for Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.

The Avatar 2 star gushed about her accomplishment in a new interview with ET that was published on Tuesday.

Impressive: Kate Winslet said she was ‘proud’ after learning that she beat Tom Cruises underwater filming record by holding her breath for more than seven minutes in an interview Tuesday with ET; shown in 2016

‘It’s so funny because I don’t really read reviews or media things. I’m not on Instagram, like I’m just completely disconnected from that part of my life,’ Kate said.

‘So all of this week and the week before, I’ve had people coming up to me at work saying, “Oh my God, like seven minutes and 14 seconds? Like, what?!” And I’m going, “What? Hang on, wait a minute. How do you know that?”‘

Despite her surprise, she was proud of the accomplishment from her time in a tank in New Zealand, though she doubted she could repeat the feat.

‘It was brilliant and I was very proud of myself and I’ll probably never be able to do it again,’ she continued. ‘That came at the end of four weeks worth of quite intense training and it was in the dive tank, it was in the training tank. But I loved it.’

The Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind star added that learning ‘a whole new skill’ was one of her favorite parts of being an actor. 

Hard to beat: 'It was brilliant and I was very proud of myself and I'll probably never be able to do it again,' she said. Her interview was conducted with her Ammonite costar Saoirse Ronan; still from Ammonite

Hard to beat: ‘It was brilliant and I was very proud of myself and I’ll probably never be able to do it again,’ she said. Her interview was conducted with her Ammonite costar Saoirse Ronan; still from Ammonite

Kate was interviewed alongside Saoirse Ronan, with whom she stars in the period lesbian romance Ammonite, which also required her to taken on new skills.

‘I had to learn how to be a paleontologist on the beaches of the Jurassic coast on the south coast of England,’ Kate revealed. ‘I had no idea how to do any of those things, and sometimes the job does require us to learn how to do something new, something incredibly cool.’

Saoirse recalled that while filming Greta Gerwig’s critically and commercially successful Little Women adaptation, she and her costar Timothée Chalamet filmed an ice-skating scene in which she struck a pose like the older actress did with Leonardo DiCaprio on the bow of the Titanic in the 1997 blockbuster of the same name.

‘I went back to my chair [after filming] and got my phone out and Kate had called,’ the Lady Bird star recalled. ‘I was like, “I’ve just done your shot! Oh my God, we have to do this film together!”‘

Perfect timing: Saoirse gushed that she replicated Kate's iconic pose from Titanic (1997) while filming Little Women with Timothée Chalamet, only to get a call from Kate that day on set; pictured in March

Perfect timing: Saoirse gushed that she replicated Kate’s iconic pose from Titanic (1997) while filming Little Women with Timothée Chalamet, only to get a call from Kate that day on set; pictured in March

Kate wowed her fans with her newly-acquired free-diving skills in recent behind-the-scenes glimpses of Avatar 2 being filmed underwater. 

The actress posed at the bottom of a water tank with a billowing cape while shooting the eagerly-anticipated sequel, due for release in December 2022, in which she plays ‘a water person’ called Ronal. 

The striking shot, shared by the film’s producer Jon Landau, bore a similarity to Kate’s now-iconic pose in her breakout role alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic, also directed by James Cameron. 

Wow! Kate showcased her newly-acquired free-diving skills in an amazing behind-the-scenes glimpse of Avatar 2's underwater filming, posted by the film's producer Jon Landau

Wow! Kate showcased her newly-acquired free-diving skills in an amazing behind-the-scenes glimpse of Avatar 2’s underwater filming, posted by the film’s producer Jon Landau

Kate’s role in the movie marks her reunion with Cameron and Landau, who was clearly impressed with her moves. 

In the caption for the image posted to Instagram, Jon quoted Kate, writing: ‘Wanted to share this photo of Kate Winslet after reading her interview in The Hollywood Reporter… 

‘[She said: “I had to learn how to free-dive to play that role in Avatar, and that was just incredible. My longest breath hold was seven minutes and 14 seconds, like crazy, crazy stuff”…

‘She stops herself, afraid that she’s given away too much on the top-secret project. “Oh no, actually, I can’t. Yeah, I play a water person. I am a water person,” is all she will offer, instead shifting to praise of Cameron”.’ 

In August, Kate gave a glimpse into what the director is demanding of his stars for the movie that’s being shot using motion caption technology. 

Never let go: The striking shot bore a similarity to her now-iconic pose in her breakout role alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in James Cameron's 1997 epic Titanic (pictured)

Never let go: The striking shot bore a similarity to her now-iconic pose in her breakout role alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in James Cameron’s 1997 epic Titanic (pictured)

Technology in action: Producer Jon Landau has shared various looks at underwater filming after director James Cameron confirmed live-action filming is '100 per cent complete'

Technology in action: Producer Jon Landau has shared various looks at underwater filming after director James Cameron confirmed live-action filming is ‘100 per cent complete’

On their reunion, she said: ‘It was so wonderful to work with Jim again. Time has changed him. 

‘Jim has become a father a few more times over. He is a calmer person. Chilled. You can just feel him enjoying it more this time.’

Her starring role in 1997’s Titanic catapulted her, at age 21, to international stardom as it did for her co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, then 22.

In June, Cameron and his crew returned to New Zealand to resume production after it had been halted in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were allowed back on economic grounds.

The much-anticipated sequel to the 2009 epic science fiction film Avatar has been in the works for a decade. 

Made her famous: Winslet's starring role in Titanic catapulted her, at age 21, to international stardom as it did for her co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, then 22 (pictured in 1998)

Made her famous: Winslet’s starring role in Titanic catapulted her, at age 21, to international stardom as it did for her co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, then 22 (pictured in 1998)

Producer Jon, after completing the mandated 14-day quarantine, told the country’s 1News: ‘This one production alone is going to hire 400 New Zealanders to work on it. We’re going to spend, in the next five months alone, over $70 million here.’

The highly-anticipated sequels to the groundbreaking sci-fi blockbuster are being made at Stone Street Studios , a complex of four purpose-built, state-of-the-art sound stages in Wellington.

The studios have been used for several high-profile productions including the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, The Hobbit trilogy, King Kong and the original Avatar.

Cameron is working on Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 simultaneously with the first of the sequels scheduled to premiere in December 2022.  

Avatar 2 stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Edie Falco, Cliff Curtis, Oona Chaplin, Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis. 

Blockbuster: Avatar was Cameron's first feature-length fictional movie since 's Titanic. Avatar 2 is set to premiere in December 2022 and will be followed by Avatar 3 in December 2024

Blockbuster: Avatar was Cameron’s first feature-length fictional movie since ‘s Titanic. Avatar 2 is set to premiere in December 2022 and will be followed by Avatar 3 in December 2024

Last month, Cameron confirmed live-action filming for Avatar 2 is ‘100 per cent complete’… despite a four-and-a-half month production shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Despite release dates being pushed back eight times, Cameron made the big reveal during an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger, which included more welcome news about the third installment in the franchise. 

Even with the all the hardships due to the pandemic, Cameron acknowledged he and his crew were lucky to have chosen New Zealand as their production site many years ago, considering it has ranked first or second in the world for its COVID-19 response.

‘We are able to operate. we’re able to shoot, and we’re able to more or less have a normal life here right now,’ he said to Schwarzenegger, who has starred in three of Cameron’s films: The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and True Lies. 

‘So we’re very fortunate. So I don’t see any roadblocks to use getting the picture finished – getting both pictures finished.’ 

Avatar 2 is said to take place 12 years after the events of the first movie, following Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) as he continues to roam the planet of Pandora with the new family he has with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). 

In the wake of those eight theatrical release date changes, Avatar 2 is currently slated to premiere on December 16, 2022 and Avatar 3 on December 20, 2024.  

There are also plans for two more sequels that have release dates of December 18, 2026 and December 22, 2028, respectively, although Cameron has stated that they wouldn’t be made if Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 don’t make any money.

The original 2009 film became the highest-grossing movie of all time, raking-in $2.79 billion worldwide on a $237 million budget.

That record was broken last year when Avengers: Endgame grossed $2.797 billion at the worldwide box office.

Tense: The much-anticipated sequel to the 2009 epic science fiction film Avatar has been in the works for a decade, with release dates pushed back eight times

Tense: The much-anticipated sequel to the 2009 epic science fiction film Avatar has been in the works for a decade, with release dates pushed back eight times 


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