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Kate Winslet Reveals Why Her Infamous ‘Titanic’ Kiss With Leonardo DiCaprio Was ‘Such a Mess’

Kate Winslet Says Titanic Kiss with Leonardo DiCaprio Was Such a Mess
Amazon Prime/Paramount

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio’s most iconic Titanic scene wasn’t nearly as romantic to film as it appears on screen.

Winslet reflected on shooting the famous “I’m flying” scene in a new video interview with Vanity Fair published on Wednesday, June 12, recalling, “Oh, this was a nightmare.”

The actress said a combination of makeup mishaps, DiCaprio laughing and struggling to breathe in her corset made the shoot difficult.

“This was a section of the ship — it wasn’t the whole ship set that we had,” Winslet said, rewatching the scene where Rose and Jack meet at the bow of the ship and climb the railing. “It was a sawn-off bit. We had to climb up a ladder to get to that.”

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As a result of the tricky set, “hair and makeup couldn’t reach out,” which meant Winslet, 48, had to act as the on-set makeup artist for both her and DiCaprio, 49.

“I’ve got hidden [in my corset] his makeup and brushes and sponge, and my makeup and brushes and sponge in the other side, and between takes I was basically redoing our makeup,” Winslet said.

The romantic moment ends with Jack and Rose kissing while feeling the breeze of the ocean air in their hair. But Winslet said that kissing DiCaprio “was not all it’s cracked up to be.”

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“So we kept doing this kiss and I have a lot of pale makeup, and I would have to do makeup checks on both of us between takes,” Winslet explained. “And I would end up looking as though I had been sucking a caramel chocolate bar after each take because his makeup would come off on me. And he just looked like there was a bit missing from his face because there was a big pale bit from all my makeup getting onto him.”

Kate Winslet Says Titanic Kiss with Leonardo DiCaprio Was Such a Mess 2
Amazon Prime/Paramount

“Oh God, it was such a mess,” she concluded.

Despite being difficult to film, Winset is “proud” of the scene — and Titanic as a whole — because “it’s that film that just keeps giving.”

In a separate interview with Variety published on Wednesday, Winslet and Titanic director James Cameron addressed speculation that they feuded at the time of the movie’s 1997 release.

In April 1997, the actress told the Los Angeles Times: “You’d have to pay me a lot of money to work with Jim again.” The Times noted that Winslet “suffered hypothermia and nearly drowned twice” and contemplated leaving the movie.

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Cameron told Variety that “there was never a rift between us,” adding, “She had a little postpartum depression when she let go of Rose. She and I have talked about the fact that she goes really, really deep, and her characters leave a lasting, sometimes dramatic impression on her.”

“There’s a part of me that feels almost sad that stupid, speculative Titanic stuff at the time overshadowed the actual relationship I have with him,” Winslet told the outlet. “He knows I will be up for anything. Any challenge, any piece of direction you give me? I’ll try it.”

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James Cameron and Kate Winslet. Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Winslet and Cameron recently reunited on Cameron’s Avatar sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, which was released in December 2022 and is now the third highest-grossing movie at the global box office (surpassing Titanic for the spot).

Winslet will reprise her role as Na’vi free driver Ronal in the next Avatar movie, which is set for release on December 19, 2025.

“I’m in the cutting room now, and I work with her performance every day,” Cameron told Variety.

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While promoting The Way of Water, Winslet said she had a much more pleasant experience working with Cameron, who she once said had a “temper like you wouldn’t believe,” on the sci-fi franchise than she did on Titanic.

“I loved doing Avatar with Jim — he is much more calm now,” she told the U.K.’s Sunday Times in December 2022. “In those days there was no space for him to say, ‘It might not work.’ He had to make it work. There were all those conversations about this huge film, Titanic. I can’t imagine the pressure.”

“As we get older we learn how to say, ‘I made a mistake.’ We all get better at that, don’t we?” she added.

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