On December 17, 1997, Titanic was released in the U.S. 25 years later, it remains one of the most successful films ever made, surpassed only by James Cameron’s other monumental creation, Avatar. The story follows the aristocratic Rose, played by Kate Winslet, but Winslet herself admits she has a hard time following her own character in that film – or any piece of media, for that matter.
With the 15th anniversary of Titanic and the release of Avatar: The Way of Water this month, Winslet and Cameron reflected on the movie’s significance to film history and its impact on her own life. It represented one giant leap for cinema and for her career, putting her out of her comfort zone that may have left her “traumatized.”
For Kate Winslet, most of her life has been ‘Titanic’
“I’m 47 years old now, guys,’ Winslet noted, “and I turned 21 when we were shooting that movie. So, it’s like half my lifetime ago.” That also means half of her life was spent associated with a film preserved in the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” She contributed to the third-highest-grossing film of all time.
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Reflecting on this particular reality, Winslet says it’s “amazing and incredible to have been part of something that, you know, [is] so steeped in nostalgia for people and still resonates with people in the way that it does,” adding, “It’s a huge, huge honor that people still love something that I was a part of all those years ago.” But her career hasn’t been all easy successes and even Winslet experiences nerves related to this film – in more ways than one.
Winslet was nervous plenty of times and still is
Cameron and Winslet are actually reuniting for Avatar: The Way of Water, due out December 16. She will play Ronal, one of the Na’vi of Pandora. But even while working on yet another Cameron behemoth of a film, Winslet gets nervous confronted with the prospect of watching herself on screen. So, yes, she says she will probably watch Titanic in celebration of its 25th anniversary, but Winslet admits, “I’m just not very good at watching myself on screen. It’s not just Titanic, like I don’t like watching myself in anything.”
Cameron noticed how far she’s come as an actress who he says was “a bit traumatized by the scale of the production and her responsibility within it.” Indeed, looking back, Winslet admits, “I was scared of Hollywood. A big, scary place where everyone had to be thin and look a certain way.” Jump to today, working with Cameron on Avatar, and he says Winslet has the confidence to practically run the show.
Since she also shed tears when she got to reunite with Leonardo DiCaprio last year, it’s safe to say this has been an emotional time all around.