Kate Winslet told Entertainment Tonight this week that breaking Tom Cruise’s record for the longest underwater breath hold in a feature film makes her “very proud.” While filming “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” Tom Cruise held his breath underwater for six minutes, but Winslet beat him by over a minute, holding her breath for seven minutes and 14 seconds while filming an underwater sequence for James Cameron’s “Avatar 2.”
“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,” Winslet 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?'”
Winslet told Entertainment Tonight, “It was brilliant and I was very proud of myself and I’ll probably never be able to do it again. 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. We’re very, very lucky as actors that often we have to learn a whole new skill.”
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The fact that Kate Winslet has filmed underwater has added to the buzz around Avatar 2. More creatures on Pandora and in the Avatar world are expected to be explored in the sequel.
Producer Jon Landau published a shot of Winslet filming underwater on Instagram last month, just weeks after she announced she plays a “water person” in the blockbuster sequel.
Winslet was spotted in the bottom of a pool wearing a motion capture outfit with a long cloak flowing behind her. She also looked to be wearing weights to keep her in place.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Winslet confirmed the seven-minute figure, saying, “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.”
Sigourney Weaver, Winslet’s “Avatar 2” co-star, said earlier this year that the cast of “Avatar” trained with expert military divers to increase the length of time they could hold their breath underwater. During filming, cast members put weights around their waists to keep them submerged underwater. The majority of “Avatar 2” was shot in large water takes, and the longer the performers could hold their breath without having to return to the surface for oxygen, the less filming breaks there were.
Sam Worthington as Jake Sully, as well as Zoe Saldana, Giovanni Ribisi, and Sigourney Weaver, will return in Avatar 2.
In select cinemas now, the actress can be seen opposite Saoirse Ronan in the Oscar hopeful Ammonite. “Everything comes from an extremely steady, still place,” Winslet said of her character Mary in the love drama. “I had to focus a lot on that because movement and expression for Mary is used as communication. I had to be very careful about when those moments would be. We have to really choose when she would smile. She doesn’t smile that often. When she does, it’s an important vocal moment that comes from that expression of joy.”
Ammonite has yet to be given a UK release date. The sequel to Avatar will be published on December 21, 2021.